When you apply for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to understand your activities of daily living (ADLs), or the things that you do every day. This includes all of your current activities, everything you did in a typical day prior to your disabling illness or injury, and all of the things you can no longer do as a result of your injury or illness.
Activities of Daily Living Monitored by the SSA
The SSA will want to know if you can perform the following tasks independently:
- Grooming and personal hygiene. This includes typical daily activities such as showering, dressing, and toileting. You should describe any difficulties you’ve encountered in performing these activities, and whether or not a caregiver assists you.
- Personal mobility. You should report all of the challenges you’ve experienced when moving about, such as difficulty standing from a seated position, walking, or sitting down. Also be sure to describe any symptoms that cause these limitations, such as numbness, weakness, paralysis, dizziness, or pain.
- Recreational and social activities. Information about your hobbies and relationships helps the SSA better understand any physical or mental limitations you may have. The SSA is particularly concerned about a lack of desire to interact with other people since this can be a sign of withdrawal and depression.
Completing the Function Report
The details regarding your daily activities must be reported to the SSA on the activities of daily living form, officially known as the function report. This form may seem simple, but it is extremely important that you provide complete and accurate information. All of the pain, difficulty, and inconvenience you’ve experienced should be reported for each of your daily activities. This can be challenging, but you don’t have to wrestle with the intricacies of the activities of daily living form on your own. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can explain the impact of your responses, and ensure that you complete the form correctly. To learn more, contact the Injury & Disability Law Center by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.