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Missouri disability benefits

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Missouri

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
June 5, 2024  ·  1 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.

See if you qualify

If you live in Missouri and are unable to work due to a disability, you may be eligible for federal benefits programs. More than 220,000 Missourians currently receive financial assistance from programs offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA): Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Read on to learn about the types of benefits programs available and how you can qualify.


How can I qualify for disability in Missouri?

To determine your eligibility for benefits programs, the SSA uses a five-step evaluation process:

  • Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): The SSA checks if you're engaged in substantial gainful activity. If your monthly earnings exceed $1,550, you may be considered able to work and ineligible for benefits.

  • Severity of impairment: To qualify for benefits, your medical condition must be severe enough to significantly limit your ability to work for at least 12 months.

  • Meeting SSA’s disability criteria: The SSA uses a list of qualifying medical conditions, known as the Blue Book. If your condition is not listed, you will need to provide medical evidence that proves you cannot work.

  • Past work evaluation: The SSA determines if you can perform your past work with your current medical condition.

  • Ability to adjust to other work: If you are under 50, the SSA looks at your medical condition, age, education, and past work experience, and determines if there is any other work you can do.

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

How to qualify for SSDI in Missouri

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the following must be true:

  • You are classified as disabled under SSA's rules.

  • Your disability is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

  • Work credits: You have earned a sufficient number of work credits. Typically, this means you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least five out of the last 10 years.


How to qualify for SSI in Missouri

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed for those with limited income and resources. To qualify, you the following must be true:

  • You are disabled, blind, or aged 65 or older.

  • If you are single, your countable resources are less than $2,000. If you are married, your resources are jointly below $3,000.

  • Your total monthly earnings are below the federal benefit rate, which is $943 for 2024.


What conditions qualify for disability in Missouri?

Any illness or injury can qualify you for Social Security disability benefits, as long as it significantly impairs your ability to work for at least one year. According to the SSA, these are the most common conditions among disability beneficiaries in Missouri:

  • Mental disorders: 33%

  • Musculoskeletal system disorders: 31%

  • Nervous system disorders: 10%

  • Circulatory system diseases: 7%

  • Injuries: 4%


What is the most approved disability in Missouri?

Mental disorders are the most commonly approved disabilities in Missouri. More specifically: 

  • Depressive, bipolar, and related disorders: 23,529 beneficiaries

  • Intellectual disorders: 20,909 beneficiaries

  • Other mental disorders: 10,458


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

While the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require applicants to have legal representation, having a disability lawyer can significantly enhance your chances of approval for benefits — statistically by three times.

Match with a top disability lawyer in Missouri.

Benefits of working with a disability lawyer

An experienced lawyer can help you navigate your application, including: 

  • Building your case: Disability lawyers have a deep understanding of Social Security law and know how to present your case effectively.

  • Gathering medical records: An experienced lawyer will ensure all necessary medical evidence is collected and organized to support your claim.

  • Handling paperwork: A lawyer will make sure all forms are correctly filled out and submitted promptly.

  • Representation at hearings: If your case goes to a hearing, a lawyer will prepare you for the questions you may face, advocate on your behalf, and present your case to the judge.


How much is disability in Missouri?

The payment amounts for SSDI and SSI vary based on several factors, including work history and income.

  • SSDI Benefits: In 2024, the maximum payment amount for Social Security Disability Insurance is $3,822 per month. However, the average monthly payment for SSDI in Missouri is $1,686. This amount fluctuates depending on your past earnings and the number of work credits you have accumulated over your working life.  SSDI also comes with healthcare coverage. After receiving SSDI for 24 months, beneficiaries automatically qualify for Medicare.

  • SSI Benefits: For SSI recipients, the maximum monthly payment in 2024 is $943, while the average in Missouri is $593. If you qualify for SSI, you are eligible for Medicaid, which helps cover medical expenses.


Get help applying for disability in Missouri

If you’re a Missourian seeking disability benefits, we’re here to help. Take our 2-minute quiz to evaluate your eligibility. A member of our team will contact you to gather more details about your case and guide you through next steps.

We can connect you with an experienced disability lawyer who will help you navigate the application process. There are no upfront costs when you work with Atticus — you only pay your lawyer a one-time fee if they help you win your benefits.

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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