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Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

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What Is The Social Security Disability Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire?

Social Security disability uses various methods of gathering information about an individualís residual functional capacity. Residual functional capacity is a term used to describe what an individual is able to accomplish in spite of the limitations imposed upon them by their disabling condition or conditions.

One method of getting a clearer picture of an individualís condition and how it prevents them from working is to have information about an individualís ability to perform routine daily activities. Routine daily activities might include grocery shopping, cleaning, driving, mowing the lawn, dressing, bathing, visiting family or friends, watching television or listening to the radio, or any other activity one might routinely perform in their every day life.

The ability to perform everyday activities gives an indication of how severe an individualís limitations are, which of course helps the disability examiner make a determination as to what an individualís residual function capacity is.

Most disability examiners do not stop at getting just the activities of daily living questionnaire from the disability applicant; they also send a third party questionnaire out to the third party contact person (the person the applicant listed as someone who knows about their conditions, generally a friend or family member).

The third party questionnaire gives another perspective as to what an individualís limitations are, and how their disabling condition or conditions have affected their ability to do the ordinary activities of life.

But what do these questionnaires have to do with an individual being approved for Social Security disability? Well these questionnaires along with medical information from the claimant's medical records allow the Social Security disability examiner to make a determination as to the severity of an individualís impairment (or impairments) and what the disability applicantís residual capacity is.

Once the disability examiner determines an individualís residual functional capacity, they can evaluate their ability to perform any of their past work, or determine if they can perform any other kind of work. If the disability claimant cannot perform their past work or do any other type of work that might be thought suitable based on their age, education, and job skills, they may be approved for disability benefits.

In summary, if you have filed for disability benefits with Social Security it is very important to thoroughly complete your activities of daily living questionnaire if one is sent to you. This is so that the disability examiner will have a good description of how limiting your impairment or impairments are.

Also, make sure that your third party person completes their questionnaire and returns it to the disability examiners. It could make the difference in whether or not you win your disability benefits.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria