Missouri disability

Your Complete Guide to Missouri Disability Benefits in 2022

More than 1.1 million people — almost 1 in 5 Missouri residents — are aged 50-64. That age range is when you’re most likely to get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits! But in 2020, just 200,074 people qualified for the SSDI program’s Missouri disability benefits. That’s about 3.3% of the state’s population, which currently totals just over 6.1 million people. Another 2% received Missouri disability from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. If your health issues force you to miss 12 months at work, you should apply for Missouri disability benefits. We’ll explain how to apply, eligibility rules and typical payment amounts for both programs below.

You Have Two Ways to Get Missouri Disability Benefits

We’ll explain the two different federal programs that pay monthly Missouri disability benefits to qualified applicants below. They use same the medical criteria to decide whether your health issues make you too disabled to work full-time. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of both federal programs, which include:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Luckily, you can apply for Missouri disability benefits through both programs using the same claim form. Just check one box on your application, and the SSA screens you for SSI and SSDI!

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Minnesota Disability in 2022

SSDI: How to Apply, Qualify & Average Payment Amounts

SSDI specifically covers working Americans aged 18-64. Congress created SSDI to help people too young for Social Security retirement whose health problems force them to stop working. The FICA taxes your employer takes out of every paycheck go towards paying your SSDI policy’s premiums. (FICA taxes are also known as Social Security taxes because they’re the same thing.) Learn what it takes to get Missouri disability benefits from the SSDI program below.

1. What Are The SSDI Program’s Eligibility Rules for Missouri Disability Applicants?

If you answer “yes” to every question below, file your SSDI claim for Missouri disability today:

  • Did you work 5 in the last 10 years full-time and pay FICA taxes with every paycheck? That’s how you earn enough Social Security work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. But if you stop working for 60 months in a row, your SSDI policy coverage automatically ends.
  • Is your health problem the reason why you cannot work for at least one year? SSDI rules say your mental or physical condition must last at least 12 months or be terminal. If you improve any sooner, you won’t meet the SSDI program’s requirements for Missouri disability payments.
  • Has a doctor treated your disabling condition within the last year? Routine doctor visits put you a step closer to Missouri disability benefits. Otherwise, a Disability Determination Services (DDS) exam must confirm you’re medically eligible for SSDI. A Missouri disability lawyer can pay for your doctor’s visit and full medical records if you can’t afford them yourself.
  • Are you currently at least 18, but younger than full retirement age and not drawing any Social Security benefits? The SSDI program only pays Missouri disability to claimants not yet drawing Social Security. At full retirement age (FRA), Missouri disability checks automatically convert into regular Social Security retirement. The SSA calculates your FRA based on the year and month when you were born (right now, it’s sometime after you turn 66). This article explains why you can’t get regular Social Security and Missouri disability at the same time.

If you said “no” at least once, Missouri disability benefits from the SSI program may still be available to you.

2. How Long Does That First SSDI Payment Take?

Six months after your SSDI application date is the soonest you’ll get your first Missouri disability check. The SSA takes 3-5 months to process each SSDI application for Missouri disability. Federal law enforces a mandatory five-month waiting period before anyone gets SSDI payments. If you’re out of work that long before you apply, it won’t affect your claim. Having a lawyer file your SSDI application makes you nearly 3x more likely to get Missouri disability benefits. Plus, Missouri disability attorneys all work on contingency. That means you won’t pay any legal fees until after your SSDI claim’s approved. SSDI claims for Missouri disability benefits currently take 407 days to process, on average.

You’ll possibly wait years for your first Missouri disability check if you apply without a lawyer. If denied, you have 60 days to appeal that decision in writing. The first appeal step is reconsideration, and it takes about 100 days total to finish. Only 2% of SSDI applicants get approved for Missouri disability during this step. Your second appeal means scheduling a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The SSDI program approves about 11% of Missouri disability applicants at this stage. However, you’ll wait at least 10 months for an appeals court date in Creve Coeur. Columbia residents, on the other hand, wait an average 14 months for their ALJ hearing date.

3. How Much SSDI Money Do Most Missouri Disability Claimants Get?

The highest payment you can get if your SSDI application’s approved is $3,345 per month. To get that much, you must earn at least $130,000 annually for a decade before becoming disabled. The average SSDI payment for disabled workers nationwide is $1,358/month in 2022. Your payment amount should equal about 40% of your average monthly paycheck earned over a 35-year work history. An annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase gives everyone a monthly raise in certain years.

