Social Security Disability

SSD--Completing the ADL & Work History Report Forms

The Social Security Administration [“SSA”] has a contract with a New York State Agency who is responsible for developing evidence in your case.  This Agency has sent you the Function Report–Adult (aka “Activities of Daily Living”) form and/or the Work History Report form.  You also may have received a “disability specific” questionnaire such as questions about your migraine headaches.

Activities of Daily Living [“ADL”] Form  

The ADL form allows you to explain how your day-to-day life has been impacted by your physical and mental problems.   

We cannot complete this form for you.  We ask, however, that you complete it best that you can and send it to us for our review and sending to SSA.  We have a few tips for you when completing the form.

Be honest.  Your day-to-day life most likely has been changed by your physical and mental problems.  Give details about these changes, however, DO NOT OVERSTATE OR EXAGGERATE your problems.  

At the same time, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE your limitations.  Living with a chronic physical or mental problem forces you to make adjustments in your life.  More of our clients UNDERSTATE than OVERSTATE their problems.  

Simply because you are able perform an activity does not mean you do not have difficulty doing so.  For example, some of our clients can perform yard work, however, ONLY for a very short period and ONLY if they use certain equipment (e.g., a riding lawnmower).  It is important you detail these “conditions” of doing yard work rather than simply indicating that you are able to perform yard work.

Provide specific examples or details where you are able.  Checking “yes” or “no” without providing more information does not assist the reviewer in evaluating your claim.  You do not want to leave it up to someone else to decide how often your symptoms occur or how significantly limited you are.  Careful completion of this report will help your claim.

Some clients ask a family member or friend who knows about their condition to help them complete this form.  We HIGHLY recommend this if you do not feel that you are able to do this on your own.  

Work History Report Form  

Your eligibility for Social Security benefits depends on your physical and mental problems AND your work history.  The Work History Report form allows you to explain the type of work that you have done in the past and the physical and mental requirements of that work.

We cannot complete this form for you.  We ask, however, that you complete it best that you can and send it to us for our review and sending to SSA.  We have a few tips for you when completing the form.

Be accurate.  The title of your job does not give a complete picture about the type of work you performed.  Focus on your day-to-day job functions.  DO NOT OVERSTATE your job responsibilities.  

Focus on the type of work you did rather than the names of your employers.  For example, if you are a union construction electrician who has worked for many contractors, focus on your overall responsibilities as a union construction electrician.  You need not name every contractor you worked for in the last 15 years.    

As noted in the form, SSA is interested in the work you have done IN THE FIFTEEN (15) YEARS BEFORE THE DATE WE ARE ALLEGING THAT YOU FIRST BECAME DISABLED.  

Disability Specific Questionnaire

Some clients receive a specific questionnaire geared toward their particular disability (e.g., pain from a motor vehicle accident or anxiety).  Our advice above concerning how to answer the ADL form applies to your completion of this questionnaire.  

Some clients ask a family member or friend who knows about their condition to help them complete this questionnaire.  We HIGHLY recommend this if you do not feel that you are able to do this on your own.  

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