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SSD and SSI Benefits Function Reports

  • By:The Law Center for Social Security Rights
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An important part of your application for Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income Benefits is the “Function Report” (form SSA 3373). This form is also called an “activities of daily living” questionnaire. I cannot stress the importance of this form as it is used by Social Security to determine your functioning and what you can/cannot do on a daily basis. It is also used as a basis to measure how consistent or “credible” you are further down the evaluation road.

The goal of this form is to provide Social Security with information of how your illness or injury impacts your day to day living. The form will ask you various questions such as what you do throughout your day, whether or not you have pets and what kind of care you provide for them. It will go further by asking you questions about who lives with you and whether or not they help provide assistance to you.

My basic word of advice is to complete the form fully but be brief in your answer. Keep in the back of your head that Social Security is utilizing the information to determine if you might be able to perform some kind of work in the national economy. Make sure to point out any physical or mental difficulties you have in performing the mentioned activities.

This form also asks questions about your ability to perform basic household activities and basic functional questions about your ability to sit, stand, walk, use your arms and hands, lift, concentrate, remember and get along with others.  It will also ask questions about hobbies and things that you do to relax. Once again, the most important thing about this form is to clearly explain the problems that your disabilities cause with these activities.

Here are some tips when completing a function report:

  • Take it seriously and answer the questions with sufficient detail. At the same time, you don’t want to provide too much information. For example, if the form asks you “Do you live alone”, then the answer is yes or no. Nothing more. In another part of the form, it will ask you “who else lives with you.” “I live with my wife/husband and 8-year-old daughter.” Nothing more. Nothing less. The answer must be complete and truthful but not so deep as to provide additional information. I live alone in a 3rd story apartment –this is not a good answer because it provides too much information. The question does not ask about the type of house in which you live and the rest of the answer is too long. Keep it simple. “Do you live alone?” Yes. That is all that the question asks.
  • Answer every question. Every question on the Functional Report requires an answer, even if the response you give is “not applicable,” “does not apply,” or “I don’t know.” Blanks can delay your claim and can also lead to a denial of benefits.  It also is a missed opportunity to talk about your difficulties.
Posted in: SSDI, SSI

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