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

Social Security Disability uses various methods of gathering information about an individual's 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 individual's condition and how it prevents them from working is to have information about an individual's 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 individual's limitations are, which of course helps the disability examiner make a determination as to what an individual's 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 individual's 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 individual's impairment (or impairments) and what the disability applicant's residual capacity is.

Once the disability examiner determines an individual's 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.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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