This post is designed to give you some comfort in regard to your SSD claim or your SSI claim. If you are denied at the application stage or the reconsideration stage of the social security process do not get discouraged. The vast majority of claimants are denied at these two stages. There are several possible reasons why this has happened to you, but they are not important in the grand scheme of you claim. Typically those claimants that are denied at these two stages wind up with a successful claim once they reach the hearing stage and present their case before an Administrative law judge (ALJ). The only thing you do need to be made aware is the 60 day deadline to appeal. If you are denied at the first two stages you have 60 days to appeal an unfavorable decision. If you miss this deadline your only recourse is to come up with a good reason why you missed the deadline or file a new claim. Missing the deadline will make this often long process even lengthier.
If you do find yourself at the hearing stage of your claim and you have not retained a social security disability lawyer, now is the time to think about having an attorney help you with your claim. The hearing is similar to a mini trial. However there are a few significant differences. The social security hearing is an informal process designed to determine if you are eligible to receive benefits. There are no formal evidence rules, no pleading requirements, and there is not even an attorney on behalf of the government. While this sounds easy enough, it can be difficult for an individual who has not been to one to know what to expect and know how to organize their case in a light most favorable to receiving benefits. An experienced social security disability attorney is invaluable at this stage, not only that you will not pay your attorney anything unless you do receive benefits.
Good luck with your claim, and remember the hardest part about this process is patiently waiting and to not get discouraged if you receive an unfavorable decision.