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Missouri workers who have been disabled by an accident or chronic illness might meet the eligibility requirements for collecting benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. The Social Security Administration will determine eligibility after reviewing the medical records for an applicant and considering the person’s ability to perform work.

The federal government designed these benefits to support people afflicted with long-term physical or mental problems. The agency defines disability as a condition that will last at least 12 months or a condition that is expected to be fatal. Additionally, the effects of the disease or injury must prevent a person from performing a current position or other types of jobs in any substantial way.

Proof of disability in the form of medical evaluations must be provided to the SSA. Medical records should include a physician’s statement about symptoms and a diagnosis. In the event that such evidence is not available, the SSA bears the responsibility of obtaining evidence. While reviewing medical evidence, the SSA will also consider the effectiveness of treatments to alleviate disabling symptoms.

A person who wants to investigate how to apply for benefits could consult an attorney familiar with Social Security Disability regulations. An attorney could evaluate the case to see how likely approval for benefits might be. An attorney’s support might also help a person whose condition makes filling out forms or organizing documents difficult. The gathering of medical records and answering questions on SSA forms could be handled by an attorney. Additionally, an attorney might have the resources to challenge a denial of Social Security benefits if evidence suggests that the SSA made a decision without access to all of the facts.