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Missouri disability benefits

How to Apply for Disability Benefits in Missouri

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
June 4, 2024  ·  2 min read
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Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard-trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience and has helped over 50,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

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Applying for Social Security disability benefits can feel overwhelming, but you're not alone. In Missouri, more than 220,000 people receive assistance through federal programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI).

Read on to learn about the types of benefits available, how to apply, and what to expect from the process. We’ll break down each step so you can apply with confidence and get the benefits you need.

What disability benefits are available in Missouri?

If you're a resident of Missouri and unable to work due to a disability, there are several types of financial assistance available.

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

Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI is a federal program that provides monthly payments and Medicare to individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes but are now unable to work due to a disability. Typically, you must have worked for five out of the last ten years to be eligible.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is designed for people with limited income and resources. It provides monthly payments to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. If you qualify for SSI, you may also be eligible for Medicaid, which helps cover medical expenses.

Veterans' disability benefits

Veterans who are disabled due to an injury sustained during military service can receive benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. These benefits vary based on the severity and nature of the disability. Learn more about how Atticus can help you claim your VA benefits

Private disability insurance

If you have disability insurance through your employer or a private policy, you can access benefits if you're unable to work. These plans can offer short-term or long-term support, depending on the specifics of your policy.

Workers' compensation

If your disability is a result of a job-related injury or illness, workers' compensation provides coverage for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.

How to apply for disability in Missouri

If you're applying for Social Security disability benefits in Missouri, here are the ways you can start the process:

  • Online: Visit the Social Security Administration's website (SSA.gov) to begin your application from the comfort of your home.

  • By phone: Call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213 to apply over the phone. This is useful if you have questions or need assistance during the application process.

  • In person: You can also apply in person by visiting your local Social Security office.

Understanding the Application Process

To apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you may need to go through multiple stages:

  • Initial application: Start by filling out the necessary forms, including Form SSA-16 for SSDI and the SSI application form. Make sure to provide comprehensive medical and work history documentation, as incomplete applications are often denied. Around 20% of applications are approved at this stage.

  • Reconsideration: If your initial application is denied, you can request a reconsideration within 60 days. A different SSA representative will review your application. About 10% of applications are approved upon reconsideration.

  • Hearing: If your application is still not approved, you can appeal and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. This is your opportunity to present your case more thoroughly. Applicants with legal representation have a much higher success rate at this stage.

Do I need a disability lawyer to apply for benefits in Missouri?

While you’re not required to have a lawyer, having one can significantly increase your chances of approval. Applicants who work with a disability lawyer are three times more likely to receive benefits than those who apply on their own.

Match with a top disability lawyer in Missouri.

3 benefits of working with a disability lawyer

  1. Accurate applications and comprehensive documentation: A disability lawyer can ensure your application is filled out correctly and all necessary medical records and documentation are included. This reduces the chances of denial due to missing or incorrect information.

  2. Expert guidance through the process: Navigating the Social Security disability process can feel complex and daunting. A lawyer provides expert guidance, helping you understand each step and what is required. They handle communications with the SSA, ensuring that any additional information requests are promptly addressed, and can prepare and file appeals if your initial application is denied.

  3. Effective representation at hearings: If your case advances to a hearing before an administrative law judge, having a lawyer represent you can make a significant difference. They can present your case, argue on your behalf, and answer any questions the judge might have.

Get help applying for disability in Missouri.

If you're a Missouri resident seeking disability benefits, Atticus is here to help. Start by taking our quick 2-minute quiz to check your eligibility. A member of our team will reach out to gather more information about your case and provide advice on next steps.

We can connect you with a qualified disability lawyer who can guide you through the application process. With Atticus, there are no upfront costs — you only pay your lawyer a one-time fee when you receive your back pay.

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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