When you apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider several factors when deciding either to approve your application or deny it. The agency will evaluate how your medical condition impacts your activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs refer to daily tasks like cooking, bathing, cleaning, and preparing meals, and getting dressed. If you cannot perform some of these tasks, this could demonstrate the seriousness of your medical condition and qualification for disability benefits. A phoenix social security disability attorney can discuss your claim and help you collect the medical evidence you need to get approval from the SSA.
Completing an ADL Form from the SSA
When you apply for disability benefits, you will be asked to fill out an ADL questionnaire, which serves as your function report, know what you can and cannot do in a typical day to help determine your disability. The questionnaire lets you describe how your conditions impact your personal needs, ability to get around, household duties, pay your bills, and shop for your needs. A physical or mental impairment can make a difference in the outcome of your application.
Ensuring Accuracy and Consistency in Your Answers
The SSA will use your answers to the questions to evaluate how well you function and see if your statements regarding your conditions are consistent. When you answer each question, think about the changes your condition has brought into your daily life. Answering “not much” is not a good idea. Keep in mind that the SSA will depend on the medical records you provide and the function report to understand the reason why you cannot work. Also, you must provide accurate and honest answers. Exaggerating your condition could disqualify you from disability benefits.
For instance, if you file for disability because of serious arthritis on both hands, you may state in your function report that you cannot prepare meals or get dressed without help. But, if you say that you can generally take care of yourself during a disability hearing, this will hurt your eligibility. Such inconsistency will make a judge question your credibility and deny your claim.
Moreover, you must complete the questionnaire to avoid a denial of your application, especially when you provide unclear and inconsistent answers. A skilled attorney can clarify any questions that may find confusing on the function report. They can review your answer to ensure you are not harming your claim in any way.