Missouri Social Security Disability

There are approximately 3.6 million residents living in the State of Missouri. Of these residents, approximately 5.4 percent receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This year alone, there will be thousands of new Missouri Social Security Disability claims. If history is any indication of future approval rates, the SSA will deny nearly 70 percent of the new applications it receives. To make matters worse, more than 80 percent of applicants will also be denied during the first stage of the disability appeal process.

While some Missouri Social Security Disability applicants are able to obtain disability benefits in just a few short months, the majority must wait more than a year before being awarded the disability benefits they so desperately need. This is largely due to the fact that most applicants must appear before an administrative law judge at a disability hearing before being awarded benefits. In the State of Missouri, it can take anywhere from 321 to 609 days for your hearing to be scheduled. Once you have been seen by the administrative law judge, it takes another two to three months before receiving notice of the judge's decision regarding your disability case.

The reason that the hearing wait times vary so drastically from one area of the nation to the next is due to the backlog of disability cases that are in the offices responsible for scheduling the SSA's disability hearings. The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is the Social Security agency responsible for scheduling hearings before an administrative law judge. The area of Missouri that you live in determines which ODAR office handles your disability hearing and impacts how long you must wait for that hearing to be scheduled. The ODAR offices that handle the hearings for Missouri Social Security Disability applicants are as follows:

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  • Creve Coeur, Missouri
  • The ODAR office located in Creve Coeur is responsible for managing the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Creve Coeur, Fenton, St. Louis (North County), St. Louis (South Side), St. Louis (Central West End), St. Peters and Union. It takes this office an average of 321 days to schedule a disability hearing for Missouri Social Security Disability applicants.

  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • The Kansas City ODAR office is responsible for managing the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Chillicothe, Gladstone, Independence, Kansas City (Euclid Street), Kansas City (Gateway), Maryville and St. Joseph. It takes this office an average of 463 days to schedule a disability hearing before an administrative law judge.

  • Springfield, Missouri
  • The ODAR office located in Springfield, Missouri is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Lebanon and Springfield. It takes this office an average of 609 days to schedule a disability hearing.

  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • The ODAR office located in St. Louis manages the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Cape Girardeau, Hannibal, Kennett, Park Hills, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston and downtown St. Louis. It takes this office an average of 475 days to schedule a hearing before an administrative law judge.

  • Topeka, Kansas
  • The Topeka ODAR office located in the State of Kansas is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the West Plains Social Security field office in the state of Missouri. It takes this office an average of nine months to schedule a disability hearing.

  • Wichita, Kansas
  • The ODAR office located in Wichita, Kansas is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Joplin, Missouri and Nevada, Missouri. It takes this office an average of nine months to schedule a disability hearing.

Hiring a Missouri Social Security Disability Attorney

In some cases, Missouri Social Security Disability applicants must wait two years before being seen before an administrative law judge. Many applicants wonder if there is any way to avoid this lengthy and complicated process of appealing the SSA's decision to deny disability benefits. The truth is, while it is not always possible to avoid a denial of your initial disability application, working with a qualified Missouri Social Security Disability lawyer may increase your chances of being awarded benefits during the initial stage of the claim process.

When you work with a qualified Missouri Social Security Disability attorney, your attorney will work with you to gather all of the medical evidence that will be needed to prove your disability case. Your lawyer will also work to ensure that your claim is prepared properly and submitted in the best light possible to the SSA. If, for some reason, your initial application is still denied by the SSA, your Missouri Social Security Disability lawyer will be able to represent you during your disability appeal.

While you can technically represent yourself through the disability appeal process, it is not necessarily in your best interest to do so. Statistics show that applicants who obtain legal representation for their disability hearing are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves. You will wait months, if not years, for your hearing date to arrive. You need to do everything in your power to make sure the scales are tipped in your favor.

Click here if you would like to learn more about hiring a Missouri Social Security Disability lawyer and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.