• Christopher Le

How to fill out Social Security’s Function Report?

As part of the Social Security disability application process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires claimants to full out a number of forms. Once your local SSA office has collected all of the application information, the file is referred to disability determination services(DDS) responsible for further development of the disability file. Its common to see that at the initial application level, at the reconsideration level, or both, the claimant will be sent a adult function report to complete. There are a number of considerations that an applicant should take into account when Filling out the function report form. Many times a determination on your disability claim can come down to the answers in this form.


Applying for social security disability is about whether an individual is capable of sustaining activities such that it would translate to an ability to maintain work in a competitive work environment: that is, 8 hours/day, 5 days a week, on a regular and continuing basis. Therefore, when asked about how you spend your day from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, it’s important to explain what your daily routine is, even if you do not believe it’s insignificant or something you are able to undertake for long periods of time or every day. In that event, describe the activity and the extent to which you are able to do it: if it’s only on a good day, or a good part of the day, it’s important to say that. If you need to take a break every 5 or 10 minutes and then resume an activity later, all of this is important to detail.


SSA asks how your illnesses, injuries, conditions impact your ability to work. It is important to understand that any job requires you to show up 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, so if you can only maintain a 30 hour week job max, there could be a finding of disabled. Any job will require you to to do some sitting, standing and/or walking: no job allows you to recline or lie down during the day. So if you need to recline and lay down every hour , then this could also help your claim. Also if it’s difficult to wake up and get to work on time or stay for 8 hours, this should be detailed. Whether it’s an explanation as to how one’s sleep is disrupted at night and one is tired in the morning and unable to get up, or the extent to which there might be pain issues, for example, that make it difficult to move early in the morning until pain medication kicks in, this is important. Likewise, if there are periods of time during the day that one needs to lie down or recline during the day, it’s important to notate these problems. To the extent there are good days or bad days, this needs to be set forth in the form and explained to show how many bad days you have on a weekly basis. Any job requires consistency: both consistent attendance and consistent performance. Likewise, employers need employees that they can count on to perform activities for them throughout a day, and not simply when they feel up to it.


These are just some of the considerations that need to take place when filling out your Adult Function Report. Given how important it is that these forms accurately reflect your abilities not only within a day, but also from one day to the next, having the benefit of an expert like a social security disability lawyer who is familiar with the social security disability review process is crucial.

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