I am sometimes contacted by potential clients who have not yet filed for disability, or have filed and have not yet received an initial determination. I greatly enjoy working with these folks, and the results have been very gratifying. The people I guide through the initial application process are approved at a much higher rate than the average claimant. This is mostly because common mistakes are avoided.
In my opinion, a claimant over the age of 55 benefits the most from a lawyer's advice at the application stage, because a proper description in the disability application of past relevant work is a critical aspect of the claim.
The initial application stage usually takes about 4 months. If that initial claim is denied, it is likely to be a year or more in Maine or New Hampshire before you have an ALJ hearing for your claim. The wait for a hearing is even longer in most other states. So consider calling a Social Security disability attorney for help with your initial application.