If your claim is denied, the next step will be to file for reconsideration. At reconsideration, the claim is evaluated by a different examiner and state agency physician. If the claim is denied at reconsideration, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Please note there are strict time deadlines to appeal decisions or file for reconsideration, and if you file late, then you have no recourse and have to start over. Usually, this is the point at which you will want to hire an attorney. Many claims are denied by Social Security in the initial stages. However, a majority are then approved at the hearing level. You have a good chance of winning at hearing level so it is important not to give up.