The “Request for Reconsideration” described above is your first appeal. Your second one is a hearing. It is important to have an attorney or representative be there with you; if not you will be at a disadvantage. Consult organizations listed above (Legal Services NYC and NADR for locating a representative). In addition, NOSSCR is also a good source for locating representation in your area.
National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR):
NOSSCR is an association of over 4,000 attorneys and other advocates who represent Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claimants. Their members provide high quality representation for claimants and advocate for beneficial change in the disability determination and adjudication process. You can search for a representative and attorney near you.
Source: NOSSCR website: http://www.nosscr.org/
The SSA website has extensive information about what to do if you want to file an appeal.
Representatives and attorneys must have fees approved by the Social Security Administration. All fees that are contingent on winning. It is usually 25% of past due benefits (up to a maximum of $6,000) and only conditional on winning. Once the judge reaches a decision and it is favorable, SS will process benefits which should be received in approximately 60 days. If ruling is not favorable, you need to file another appeal before the Appeals Counsel; beyond that it would be the Federal Court.