In doing final review for a hearing next week I noticed that DDS discounted the client’s credibility because at the consultative exam the client told the doctor that he’d been in special education classes in school but the client did not indicate that on the initial application. This was despite the school records, in the Social Security file, which indicated the special education classes and the reasoning for them.
The lack of a consistent message from the start may have delayed this case a needless 18 more months (through recon and the wait for a hearing), An attorney will help you give this consistent message to Social Security in all your documents… the application, work history, questionnaires, and appeal documents.
Does everyone need an attorney from the start? No, it depends on the claimant and their condition. But I find those with mental disorders, memory issues, or intellectual disabilities have a harder time getting through the initial stages without assistance and in some instances prolonging their wait for benefits unnecessarily.