The Office of Inspector General (OIG) just released a report involving the SSA disability process (SSDI & SSI) which recognizes the value of having an attorney. At page 6 it recognizes that at the hearing level having an attorney is important. Attorneys assist claimants in developing medical evidence; pre-screen applicants to identify cases likely to receive allowance decisions; are skilled at noticing additional impairments, especially mental impairments, that may not have been alleged at the DDS level; and ensure claimants stay focused at hearings. Many claimants find it necessary to secure representation at the hearing level to continue through SSA’s complicated disability process. In fact, a recent Allsup survey found that 78 percent of claimants experienced barriers to handling the disability process on their own. Those barriers included reading, understanding, and completing forms. Read all about it.