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Activities of Daily Living

Activities of daily living are, simply stated, the set of activities which you perform on a regular basis. These include everything from your daily hygienic routines (showering, washing hands, etc.) to shopping and recreation. Nearly anything that you do in a typical day may be of interest to the SSA in determining whether to accept or decline your application for Social Security Disability benefits.

An Activities of Daily Living Form will be given to you at some point during your application process. It will contain a variety of questions, each of which is included to give a picture of what exactly you are capable of doing and whether these activities demonstrate your ability to work. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must demonstrate that you are not capable of working, and some activities of daily living can be used as proof of your ability to work.

If possible, sit down with your Social Security Disability lawyer or representative when filling out this form. Even seemingly innocuous questions regarding your television viewing habits can be used to disqualify you for Social Security Disability benefits if not answered in a way which supports your Social Security Disability claim.

It is important to include any pain or other inconvenience which your typical activities of daily living cause you, even if it seems minor to you. Something as simple as being capable of sitting down to watch television programs or use a computer for extended periods of time can be used to “prove” that you are capable of certain types of work, potentially disqualifying you for Social Security Disability.

Be aware that the SSA may contact your friends, employers, or relatives regarding your activities of daily living. When you apply for Social Security Disability, you will generally list several people as references. Do yourself a favor and make sure that everyone you list at any time for Social Security Disability purposes is fully aware that the SSA may call them. Make sure, also, that they are aware of your disability and how it impacts your activities of daily living.