First-time denials for SSI benefits are par for the course; they seem to do that to weed out people they believe are fraudulent. You must convince them that you will be disabled for more than 12 mos. Even if you hope not to be, if you’re going to play their game, those are the rules. Having an attorney is one option, but the paperwork doesn’t really require a legal background, just thoroughness and attention to detail.
Two things I found were almost prerequisite was to have a convincing letter from your neurologist stating his/her belief that your recovery and return to work will be longer than 12 mos, and a follow-up inquiry to Social Security from your local congressional representative! That last item will almost always cause the system to sit up and take notice. They don’t want to be seen as dragging their feet by someone who has congressional oversight and who is interested in your case. And believe me, your representative will be very interested: s/he wants your vote!
Best wishes, Byron