Tips for Answering Lengthy Inquiries from Social Security

By Disability Group           

            After spending time filling out an initial application, you will receive a request from Social Security Administration with a lengthy questionnaire. Answers to these questions are essential to getting your benefits!


            Completing the daily activities report gives you the chance to explain how your disability affects your life. Often, answers to these questions will not appear in your medical records. You can describe how difficult your life has become and explain the exhaustive symptoms of your condition.  This information is crucial to your claim and will be treated as if you took the stand in the courtroom and gave sworn testimony.          


Create a Truthful Vision:

The goal of the SSA is to determine if there is work you can still perform given your condition. Remember, the person reading your paperwork cannot physically see your limitations. As such, it is necessary to paint honest and accurate picture.  Here are some tips.

1.      Be Truthful

  • Credibility is the most powerful tool. Your medical records must be accurate and consistent.
  • Do not exaggerate. Consider this example:
    • Q: What do you do during the day?
    • A:  I lay in bed all day

Note: While this may be partially true, it is doubtful that anyone lay in bed for 24 hours without going to the bathroom, or sitting up to do another activity.


2.      Be Specific

  • The SSA will assume you can care for your needs unless stated otherwise
  • Consider these examples
    • If you lay in bed for long periods of time, how often do you have to readjust?
    • If you go to the store do you go alone? Do you use a handicapped cart?
    • Do you care for small children or elderly parents? How long? Do you have help?


3.        Do not leave blanks

  • Although many questions may appear repetitive, use every opportunity to explain your symptoms


4.      Other resources

  • Your social security attorney may help you understand the questions in context of your own disability, and ultimately help you obtain your social security disability benefits.