At the initial stages of the Social Security disability process – initial and reconsideration levels – the Social Security Administration requires applicants to complete a Social Security Disability Function Report that asks you to describe your daily activities, or “ADLs.” A sample ADL form can be viewed here https://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-3373-bk.pdf. It is important to thoroughly complete these forms as one of the ways the Social Security Administration evaluates claims for disability is to look at how your condition affects your ability to perform day to day functions. ADLs are things we do on a day to day basis, for example: preparing meals, driving, shopping, taking care of pets, interacting with others, paying bills, and getting dressed.
Many clients do not take the time to complete these reports because they think it is not important to their claim; however, this is incorrect. The Social Security Administration reviews these reports and uses your answers to determine how well you function.
Here is an example of how function report helped an applicant win their claim:
- An individual filed for disability based on degenerative disc disease and cervical radiculopathy; she reported loss of sensation in her upper extremities as a residual. On her function report, the applicant stated she had to have assistance with buttons and zippers when dressing. During her hearing, the Administrative Law Judge asked the applicant to describe a typical day; the applicant testified that every time she wore a blouse or cardigan she had to have her husband help her dress, she also stated she could not wear shoes with laces. These statements were consistent with the function report, thus the Administrative Law Judge found the applicant’s reports credible.
Be aware that sometimes your answers may give the impression that you are able to do more than you actually can do. For example, Social Security can interpret activities such as watching television programs as the ability to sit down for long periods without interruption. If your daily activities demonstrate that you can sit for several hours at a time, stand for several hours at a time, care for an elderly parent or a young child, shop for extended periods, or lift a significant amounts of weight; your claim is likely to be denied.
The Social Security team at Lowery Law Group would be happy to review your claim, please call us at 843-991-0733.
Visit our main site at www.lowerylegal.com for more information on submitting your social security disability claim.
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