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Missouri Social Security Disability Lawyers
If you have a medical condition that prevents you from working, you may be considered disabled and thus eligible for disability benefits. These benefits are meant to help the disabled with their financial needs when they can no longer earn for themselves.
However, not everyone who applies for these benefits can receive them. In fact, in Missouri, only 33.1 percent of applicants succeed on their first try. The application process can be strict, technical, and riddled with delays. This is why it is often recommended that you have a disability attorney on your side if you wish to receive the benefits you deserve.
Types Of Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency that oversees disability benefits and applications. Under the SSA, there are two main types of disability benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD/SSDI). This applies when you are “insured” – that is, you have worked for a certain number of years and paid your Social Security taxes. SSDI may cover not just you but also your family or dependents.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is a need-based program, which means that it has nothing to do with your work or taxes, but based only on your financial need. Thus, its basic qualifications are that your assets must amount to less than $2,000 and that your income is very limited.
Applying For Disability Benefits In Missouri
The SSA recommends that you file your application as soon as you are disabled. You’ll want to gather relevant documents first, such as your birth certificate, Social Security statement, and of course, your medical records. Click here for the checklist of relevant information.
You can then file your application at your city’s Social Security office or through this online tool from the SSA. Once you have handed in your application, it will be up for evaluation. First, the SSA will check for technical requirements such as income limits and work history. It will then forward your application to the Missouri Disability Determination Services (DDS), which checks your medical records to confirm that you are really disabled.
The whole process can take some time. On average, the decision on an initial application takes about four months, though some applicants have to wait for more than a year.
Appealing A Denied Disability Application In Missouri
In the event that your first application has been denied, you may appeal your case within 60 days. Appealing a disability claim used to follow a four-step process involving a reconsideration review by the DDS. Now, that review has been removed and the process has been cut down to three steps:
- Attending a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR)
- Going through an Appeals Council review, and
- Filing a lawsuit in federal court.
Even though the process has been somewhat shortened, disability claimants still have to endure extremely long wait times. In fact, for you to get an ODAR hearing in Missouri, you may have to wait an average of 13.3 months after your hearing request. This can vary depending on where you are in the state – in St. Louis, for instance, the wait can be as long as 15 months.
Helping You Succeed: What Shea Kohl Law Can Do For You
Applying for disability benefits is definitely not easy, nor can you expect it to be quick. The sad truth is that many disabled claimants fail in their application because of some technical mistake or insufficient documents to support them. Even those who eventually get approved still have to suffer for a long time before receiving their needed benefits.
We want to help you avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary delays. Let our legal team at Shea Kohl Law serve you by:
- Making sure your disability application is complete, thorough, and highly satisfactory by adhering to SSA standards
- Putting together the most effective medical documentation to prove your disability
- Representing you throughout the appeals process, with the in-depth knowledge and skills of an experienced attorney
- Guiding you towards your strategic next steps and best legal options.
Our law firm has more than 100 years of combined experience in the legal arena. We know what works for disability applications, and we can use this to help you receive the benefits you need and deserve.
Contact Shea Kohl Law
Don’t wait too long to claim your benefits. Let’s start today by talking about your disability. Consult with us for free at (636) 946-9999.
Call Shea Kohl Law, LC at (636) 946-9999
or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.
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Shea Kohl Law, LC serves clients in Missouri including St. Charles, Troy and Lincoln and throughout Warren and St. Louis counties. We also serve clients in Illinois.