Lawyers: Success in Missouri disability benefits cases wanes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)   Legal Aid of Western Missouri says there has been a drastic drop in the percentage of cases it wins to secure Medicaid disability benefits for the aged, blind or disabled in the state.

The organization succeeded in 54 percent of its cases in 2017 seeking the reversal of denial or re-evaluation of benefits by the Missouri Department of Social Services. It won 42 percent of such cases in 2018 and less than 20 percent in the first four months of this year.

Jim Brightman is a Legal Aid attorney. He tells The Kansas City Star that DSS blamed staff shortages during a July meeting. Brightman blames a high turnover in middle management at the agency and misapplication of laws.

DSS didn’t respond to a request for comment or explanation.

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