Pro Bono News

Lawyers: Success Wanes in Missouri Disability Benefits Cases (MO)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Lawyers: Success Wanes in Missouri Disability Benefits Cases

"JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The percentage of successful disability cases aimed at reversing the denial or re-evaluation of benefits for the aged, blind or disabled has been consistently dropping for years, Legal Aid of Western Missouri said.

Data provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services shows the success rate of cases has dropped from 54% in 2017 to 42% in 2018, according to the organization providing free legal services in civil cases. It said the success rate dropped to less than 20% in the first four months of this year.

The Kansas City Star reported more than 100,000 people have been dropped from the state Medicaid rolls in the past year. Medicaid is the state-funded program providing health insurance for low-income families.

"We are all experiencing the same thing -- it's virtually impossible to win a disability case at this time," said Jim Brightman, a Legal Aid attorney.

The Department of Social Services did not respond to emailed requests for comments or explanations.

Most of Legal Aid's clients have to wait more than a year just for a case number, let alone a hearing before a judge, Brightman said..."

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