How does Social Security assess my “activities of daily living?”


To preface – often times when applying for disability, a claimant may not have medical impairments that necessarily constitute a “condition” in the view of the disability examiner. If this is the case, the claimant can then look to win their case by arguing that they have significant limitations that affect their ability to engage in normal activities of daily living.

These activities include routine tasks such as dressing oneself, reaching overhead, carrying items, bending over, or maintaining balance. Demonstrating an inability to perform these activities can then translate to an inability to perform certain work-related activities.

To back you up, it always helps to get a statement from a doctor regarding these conditions and how they affect you over the course of a normal day. Don’t just mention your ailments, but also how those ailments affect you. Always mention to your doctor the specific ways your ailments limit you and make life difficult. Disability Examiners or Administrative Law Judges will often look for statements from medical doctors on this.