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Issue Alert - 04-07-03

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Jul 06, 2004

Issue Summary:

Persons with AIDS no longer are presumed disabled for purposes of State Disability Assistance (SDA) eligibility.

Persons Affected:

Persons diagnosed with AIDS


State Disability Assistance (SDA)

What's Happening?

Effective July 1, 2004, the Family Independence Agency Medical Review Team (MRT) must review the cases of individuals who are disabled and applying for State Disability Assistance (SDA) because of AIDS. Previously, individuals with a diagnosis of AIDS were presumed disabled.The FIA caseworker should request and compile the necessary medical evidence for the MRT to review the person's condition and determine if they are disabled. FIA has a new Medical Needs form, the FIA 49H, that is supposed to be used when an SDA applicant has HIV or AIDS. However, the caseworker must compile and submit the medical information to the MRT even if the individual's doctor sdoes not complete the FIA 49H form.

What Should Advocates Do?

Whenever possible, assist clients in obtaining medical information that will support their disability claim.

What Should Clients Do?

Ask your FIA caseworker for help if you are having trouble getting medical records or other information requested by your FIA worker. Seek legal help if you are denied assistance.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan LawHelp web site ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.