4. Are Monthly SSDI Payments Permanent?

An approved SSDI claim won’t give you permanent benefits. Instead, the SSA must confirm your disabling condition hasn’t gotten better once every 3-7 years. The agency requires you to pass a disability update check to keep your monthly payments. This will continue up until your 65th birthday. After that, SSDI automatically converts into regular Social Security retirement. Your pay amount won’t change, and there’s no paperwork to complete. But if the SSA decides you’re not disabled before you turn 65, they’ll stop paying your benefits immediately.

SSI: How to Apply, Qualify & Average Payment Amounts

The second program that provides Missouri disability benefits is called SSI. It’s designed to help blind or disabled working-age Americans and those aged 65 or older make ends meet. The federal government’s general tax fund pays for the SSI program’s Missouri disability benefits. So, SSI doesn’t depend on the Social Security trust fund’s money. However, SSI does screen Missouri disability applicants to ensure they have very low income and few resources. Below, we’ll explain the SSI program’s eligibility requirements and Missouri disability pay amounts.

1. SSI Must Confirm You’re Disabled, Blind or at Least 65 Years Old Before Approval

If you wait until you’re at least 65 to apply for SSI, go ahead and skip this section. Otherwise, you’ll need to pass a DDS medical exam to qualify for Missouri disability benefits. Your age alone makes you eligible under the SSI program’s medical requirements. Anyone aged 65 and up need only worry about passing the SSI program’s financial eligibility rules.

2. SSI Requires That All Missouri Disability Applicants Have Very Low Income and Almost No Resources to Qualify

You need less than $1,350 in monthly income and few resources to qualify for the SSI program’s Missouri disability benefits. “Monthly income” means any money you get from any source, not just paychecks from working. Child support, alimony, earned interest, SNAP, TANF, etc. all count towards your monthly income. Next, the SSI program looks at your bank account balance. You need less than $2,000 to meet the SSI program’s asset limit rules. But other things you own and can easily sell for cash will also count against you, too. This includes any jewelry, stocks, bonds, lottery tickets, etc. Things the SSI program won’t count towards your $2,000 asset limit include:

  • Your house and the land it sits on (for homeowners only)
  • One vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, boat) for household transportation
  • Wedding ring, furniture, clothing or daily living items (appliances, bedding, towels)

Couples filing SSI claims for Missouri disability have slightly different income and asset limit amounts. You both need less than $3,000 in assets and $1,350 in monthly income combined in order to qualify for SSI.

3. $841/Person or $1,261/Couple Is the Most SSI Money Available Each Month

The SSI program’s monthly Missouri disability payments are also subject to an annual Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA). Any year the SSA approves a COLA increase, they’ll announce that SSI payment change in October or November. Once your SSI claim’s approved, you still need to pass a disability update every 3-7 years. If you can’t pass these updates, the SSI program stops your payments. Once you turn 65, though, you never have to pass another SSI disability update. As long as you meet the SSI program’s financial requirements, your monthly Missouri disability checks keep coming in.

Do Any Temporary or Short-Term Disability Benefits Exist?

No government programs pay short-term or temporary Missouri disability benefits. If you don’t already own a private insurance policy or one through your employer, don’t worry! There are other ways to get money to live on if you’re unable to work due to health problems. Other options may include:

  1. Workers’ compensation. Every Missouri employer with five or more employees must carry workers’ comp insurance. If your workplace injury or illness stops you from working, you may qualify for lost wage benefits. Get a free 2-minute evaluation to check your eligibility today.
  2. Car accident injury damages. Injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? Insurance companies only pay about 52% of costs for car wreck injuries, on average! (According to National Highway and Transportation Safety Association’s most recent study data.) Get a free online case review in less than two minutes to see if you may qualify.
  3. Drug or medical device cash settlements. If any drug, medical device or product harms you, the manufacturer may owe you a cash settlement. However, the only way to claim that money is going through a lawyer. To check your eligibility online for free in less than two minutes, visit DrugJustice.com.

A Missouri disability lawyer nearly triples your chance for benefit approval on your first try. All Missouri disability lawyers work on contingency, so you’ll pay nothing for legal advice over the phone. A Social Security attorney can also review your claim paperwork for errors before you file or appeal. Federal law says they can’t charge you anything unless your case wins. And if you do win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

Get Your Free Benefits Evaluation

Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.