If you have ever had to file a disability claim for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you may be familiar with an Adult Function Report (AFR). The AFR is a way to self-report things you do during your typical day to help Social Security understand the impact your medical conditions have on your daily life. In this blog, we will cover questions 6 through 11 of Section C – Information About Daily Activities.
Question 6: Describe what you do from the time you wake up until going to bed.
When I ask many of my clients this question, they’ll often answer, “not much.” However, you are always doing something. When you file a disability claim, you need to provide specific details.
Here, an example might say, “I wake up around 4 a.m. because of my back pain. I stretch, then take my medications. I lie back down until my spouse gets up at 6 a.m. and try to sit up until he or she goes off to work. Then I lie down on the couch with my feet propped to heart level watching television. I may prepare a sandwich for lunch and do some light house chores if my back isn’t hurting as bad as it usually does. I change positions from the couch to the recliner to the bed throughout the day. I’m very tired but can’t fall asleep. I eat dinner when my spouse comes home then lie down in bed at 10pm. I probably won’t fall asleep until midnight because my mind won’t turn off.”
Don’t worry if your answer is not as precise. This question introduces the Social Security Administration to how your impairment affects your daily life.
Questions 7 and 8
Section 7 and 8 of the Adult Function Report ask whether you take care of anyone else, either humans or animals.
The SSA asks about whether you care for others because this is an ability that suggests you might not need to file a disability claim. It is important to be honest if you care for others. However, you can also explain if you are not the only one to care for these people or animals or if there are times you are unable to care for these people or animals because of your disabilities. You can explain this in your answer to Question 9.
Questions 10 and 11
Question 10 asks what you were able to do before that you can do now, while Question 11 asks whether your disabilities affect your sleep.
On Question 10, no need to write “work,” because that’s the whole reason you had to file a disability claim. Answers might include: play catch with my children, hold my grandchildren, answer my door, take a standing shower, cook a full dinner, enjoy my family’s company, sit through an entire movie, etc.
On Question 11, the SSA is not just interested in physical pain keeping you awake, but also whether you have the need to get up and urinate because of the side effects of medications, or if you have racing thoughts from anxiety at night. The inability to get consistent sleep may impact your ability to perform work dependably or keep a regular schedule.
You’ll Need to Answer Questions if You File a Disability Claim
The SSA will process your disability claim, asking questions and requiring proof along the way. As you pass through the application process, it helps to have disability lawyers by your side.
If you have any questions about your Adult Function Report, or Social Security claim, contact a disability attorney at any of our offices across Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Call (618) 266-4038 or submit the Contact Form on our website for a free consultation.