You will need a Social Security Disability Attorney if you intend to apply for Disability benefits.
Apply for Disability with Social Security
Many Social Security attorneys will advise you to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits on your own, and when you are denied, then they will begin work for you.
Free Social Security Attorney Consultations
You do realize this is not an attorney employed by Social Security, but an attorney that you choose to do your case?
Most attorneys will give you a free consultation to find out more about you and to determine what work your case will take if they take it on. If you don't like one attorney, try another. Find someone that you are confident in.. why not? You might be working with that person for months now.
Ask about Attorney Fees
Most attorneys will take on your Social Security Disability case, at no cost to you, until the award is issued and then they get their share.
Think about it, this is fair as most folks with disabilities don't have funds available to pay an attorney, yet they need money to survive. The attorney taking the case has done many many Social Security disabilities and will have a good idea whether he/she can get your case approved or not.
If you are hiring an attorney, be sure they will do this for you, so you don't lose your attorney mid-way through the appeal process due to non-payment.
Social Security Attorneys are Special!
Be SURE to select an Attorney who SPECIALIZES in Social Security... this is so important!
An attorney is specialized, just like a doctor - you wouldn't select a dermatologist (skin doctor) to do a cardiologists (heart doctor) job, would you? Of course not... but many assume "an attorney is an attorney" and that just isn't so.
Pick an attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits... they know the rules, they often know the Social Security Judges as they've been before them many times before.
This will help speed up the process -- they know what the medical records need to say, they know how to get the appropriate medical necessary for your case, and they are well aware of the Social Security guidelines, appeals, hearings and deadlines too.
Social Security Disability without An Attorney
Years ago, I remember Social Security telling a group of Pre-Retirement Planning attendees that if they apply for Disability Benefit and if they miss ONE deadline for Appeals, they start all over with the process. This is only one of many things the attorney will watch over and control for you.
You can do a Social Security Disability without an Attorney...But be sure someone is watching all the deadlines and reading all letters (and understanding it all).
The person with the disability has medical issues, multiple medications, and is concerned with their own health (as you'd imagine). They often don't have the ability to take on this huge task of Social Security Disability Retirement.
If you do this, do keep a notebook from Day One of the Disability. Keep all medical reports, doctor visits, and all that in date order so you can easily locate what you need later.