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Individuals in Missouri and throughout the country may be subject to a waiting period when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. The waiting period starts the month after the established disability onset date. There are no exceptions to the rule, but it may be possible to obtain back pay for up to 12 months prior to filing for benefits. Applicants who have been disabled for at least 17 months prior to filing may not necessarily be impacted by the waiting period.

It is important to note that applicants must be able to prove that they became disabled 17 months before they requested benefits. This will be done through medical records and other forms of evidence sent to a case examiner or reviewed by an administrative law judge. Those who are apply for Supplemental Security Insurance are not subject to a waiting period. However, they are also not entitled to any type of back pay after their applications are approved.

Individuals who are unable to work because of a mental health issue or physical injury may be entitled to financial benefits. In some cases, benefits are available retroactive to when a person first became disabled. An attorney may be able to help an individual fill out or submit an application for benefits, and he or she may also be able to submit an appeal if the initial application is denied.

It is possible that an applicant will need to answer questions during an administrative law hearing. Legal counsel may be able to help an individual prepare answers to those questions. If necessary, a legal professional will obtain medical and other information that can be used to help an applicant obtain a favorable court ruling.