Be aware that MOST people are turned down the first and second times. But if you're one of the fortunate ones who gets it on the first try, you'll have to fork out a bunch of it to your lawyer if you hire one up front. Most of us apply on our own to start and get a lawyer or advocate once we get turned down for the second time. Of the three lawyers and one advocate I talked to, all but one of the lawyers told me to file on my own first. The one lawyer who told me to hire him from the beginning was a shady one. When I asked him why, he answered, "well, I won't go into all of that, but trust me, you should have me do it for you." He had some other things to say that turned me off, too, like warning me that SS may send people to videotape me, so I'd need to be very careful, etc. I told him they'd be welcome to. It could only confirm every word I would say. But I was shocked (shouldn't have been) that he would even say that to me. He also said I probably wouldn't call him back, as he had talked quite a lot and it seemed that the more he talked to people, the less likely they were to call back. Huh? I guess because they realized he was a shady kook!
It you have a particularly complicated case, it might be worth it to you to have a lawyer or advocate from the start, as they know how to weave through the maze.
Thank you both for your reply. I wasn't sure if I could make the wait time quicker if I went with the lawyer first. I hoped that I would eliminate the problem of getting turned down the first time doing it on my own. Anybody have any luck on the first go around?
I applied on my own in May 2005 and was turned down. So I hired an attorney. I was turned down for recon and then turned down at alj hearing. My lawyer broke his leg and they gave me a lawyer who read my case the nite before and the judge and attorney were not pleasant to each other. So my case is at the Appeals council. I was 46 at the time. I am now 49 and while my case is still pending at the appeals level, I went an filed on my own again. I got it on the first try. I owe lawyers nothing unless I get the appeals which I doubt very much. Then they would have to pay me for 3 yrs. this time I did not get any retro but I at least got it and have since rec'd my ssdi checks. It is all very confusing and complicated each person is very different. I wish u the best. The fight is a long one to endure. Diane
I filed on my own, was told to expect rejection and I was, hired a disability lawyer (he took 1/3 of my settlement) and won after 2 years.
It went to a judge, who looked and acted just like Mr. Magoo, and he approved my claim. The whole "hearing" I was so worried about took place in what looked like a store room at the courthouse and took all of 5 minutes.
Getting a laywer may be more convenient for you though, I know I found it difficult to get through the paperwork by myself. If you don't have friends or family that can help out, you may want (need) a hired gun from the git go.
Last edited by AuntieLeela; 10-07-2008 at 05:04 PM.