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Missouri disability benefits

How Much Are Disability Benefits in Missouri?

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
June 5, 2024  ·  2 min read
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In Missouri, more than 220,000 residents receive financial assistance through the Social Security Administration’s federal disability programs. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) offer monthly payments and health insurance coverage to those who qualify.

Read on to learn how much you can expect to receive from disability benefits in Missouri.

How much does disability pay in Missouri?

As of 2024, the maximum amount you can receive per month is $3,822 for SSDI and $943 per month for SSI. For couples, the amount for SSI increases to $1,415.

On average, SSDI payments in Missouri are $1,686 per month. This amount varies based on your earnings history and the number of work credits you've accumulated by working and paying Social Security taxes. SSDI beneficiaries are also eligible for Medicare after a 24-month waiting period.

For SSI, the average monthly payment in Missouri is $593.27. SSI is designed to help individuals with limited income and resources, so the amount you receive is influenced by your financial situation. SSI beneficiaries automatically qualify for Medicaid, which helps cover medical expenses.

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How do I calculate how much disability I will receive?

The method for calculating benefits differs between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

How is SSDI calculated?

The amount of money you receive from SSDI depends on a few key factors. Once your disability claim is approved, the SSA calculates your payment using two primary metrics: your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA).

  • Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME): This metric reflects your average earnings over your working life, adjusted for inflation.

  • Primary Insurance Amount (PIA): The SSA uses your AIME to determine your PIA, which is the base figure for your monthly benefit.

You can create an account on the SSA’s website to get a personalized estimate of your SSDI benefits, based on your specific earnings history. Or you can use the Atticus benefits estimator.

How is SSI calculated?

SSI benefits are calculated based on your financial need. Here's how the amount is determined:

  • Federal benefit rate: For 2024, the federal benefit rate is $943 per month.

  • Countable income: The SSA subtracts your countable income (including any other benefits you receive, such as food stamps) from the federal benefit rate. If your countable income is less than the benefit rate, you’ll receive the difference as your monthly SSI payment.

Is applying for disability worth it?

For many Missourians who cannot work due to a disability, SSDI and SSI provide the financial stability they need. If you have a disability that keeps you from working, there are several reasons to consider applying.

  • Long-term support: Most individuals who qualify for disability benefits continue to receive them for life, providing ongoing financial and healthcare security.

  • Substantial lifetime benefits: On average, disability recipients receive approximately $180,000 in lifetime benefits.

  • Monthly payments: The average SSDI check in Missouri is $1,686. For those who qualify, the maximum monthly amount for 2024 is $3,822. These payments can significantly alleviate financial burdens.

  • Healthcare coverage: SSDI recipients also gain access to Medicare, while SSI recipients are eligible for Medicaid, ensuring medical needs are met without additional financial strain.

  • Back pay: The application process is often lengthy, but you are entitled to "back pay" For SSI this is the duration between when you applied and when your application is approved while for SSDI this can also include payments for up to one year of pre-application. This lump sum can provide a substantial financial boost when your benefits are finally awarded.

Before you apply, determine if you qualify for federal benefits. Here are the guidelines the SSA uses to decide if an applicant is eligible:

  • Your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to work and be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

  • To receive SSDI, you need a sufficient number of work credits, typically requiring that you worked at least five out of the last 10 years and paid Social Security taxes.

  • For SSI, your income and resources must be below the limits set by the SSA. For individuals, this means having less than $2,000 in countable resources, and for couples, less than $3,000.

  • The SSA will assess whether your medical condition prevents you from doing any work you have done in the past. If you are able to perform previous work duties, you may not qualify.

  • Inability to adjust to other work: The SSA also considers whether you can adjust to other work, given your medical condition, age, education, and work experience.

We've helped 4,108 people in Missouri apply for disability.

What does a disability lawyer cost in Missouri?

Hiring a disability lawyer in Missouri is generally a financially accessible option. Most disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case.

You will start with a free consultation, where you and a prospective lawyer can discuss your case. If you decide to proceed, you'll sign a contingency fee agreement, which must also be approved by the SSA.

A good disability lawyer will charge 25% of your first back pay paycheck, with a legal cap of $7,200. This fee is deducted from the back pay benefits owed to you from the time you were approved and the time you receive your first payment. 

Due to current SSA processing delays, your first check may not always include your back pay, Your lawyer will not be paid until the SSA sends your back pay.

Note that while most disability lawyers do not charge upfront fees, some may charge for additional services like gathering medical records. To avoid unexpected costs, make sure to discuss all potential fees during the initial consultation.

Get help applying for benefits in Missouri

The application process for disability benefits can feel complex, but we’re here to help. Take our quick 2-minute quiz to check your eligibility, and one of our team members will get in touch with you to discuss your case.

We can connect you with a qualified disability lawyer who will guide you through the application process. There are no upfront costs to work with Atticus — you only pay your lawyer a one-time fee when they win your benefits. By working with a lawyer, you can significantly improve your chances of approval.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Missouri

How do I qualify for disability in Missouri?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in Missouri?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Missouri?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Missouri. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes around two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in Missouri?

The average SSDI payment in Missouri is $1,319.28 per month. The average SSI payment is $604.44 per month. What you’ll earn depends on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in Missouri?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does Missouri have a state disability program?

No, Missouri doesn’t have a state disability program. Only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) have a state program. Residents of Missouri can apply for federal disability programs — SSDI and SSI. Read more about differences between SSDI and SSI here.

Related resources:

Missouri Disability Benefits

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By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Missouri

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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