Proving Social Security Disability: What Are Your Daily Activities?

One of the factors that can be considered by the Judge in assessing whether or not you qualify for benefits involves your inability to perform activities of daily living.  That is why at Social Security hearings, Law Judges frequently will ask for testimony regarding a claimant’s typical daily activities.

Activities of daily living are just that, how one spends his or her normal day from morning until bedtime.  These activities can include cooking, driving a vehicle, cleaning, and using a computer among many other activities.  Recreational activities such as going to the movies or to a restaurant for a meal are also factored in.

It should be understood that simply because a claimant may be able to do limited activities of daily living, they are not automatically denied benefits.  The Judge will look at the overall picture when assessing this factor.

Most importantly, the claimant’s testimony regarding his or her inability to perform certain activities of daily living must be supported by the medical record.  Therefore, if someone has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and testified that they do not perform any significant activities during their usual day, the Judge will not likely accept that testimony as credible.  However, if the medical records reflect a physician’s opinion that this person is extremely limited and specifically states that he or she cannot do certain daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals or balancing their checkbook then that testimony becomes relevant.

If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits and would like to discuss your legal options, feel free contact our office.