If you live in Missouri and you're unable to work for medical reasons, you can apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Once you have filed for Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income, and the SSA has determined that you meet all the non-medical requirements (mostly related to your income and work history), your case will be transferred to Missouri's Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency. DDS will assign your case to a claims examiner who will decide whether you meet the medical requirements for disability benefits.
You will likely be contacted by the claims examiner at DDS; if you need to reach DDS, its phone number is 573-751-3251. In Missouri, 36% of disability applications are approved at the initial level, which is about the same as the national rate of approval (35%) for disability claims.
If DDS denies your claim at the initial level, you have 60 days to ask for an appeal. You start with a level of appeal known as the reconsideration stage, where you request that DDS take another look at your application. If the claim is denied at the "recon" stage, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at an Office of Hearings Operations (OHO).
There are five OHO offices in Missouri: in Columbia, Creve Coeur, Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis. The wait time for a hearing is just under 15 months from the date of your hearing request, although your actual wait will vary depending on where you live.
In 2020, the federal government's maximum monthly SSI payment is $783 for an eligible individual and $1,175 for eligible couples. In addition, the state of Missouri offers additional benefits to SSI recipients who live in residential or nursing care facilities. To receive the supplemental nursing care benefit, a person must meet all of the following conditions:
The amount of Missouri's state supplement depends on the type of facility and whether you are filing as an individual or a couple. Individuals at licensed residential care facilities (RCFs) receive $156 per month, while couples receive $312. At assisted living facilities (ALFs), the Missouri supplement to individuals is $292 and $584 to couples. A supplement is also available to blind persons over 18 who are living on their own.
This program is administered by the State Department of Social Services, Family Support Division. If you have a question about Missouri's SSI state supplement, contact the Family Support Division at (573) 751-3221 or online at https://mydss.mo.gov/ncare.
If you are approved for SSI, you are probably eligible for Medicaid in Missouri (now called MO HealthNet). Missouri's income limits for Medicaid for blind or disabled people (called MO HealthNet for Aged, Blind, Disabled, or MHABD) are higher than the SSI program's, and Missouri's asset limits for Medicaid are also higher than SSI's after a recent increase.
Missouri's assets limits for Medicaid (for nonblind people with permanent disabilities) are $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for a couple.
Missouri's income limits are based on 85% of the Federal Poverty Level, and are $904 for an individual and $1,221 for a couple (in 2020). The State of Missouri allows you to deduct your medical expenses from your income when presenting your countable income to Medicaid for the income test.
To apply for Medicaid, submit an application to your local Department of Social Services.
If your application for disability benefits has been denied, or if you need help filing for benefits, contact an attorney for a free consultation. Our Missouri disability lawyers page can help you find an attorney in your area.
Updated August 6, 2020