Although an applicant can proceed unrepresented, the success rates are significantly different for represented and unrepresented claimants.
The final award rate for disabled-worker applicants has varied over time, averaging nearly 45 percent for claims filed from 2000 through 2009. The percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged just 28 percent over the same period and ranged from a high of 37 percent to a low of 26 percent. The percentage of applicants awarded at the reconsideration and hearing levels are averaging 3 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Denied overall disability claims at all stages have averaged nearly 53 percent.
Social Security does its best to process cases, but the backlogs are well known. A good attorney will gather all the necessary information THE FIRST TIME, and increase your chances for success.