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The Activities of Daily Living Form (ADL) is one of many  forms that the SSA will ask you to complete. Are you wondering how to fill out the SSA’s “Activities of Daily Living Form?” Every person who files an application for SSDI or SSI benefits has to fill out the form.

At first, it appears that the questions are easy. After all, the questions are about what you do every day. However, many people struggle to complete the form. What you say on the form is important. And, our office can help you fill out this form correctly.

completing SSA'S ADL FormWhen filling out the SSA’S ADL form, remember that the SSA is using your answers to decide if you can work. This means you should fill the form out as to how you are physically and mentally doing now. Not how you were in the past when you could work.

Remember, the form is not a questionnaire about your past accomplishments. It is not a resume or a chance for you to tell others how you used to do things. Don’t answer the questions like you would at a job interview. This isn’t a chance to tell the SSA how many you used to be able to do the laundry,  take care of the kids, and cook dinner.

Instead, the activities of daily living form is about the problems you face every day due to your medical condition. When answering the questions, keep in mind your current physical and mental symptoms. The form should tell the SSA that you can no longer cook, clean, or do the laundry without help. If you don’t write about your limitations, then the SSA will use your answers to prove that you can work.


There are many questions on the ADL form. Most of the questions are about what you do all day. For example, do you cook, shop, clean, or help your children do homework? Whatever you write on the form is also what the SSA will believe you can do at work. If you can drive to the store, then you can drive to work. If you can clean your house, then perhaps you can be a housekeeper.

For example, there is a question asking about your hobbies. The form will ask you to list your hobbies. However, the SSA doesn’t actually want to know about your hobbies like a friend or a family member does. Be careful how you answer this question.

Do not answer the question by writing down the hobbies you used to do. People are always answering the question by listing things like fishing, hunting, or riding horses. Or, they will write that they bowl, ride bikes, or hike. They will write these things down even though they haven’t done them in years. Those may have been your hobbies in the past. But if you can no longer do these things, then don’t write them down.

Instead, simply say your medical condition prevents you from doing your old hobbies. For example, if you have a back condition, then you can no longer ride horses, ski, hike, or hunt. But, if you write those items down as your hobby, then the SSA will believe you can do those things now. If you can still ski, hike, hunt or ride ATV’s, then you can probably still work. That is what the SSA will think. Keep that in mind.


Another smart thing to include on your activities of daily living form is that you need help from other people. For example, if a family member drives you to the store or needs to shop for you because you cannot lift, then write that down. If a friend does your laundry because you can’t carry it, then put that on the form.

The form is about what you cannot do anymore because of your medical conditions. Remember, it is not about what you used to be able to do. For further tips or questions about the ADL form, call us. Or, contact Cannon Disability Law. We want to help you win your SSD benefits.

Other crucial things to include on the SSA form are whether you need a cane or walker. These items are called assistive devices. If you need a cane, then write that you use it inside and outside your house. Take your cane and use it at your free SSA doctor exam. If you have a shower chair or put bars in your shower or bathtub, then you should write that on the form. Do you have a lift on your toilet? Tell the SSA. Everything you do to help yourself do your activities of daily living should be on the form.

Sometimes people have special chairs that help them stand up or they spend the day in bed. Write that down. Did you have to install a ramp to your front door? Or, did you have to buy a new car because you can no longer drive a stick shift? Include that information on the form. Did you have to buy a new house because you needed a house that had no stairs? Write it down on the form.


If you lose a copy of your ADL form, then you can find another copy on the SSA website. If you contact our office, then we can also provide you a copy. Likewise, you can pick up a paper copy at the local Social Security office near your home. You need to complete the form. Because failure to fill out the form will delay your case.

Our law firm cannot complete your ADL form for you. However, we can answer your questions about SSA’s forms. The SSA forms are the same in every state. Whether you live in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, or California, you will be sent the same form as every person who applies for SSD benefits. Try to remember that the SSA is looking at whether you can work, despite your medical condition.

When they read your answers to their questions, they are wondering if you can work an eight hour day, forty hours a week. If you can no longer hike or go on long walks, make sure you tell the SSA. If you can’t lift more than 10 pounds due to back pain, then make sure you write that down. The SSA is not interested in what you used to do. They only care about what you can or can’t do now.

