What are Activities of Daily Living?

If you are in the process of claiming SSDI benefits, you may have seen the term “Activities of Daily Living.” This term (sometimes abbreviated as “ADL”) refers to the  functions that you normally perform on a day-to-day basis. Some examples include:

  • brushing your teeth
  • showering
  • eating
  • walking down stairs
  • driving
  • sitting down
  • applying makeup
  • opening a door

These activities, and many other small chores, may seem insignificant, but play a major role in everyday life. Simple tasks such as turning on the TV, operating an ATM, making popcorn, lifting your child or using the phone could also count as Activities of Daily Living. Other activities include cleaning your backyard, managing your finances, shopping, and even going to work.

To be able to claim Social Security Disability benefits, investigations will be conducted and proof will need to be presented that your work injury has prohibited you from being able to proceed with your usual activities of daily living. A solid medical report should state that you are not currently able to perform any of these daily functions like you were prior to your accident.

Filling Out the ADL Questionnaire

social security benefits paperworkAn ADL questionnaire will evaluate your physical and mental capacity to do the work that pertains to your everyday activities, including attending your place of employment. You will be able to earn a certain amount of money each month, though not necessarily what you would normally get paid, if the questionnaire deems that you qualify for some benefits. Social Security Form SSA-3373 determines how badly your injury has impaired your ability to conduct substantial gainful activity (“SGA”). However, this will not be the only method used to determine how much, if any, compensation you may receive. Sometimes a third party is called upon to give testimony to your recent behavior and whether or not anything significant has changed since your injury.

Your symptoms should be well-known to whomever you have listed on your form in case they are contacted by the Social Security Agency. Your application for disability will likely not be passed through for any type of benefit if your claim and your third party’s story do not match; or if their statements cannot verify what you wrote in your claim.

Fill out your paper work in the most honest and complete manner, notify your listed third party that they may be contacted, and be specific about your symptoms and conditions when filing for your benefits. If you have questions about obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, contact our law firm to speak to an attorney about how we can help you file for SSDI.