There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to involve an attorney at the initial level nor at the reconsideration level because it is merely a matter of providing information on forms which only you know the answers to; it only slows the process up. Only AFTER you have filed a request for a hearing is there any point in getting an attorney who is familiar with social security law who can represent you at the hearing - the first time you will actually be seen by a person who will be making the medical decision.
Social Security's definition of disability - a person's mental or physical disability must be so severe that you are incapable of working and earning $1220 a month for at least one full year. If under age 50 you must be unable to do ANY type of work - not just work you've done. If age 50 or older you must be incapable of doing the same type of work you've done most in the 15 years before becoming disabled.
SS gets the medical records and makes the medical decision - not your doctors who do not know the criteria for entitlement.
Someone brought up amputation - a person must lose the use of TWO limbs in order to be considered so disabled that they are unable to work. No reason why the loss of one arm or one leg would prevent a person from becoming employed once they've recovered from the surgery and physical therapy which would be under one full year. Perhaps if the loss was a result of diabetes would the claim be approved since it would indicate that the disease has become severe in nature. Diabetes is approved if it results in loss of limbs, kidney failure, severe heart disease, neuropathy or loss of eyesight.
You can see if you can file at ssa.gov. If not, call 1-800-772-1213 and make an appointment to file either over the phone or in the office. Be prepared. You will need the names/addresses/phone #s of your doctors/hospitals/clinics who have treated you for your disability now and in the year before becoming unable to work. You will need a list of meds, who prescribes them, their dosages. You will need to list jobs you've had in the past 15 years and when the jobs began and ended. Note I said jobs - not employers. A person can have many employers but perform the same job with each; e.g. secretaries, clerks.
I was a SS claims rep for 32 yrs.