The SSA uses your answers on the ADL form to prove your residual functional capacity (RFC).  The RFC is what is “found” at step four of the Social Security review process. Once the case moves to a hearing, it is the judge who will determine your RFC. You can win benefits by showing you cannot sustain 40 hours of work every week. Find out more about what questions the judge will ask at your Social Security hearing.


Every day you wait to file your SSD application or fill out your activities of daily living form, is a day you lose money. You have worked for years to qualify for SSD benefits. Therefore, SSD benefits are not welfare. When you work and pay taxes, the SSA puts aside your benefits. They do this in case you become unable to work due to a severe medical condition.

Your benefits are tied to the day you apply. SSD benefits have a five month waiting period before benefits begin. The six month waiting period applies to everyone. And, it doesn’t start until you file your SSD application. SSI benefits, on the other hand, don’t begin until the date of your application. Learn more information about SSI benefits.

Past due SSD benefits can pay out one year prior to the date of application. You can be paid past due benefits, as long as you were not working due to your medical condition. However, if you file for SSI benefits, then SSI benefits begin on the day you apply. This is true even if your severe medical condition began prior to that date. Therefore, every day you wait to apply is a day you are losing SSDI and SSI benefits.


When you hire us, we will help you file your application. Also, we will help you complete SSA’s paperwork. The SSA will probably deny your case, because the SSA denies the majority of cases, but we will appeal for you. Our legal team understands the law and knows the problems you are facing.

We have won over $100 million in ongoing and past due SSDI benefits for our clients. Although we can’t guarantee we will win your case, we will do our very best to help you through the SSA review process.

We will use our skills to help you through the disability process. One of the things we know how to help you with is filling out the activities of daily living form. We also can help you complete SSA’s other forms. For example, there is a Work History Form. Also, there is the SSD application form. Learn more about how to file your SSD application.

You may also receive other forms about specific medical conditions. For example, if you have migraines, the SSA may send you a form to fill out about how often you have them. All of the forms sent to you by the SSA are important. The longer you wait to fill them out, the more delay there is in your case. Also, if you fail to fill them out, it delays your case too. If you need help filling out the forms, then make sure you hire a lawyer to help you.


When we help you fill out your activities of daily living form, we are trying to make the SSA review process better for you. Because, it is our goal to win your case. But, it also our goal to make it easier for you. We offer a free review of your benefits. There is no obligation to become a client if you call. You can simply ask questions. Even if we don’t accept your case, we will still try to help you.

It also doesn’t cost you any money to hire us. Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This  means if we win, then you pay us out of your back benefits. If you do not win, then you do not pay an attorney fee.

How much is the fee? It is 25% of your back benefit. Also, the fee is capped at $7200. You never pay more than the cap. And, 25% is usually less than the $7200 cap. You will pay the lesser amount between the two and only if you win benefits.

If there are costs in your case, then you pay for those costs. But the costs are usually less than $100. Usually the only cost is to pay for medical records. You owe costs whether we win or lose your case. Again, attorney fees are paid from your past due benefits.

cannon disability helping with activities of daily living form in disability caseHIRE THE BEST SSD LAW FIRM TO HELP YOU WIN BENEFITS

The hard part of winning benefits is the burden of proving you need SSD benefits is on you. You must prove your case at each step of the five step SSA review process. Filling out the ADL form is only one part of the SSD review process. The most important thing you can do to help yourself is not give up. The second most important thing you can do to improve your chances of winning benefits is to hire a lawyer with SSD legal experience.

To hire most lawyers, you have to pay a fee upfront. However, you can’t do that because you don’t have a job. We understand that. Which is why you only pay an attorney fee if we win your SSDI and SSI case. Contact us today. Hire an SSD attorney with the experience to deal with the SSA.

Also, we bring over 30 years of legal experience to your disability case. For instance, Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win SSD & SSI benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall is admitted to the Idaho State Bar and has many years experience as a lawyer. Also, Andria Summers has legal experience helping thousands of clients. Together, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI hearings. You can trust that we will do everything we can to win your SSD and SSI benefits. We will help you fill out the activities of daily living form.

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