Why Activities of Daily Living are so Important to your Social Security Disability Claim?

All sections of your application for Social Security disability are important. The additional forms the Social Security Administration requires you to complete are equally as important. An error or incomplete information on any portion of the forms could result in unnecessary delays or denial of disability benefits. 

For this reason, some people turn to a Fort Worth Social Security Disability benefits lawyer for assistance in completing their SSDI application and the additional forms the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires to be completed as part of the application process.

What is the Activities of Daily Living Form?

After you file your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application, you will receive various forms in the mail. One of those forms will be the Activities of Daily Living (ADL). The ADL questionnaire is designed to assist the SSA in evaluating whether you are able to perform certain tasks to care for yourself, your home, children, or pets. Examples of activities that appear on the ADL include washing clothes, cooking, bathing yourself, taking care of pets, getting dressed, taking medications, and paying bills.

Some of the questions may have subparts. For example, the question about taking medication may include questions asking if you need to be reminded to take your medications or do you need help identifying which medications to take. You may be asked if you shop for yourself or if you have any hobbies. The ADL may appear to be a random set of personal questions, but it is very important in the claims process.

Don’t Rush Through the Daily Activities Report

Some people do not view the ADL seriously. They rush through the answers without thinking about the questions or their responses. However, the ADL is an extremely important part of your SSDI application. The SSA uses the responses son your ADL to help determine your level of function.

The ADL is used as part of the process to determine whether you can work. An examiner uses the information provided on the ADL to access the severity of your condition and whether the disability rises to the level of a disabling condition to qualify for SSDI benefits.  When completed correctly, an ADL can provide key evidence that helps prove you are unable to work or perform a substantial gainful activity.

The responses to the ADL may also be used to test consistency. A question may be asked in a slightly different format from the way it was first presented. A question may relate to the same task or a similar task that you addressed in another question, but this question is worded slightly different from the other question to see if your response differs.

Also, the SSA may contact your doctor, family members, employers, and friends to interview them about your condition. Anyone who may be a witness should understand your disability and how your disability interferes with your daily life. A judge may use the ADL to compare your written responses to your verbal answers to the same question during a hearing.

Be Honest and Detailed When Answering Questions

If you rush through the ADL, you may leave out key details about your daily life. For example, you may state that you can cook for yourself. However, if you forget to state that you must sit down every few minutes because of chronic pain, so it takes you three times as long to prepare food as another person, you did not give the SSA the full picture of your disability.

When answering the ADL questions, do not lie or exaggerate the truth. Many applicants ran into problems when they exaggerated on their ADL in an attempt to make their condition sound worse. It is best to be honest and detailed when answering the questions.

Contact a Fort Worth Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer for Help

An experienced attorney understands what the Social Security Administration needs to see to approve your Social Security Disability application. A Fort Worth Social Security Disability benefits lawyer can help you develop answers to the ADL questions that are honest, complete, and detailed to give you the best chance of qualifying for Social Security disability. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.