Considerations When Filling out the Adult Function Report SSA-3373-BK as Part of Your Social Security Disability Application
As part of the Social Security disability application process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires claimants to address a number of forms. Once your local office has collected all of the application material, including the initial application report and a signed medical authorization, the file is referred along to the State agency responsible for further development of the disability file. It is quite common to see that at the initial filing level, at the reconsideration level, or both, the claimant will be sent along an Adult Function Report (SSA-3373-BK) to complete. There are a number of considerations that individuals should take into account when addressing this form. Having the benefit of a successful Social Security lawyer such as Attorney Russell Goldsmith who has been undertaking such claims for 30 years and who can review your completed form prior to submission, can prove invaluable. Many times a determination on your claim can come down to what is contained in this form.
First, we inform our clients that the reason individuals need to apply for Social Security disability benefits is not because they are totally disabled from undertaking any activities during the day. For this reason, a claim for Social Security disability benefits is not called a Social Security Inability claim. The issue, typically, is not whether an individual can do something: everybody can undertake some manner of activity during the day. It’s about whether an individual is capable of sustaining activities such that it would translate to an ability to undertake work in a competitive work environment: that is, 8 hours/day, 5 days a week, on a regular and continuing basis. Thus, when asked about what you from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, it’s important to explain that which you during the day, even if you do not believe it’s insignificant, inconsequential or something you are able to undertake for long 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 after 5 or 10 minutes and then come back to 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, at a particular time. Any job will require you to undertake some combination of sitting, standing and/or walking: no job allows you to recline or lie down during the day, Thus, to the extent it would be difficult to wake up and get to a job 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 detail these issues. To the extent there are good times or bad times, or good days or bad days that would both allow you to undertake activities for certain periods of time and to then be couch bound or bed bound for other periods of time, this needs to be set forth in the form and explained. Any job requires consistency: both consistent attendance and consistent performance. Likewise, employers need employees that can be counted on to perform activities for them throughout a day, and not simply when they feel up to it on certain days or certain times of day.
These are just some of the considerations that need to come 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 familiar with the Social Security disability review process is invaluable. Should you wish to discuss how we might be able to assist you with these and other matters related to your Social Security disability claim, call the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith at 1-800-773-8622 or feel free to chat with us on line.