When you apply for Social Security disability, one of the first things you receive in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a function report. A function report will ask you various questions regarding your activities of daily living. For example, what do you do from the time that you wake up until you go to bed? Other questions ask how your medical impairments affect your ability to dress and bathe yourself, prepare your own meals, perform household chores, shop, travel, and perform any other activities of daily living.
When describing an activity that you perform on a regular day, it is important to give the reader of that form the full picture as to what you are actually able to do and the extent to which you are able to do it. I advise my clients to think about how they were able to perform an activity before they became disabled and what changes they have made in order to perform that activity now. Often, clients find their limitations to be embarrassing to admit and therefore are not completely honest. However, it is pertinent that when completing a function report, you are honest and truly describe your ability to perform everyday activities. You should include any accommodations that you have made in order to perform that task or any help you receive from family or friends in order to perform a task. You should also include how long it takes you to perform that activity. Often, the function report does not give very much room to answer a question. If you run out of space on any given question, there is a "Remarks" section at the end of the function report where you can continue your answer.
The function report is important because it gives SSA your own account of how your disability has affected your life and your ability to perform everyday activities. It is important that you take your time when answering each question and truly describe an average day, limitations and all. SSA will use the answers of your function report as part of their decision process when deciding if you meet their standards of disability.
If you have questions regarding the application process for Social Security disability, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. at (251) 343-1111. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court.