It is usually recommended to get a lawyer at this stage. It is possible to win a hearing without a lawyer, but most people feel more comfortable having one and in some cases they can be very helpful.
If you have been reading my site you have already seen me write this a million times. Here it is a million and one:
Do as much as you can yourself or ask a friend or loved one to assist you. Do not leave everything up to your lawyer. You may have big regrets.
Sleepy Girl Lawyer Tips
Most lawyers will not charge you anything now. They will get paid a percent of your backpay.
Before your hearing, your lawyer should collect your medical records and send them to Social Security.
Oddly, some people with lawyers arrive at their hearings and discover missing medical records! It’s best to double check everything yourself.
Lawyers can see your Social Security file electronically at this point. Ask them for a copy. If you don’t have a lawyer, you can contact Social Security and ask for a copy on CD.
Lawyers can request that your case gets approved without a hearing! Or you can make the request yourself. Ask your lawyer if she is willing to write an “On The Record OTR Brief” for your case. Ask for a copy of the brief.
🍀 In my opinion, finding the right doctor is approximately 10 billion times more important than finding the right lawyer. At the end of the day, your medical records will probably matter more than anything your lawyer says or does.
🍀 The best doctor is a doctor who understands how sick you are, believes you are disabled, and is willing to fill out some disability paperwork for you. In most cases, this is far more important than the best lawyer.
Many lawyers do not read all your medical records until a few weeks before the hearing. If there is a problem with your records, you don’t want to find out at the last minute, you want to find out while there is still time to do something about it! Reading your medical records yourself is really the best way.
In most cases, your lawyer will not tell you what you need to do to improve your application. That’s why you are here. I will tell you.
Don’t just take my word for it, take Patty’s word for it: How Patty’s Lawyer Never Told Her What She Needed to Know
Here is a list with some good places to find lawyers.
Updated May 2017