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Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Missouri
Claimants who are represented on disability claims in Missouri tend to have a higher rate of approval, a need for fewer appeals, and more favorable "dates of onset" (the date the disability is proven to have begun) that lead to higher back pay benefits.
Representation may be through a disability lawyer or a specialized non-attorney disability representative. Many non-attorney reps are former Social Security Administration Claims Specialists and Disability Examiners with an extended history of working from within the federal system.
A qualified disability representative will have a knowledge of Social Security administrative law, particularly with regard to how claims are approved through the Social Security listings and the medical vocational grid rules. A qualified and competent disability representative or lawyer will also be skilled in the ability to obtain the most relevant case evidence, analyze it correctly, and incorporate it as part of a winning strategy for a claim.
To learn about fees for representation, see: "How do disability lawyers get paid?"
If you are considering filing for social security disability (SSD) benefits in Missouri, you should know up front that the Missouri state disability determination services (DDS) agency turns down most disability applicants. Only about thirty percent of all disability claims, including claims for supplemental security income (SSI), are approved by Missouri disability examiners.
In addition, federal statistics indicate that over two-thirds of first appeals filed with DDS in Missouri are denied as well (these first appeals are sometimes referred to as reconsideration appeals). Itís hard to be sure if more cases would be approved by disability examiners if claimants had early legal representation. The majority of disability applicants in Missouri do not choose to involve a disability attorney unless their application has been turned down and their appeal for reconsideration was also unsuccessful.
Indeed, quite a few disability lawyers will not become involved in a disability case in its early stages, believing that their services are most valuable only at the point in which the claimant is due to appear in a hearing before a federal administrative law judge (this is the second and, in most instances, final level of appeal).
So, if you are filing for SSD or SSI in Missouri, when is the best time to retain a disability lawyer? The answer to this question is, as soon as you feel it is needed. If at any point in your case you find that you are having a hard time understanding the process or canít grasp what a disability examiner is asking of you, or if you are simply feeling uncomfortable with any part of the proceedings, you should probably at least consult with an attorney to make sure everything is in order and to get some kind of direction.
However, if the Missouri state disability determination services agency has denied your initial claim and turned down your reconsideration appeal, legal representation can definitely improve your chances of winning your case before the disability judge. Disability claimants in Missouri who had legal representation at their administrative hearings won benefits fifty percent more often than claimants who were not represented.
Note: The request for reconsideration appeal step is currently suspended in the state of Missouri as Missouri is one of 10 prototype states testing a system in which denied claims move immediately to the hearing level upon appeal. Reconsideration may be reinstated at some point and many consider this likely. In the meantime, a claimant who is denied on a disability application should request, and prepare, for a hearing before a federal administrative law judge.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Filing for disability in Missouri
Applying for disability in Missouri
Whether or not to file for Social Security Disability in Missouri
File for disability in Missouri and prepare to wait
Qualifying, will I qualify for disability in Missouri?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Missouri
Disability criteria, qualifying and qualifications in Missouri
What is a disability in Missouri?
Criteria for Social Security Disability and SSI in Missouri
What is a Qualifying Disability in Missouri for Social Security?
How to qualify in Missouri
Qualifying for disability in Missouri
How do you qualify for SS disability in Missouri?
Missouri disability qualifications, will I qualify?
General questions about disability in Missouri
Can you get a quick disability approval in Missouri?
Contacting Social Security for a Disability Claim in Missouri
Work credits and a Missouri Social Security Disability Award
Filing, applying for Disability in Missouri with Depression
Online disability appeal in Missouri
Review of my SSDI or SSI Case in Missouri
Missouri disability benefits
Social Security Disability Income in Missouri
How much will I receive if I am approved for disability in Missouri?
Disability benefits for children in Missouri
If you get approved for SSD in Missouri, do your kids get SSI?
SSD and Medicare Benefits in Missouri
Approved for disability and medicare in Missouri
Disability hearings in Missouri
Social Security Disability Hearings in Missouri
How do you file for a disability hearing in Missouri?
Will I get approved by a disability judge in Missouri?
How long for an ALJ disability hearing decision in Missouri?
Lawyer for a disability hearing in Missouri
How many are Approved at a Social Security Disability Hearing in Missouri?
Request for a Social Security Disability Hearing in Missouri
Disability denials in Missouri
What to do if a disability application is denied in Missouri
Why is disability denied in Missouri?
What if you receive a Denial at a Disability Hearing in Missouri?
Missouri SSI disability
Filing for SSI or Supplemental Security Income in Missouri
Supplemental Security Income in Missouri
Will SSI disability in Missouri qualify you for other benefits?
Who Qualifies for SSI Disability Benefits in Missouri?
Disability lawyers, attorneys in Missouri
Do I need a lawyer to get disability benefits in Missouri?
How do you choose a Social Security Disability Attorney in Missouri?
What does a Disability Lawyer in Missouri Charge if the Disability Case is Lost?
Cost of a disability lawyer in Missouri
Disability Lawyers for Social Security Claims in Missouri
How long does disability take in Missouri?
How long for a Decision for Social Security Disability in Missouri?
How Long Can you Receive Social Security Disability in Missouri?
How to Speed up a Social Security Disability Claim in Missouri