I used a lawyer. I haven't worked since 11/07. I went to the lawyers office in May and did the SS application online with the lawyers assistant. I came with a briefcase full of medical records. It took about 1 1/2 hours, but it was worth it. I couldn't do the application online myself.
My LLMD filed some type of specific claim on my behalf regarding Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia.
I was told the earliest I would hear anything would be October. SS did send me to get a mental exam by a psychiatrist they chose.
I was told to expect to be denied atleast once. It took my sister 7 years to get SS. She was almost killed in a car accident and shortly thereafter her husband left her with three kids. She was out working as a home care nurse for a local hospital when she was in the accident.
I wish all luck and will let this forum know what decision I get.