How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Why Does Social Security Disability Care About My Daily Activities?

Social Security Disability examiners use an individual's ability, or for that matter, inability, to perform daily activities as a measure of their disability. What I mean to say is that if an individual is unable to take care of his or her own grooming (i.e. showering, washing hair, dressing, brushing teeth, etc.), household chores, drive, make change or count money, grocery shop, they are most likely unable to work at a substantial work activity level (to learn more about this concept: substantial gainful activity).

How does Social Security obtain information about your ability to perform routine activities of daily life (known as ADLs, or activities of daily living)? Social Security Disability examiners are able to secure this information from a variety of sources.

Social Security gathers information about an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living, beginning with the initial disability interview if it is done via the phone or in person. During this interview, a Social Security claims representative makes observations with regard to your physical and mental impairments, and these are noted in your disability file. Once your disability file is sent to the state disability agency, it is likely that the disability examiner will send out questionnaires, for you and your third party contact, which address your ability to perform routine activities.

Many individuals also make comments about their daily life to their treating physicians, that are in turn recorded in the physician’s medical notes; naturally, disability examiners read these notes. And if an individual has to attend a Social Security consultative examination, the examining physician may also make observations about an individual’s functional capacity from the moment they meet.

Social Security Disability examiners use all of these sources to get a clearer picture of what an individual is capable of doing despite the limitations imposed on them by their disability condition or conditions.

Social Security Disability is based upon residual functional capacity, consequently getting detailed information about an individual’s daily activities is just as important as obtaining objective medical information. Both are needed to make a Social Security Disability determination.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How to file for disability in Minnesota
Enough Work Credits For Social Security Disability Benefits?
How many hours can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability?
Decisions on disability applications, fully and partially favorable
How do you get Social Security Disability?
Memory loss and filing for disability
The SSDI SSI disability application, how to file
Working and getting Disability
How to file for disability in South Dakota
Changing disability attorneys
Social Security Disability SSI and how severe a medical condition must be
Social Security Disability hearing, vocational expert, judge
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
Chronic pain and filing for disability
Contacting Social Security about the status of your disability claim
How to qualify for disability with depression

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Social Security Disability attorneys and representatives
What is the status of your Social Security Disability or SSI case
Rules and requirements to apply for disability
Will I qualify for disability?
Apply for disability for any medical condition
Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
If your disability claim is approved or denied
Social Security Award letter for SSD, SSI
Temporary Social Security Disability SSI
Social Security Disability SSI reviews
How social security evaluates attention deficit
Filing for disability with Post polio syndrome
Tips for Getting Disability Approved
How far back Social Security will pay SSDI or SSI
SSI award notices are received by approved claimants
Winning and getting disability with a mental condition
Getting disability for rheumatoid arthritis
Can you work if you get Disability?
Who qualifies for SSI and how
How to file for disability and where to apply
Conditions that may qualify as disability
Denied on a disability application
Answering questions at a Social Security Disability hearing

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.