In order to keep your Social Security benefits, you’re going to need to prove to the Social Security Administration that your disabilities and symptoms are as severe as you claim. This can be difficult to prove when symptoms such as exhaustion, memory loss, and difficulties with communicating or your senses are based on your word. However, there are things you can do to prove that you are being adversely affected by your symptoms.


If you show that you are visiting a doctor and following their advice, it demonstrates that your symptoms are bad enough to require medical intervention. It also demonstrates the need for the advice in the first place. For instance, if your doctor prescribes that you wear a knee brace, wearing the brace will prove that your knee pain is bad enough to warrant one. On the other hand, if you are not seeking treatment or following advice, Social Security will assume that your injuries are not as bad as you say.


However, there are a few reasons that you might not follow your doctor’s advice, and Social Security does take these into consideration.


  1. You are uninsured or unable to afford treatment.
  2. Treatment worsens your condition (e.g. because of side effects).
  3. Your doctor believes that treatment will not help you.
  4. You find alternative treatments (e.g. changing routines to alleviate pain, exercising, etc.)
  5. The prescribed treatment is against your religion.


Mental illness is considered a special case when dealing with Social Security Disability benefits. It is fairly common for those with mental illnesses to miss appointments or neglect treatment. In many cases, these are symptoms of their mental illness. Therefore, Social Security is likely to make exceptions for those with mental illnesses.


Seeking medical treatment and following your doctor’s advice is the best thing you can do to make sure you maintain your social security benefits. If you have any questions, be sure to contact an attorney for a free consultation.