Tips on Answering The SSA's Questionnaires

The Social Security Administration sends applicants long questionnaires after the initial application is completed. Do you know how to answer the questions in the best way to get your claim processed quickly and successfully?
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Feb. 9, 2011 - PRLog -- -

After spending time filling out an initial application, you will receive a request from Social Security with a lengthy questionnaire. Now more than ever, the answers to these questions are essential to getting your benefits!

Completing the daily activities report gives you the best chance to explain how your disability affects your life. Often, answers to these questions will not appear in your medical records. You can use this questionnaire to describe how difficult your life has become and explain the exhaustive symptoms of your condition.  

For example, if you can’t stand up for longer than a few minutes, this will obviously impact your personal life and your ability to work certain jobs. This information is crucial to your claim and will be treated as if you took the stand in the courtroom and gave sworn testimony.

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 an honest and accurate picture.  Here are the four most important tips for filling out this critically important questionnaire.

1. Be Truthful

Credibility is the most powerful tool at your disposal. Your medical records must be accurate and consistent. (To learn more about what must be included in your medical records, visit

Do not exaggerate when describing how your disability affects you. Consider this example:

•   Q: What do you do during the day?
•   A: I lay in bed all day

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. Give an accurate idea of how long you lay in bed, and what you do while laying in bed, along with the level of activity.  If you watch television, say so.  If you sit up to read, say so.  If you have to have ice packs on your back at all times, say so.

2. Be Specific

The SSA will assume you can care for your needs unless you tell them differently.

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.  Every blank space is a chance to tell the SSA how you are disabled and why you cannot work with the limitations that your disability puts on you.

4. Use other resources to help

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.

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Disability Group Inc was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve. Visit us at
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