Be completely honest with Social Security in their requests for information, both financial and medical. If you have a mental illness and fail to mention it, perhaps due to embarrassment, it will be one less impairment that will be considered in the overall determination of your claim. If you had a learning disability in school, this is another factor that could be considered in determining your claim, and Social Security should be made aware of it. If you have a drug addiction or alcohol problem, you must list it along with your other health problems. Chances are that one of your doctors has mentioned it in your records, and it will come to light; failing to mention it, will damage your credibility.

Go to your doctors and treatment providers regularly. The first reason is for your health. The second reason is because Social Security bases its decisions on the medical evidence in your file. If you are not getting treatment, Social Security may assume that your condition is not severe enough to require treatment.

Do not give up. It is common for Social Security to deny claims, and it is easy to become discouraged and believe it is useless to pursue your benefits. You should understand that most claims are denied at the initial levels and reconsideration but approved at higher levels of review. Your greatest chance to win your claim is at the hearing level, when a judge will personally meet with you and hear your complaints.

It is also important to hire an experienced attorney to represent you who understands Social Security’s rules and requirements and to do this at the earliest stage possible in your claim.