When a person applies for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may review how the person’s disabilities affect his or her daily activities. Before approving or rejecting the application, the SSA seeks to understand what the applicant can and cannot do on any specific day. The SSA may ask about daily activities when preparing the adult function report, the adult disability report, or the ongoing disability assessment report.

Answering SSA’s Questions About Daily Living Activities

An applicant should provide a clear description regarding how his or her disability impacts his or her ability to perform daily activities. The applicant should, for instance, inform the SSA about the daily activity that is impacted, the extent to which that activity is restricted, and how his or her disability contributes to that restriction.  

The applicant should also tell his or her doctor about limited abilities to perform daily activities so the information can be included in his or her medical record and the doctor’s letter of support. These documents will serve as proof of the applicant’s problems with daily activities. A disability attorney can guide an applicant on the best way to respond to SSA’s questions to reduce the odds of disability benefits denial.

More Insights on Handling Questions About Daily Activities

Personal Mobility

The applicant should list down the specific activities he or she is having trouble performing, including getting out of bed, walking, or any other kind of movement. He or she should then explain the problem or symptom that causes difficulty in personal mobility, including numbness, severe pain, and general body weakness. The claimant should also describe the extent of severity of the symptoms, including difficulty getting out of bed due to general weakness or paralysis.

Personal Grooming

The applicant should describe any challenges he or she is experiencing in maintaining personal grooming, such as taking a bath, dressing, and cleaning his or her hair. These daily activities may seem basic, but the SSA evaluates them before deciding to approve or decline disability benefits applications.

Household Maintenance

The SSA seeks to know how an applicant’s disabling condition affects his or her ability to perform regular household activities. The applicant should describe how he or she is unable to perform some minor painting tasks around the house due to severe pain in the hands that prevents him or her from holding a paintbrush.