Older woman filling out SSD Function Report

Having trouble figuring out your SSD Function Report? That’s what Brooks Law Group is here for! This post is Part 2 in a series on filling out the Function Report. You can find our first post here for more tips.

You might have heard the Function Report called an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) questionnaire. If you’re just getting started, you can find a copy of Function Report SSA-3373 here.  This is one of the most important parts of your application. Filling it out properly can make or break your SSD application.

We get tons of people asking about the complicated questions on the Function Report. So, we’ve compiled some of our frequently asked questions below to make it easier!

SSD Function Report FAQs

Function Report Question # 7: Do you take care of anyone else such as a wife/husband, children, grandchildren, parents, friend, other?

Be very specific here; if you provide care for someone else, don’t assume the reader understands what that means. Specifically state what you do, and more importantly, what you cannot do for that person.

Let’s use the example of caring for a grandchild. You should indicate the child’s age and how many hours in a day you’re responsible for the child. It would also be helpful to report whether or not you have help providing care.

Function Report Question #10: What were you able to do before your illnesses, injuries, or conditions that you can’t do now?

This is a very important question. Spend time here explaining things you enjoy but can no longer do because of your disability. Be specific as to why you can no longer do them. Most people enjoy other activities much more than their job. When you can’t do things you love, this speaks volumes about how you can’t complete tasks at work. Don’t overlook this question. Answer it completely and honestly.

Function Report Question #15 Part D: Do you drive? If you don’t drive, explain why not.

Driving a car requires you to pay attention to your surroundings and make quick decisions. You need good vision, and you have to use your hands and feet to operate controls. If you drive, answer this question honestly, but be very specific. Tell them if you:

  • Can only drive short distances
  • Only drive to places that you are familiar with and have visited many times already
  • Try to stick to “back roads” avoiding highways and major streets or intersections
  • Drive only when there is no traffic
  • Can only drive at daytime when the weather is good

Function Report Question #17 Part A: Are you able to pay bills, count change, handle a savings account, or use a checkbook/money orders?

Many people answer this part of the form “less than honestly.” They fear that the Social Security Administration will judge them as not worthy of Social Security Disability benefits if they have trouble handling their money. Some are also concerned that if they don’t check “YES” and do receive Social Security Disability benefits, someone else will control their benefits.

Think back to the rest of your application. Did you claim to have difficulty remembering to do things, concentrating or staying focused on tasks? This contradicts with your ability to remember to pay bills, manage a savings account, and balance a checkbook. An inconsistent answer in your report will affect the credibility of your social security disability claim and this is not a good thing. Be honest about your ability to handle money so that your application stays true and consistent.

Function Report Question #18: What are your hobbies and interests? How often and how well do you do these things? Describe any changes in these activities since the illnesses, injuries, or conditions began.

Seem familiar? This is essentially the same question you were asked in question 10. The SSD Function Report intentionally asks similar questions to test the integrity of your answers. Remember, consistency is everything. Answers to Question 10 should be honest and complete, and they should be consistent with your answers to Question 18.

Function Report Question #22: Do you currently take any medicines for your illnesses, injuries, or conditions? If “YES,” do any of your medicines cause side effects?

Make sure you take the time to list all medications that you take or were taking during your disability. If you have side effects from your medications, be sure to list them. The form doesn’t give you enough space to answer this question properly. You must use a separate piece of paper to answer this question well. Just print or write your answers on a separate piece of paper and attach it to your application.

Bonus Tip: Go to your pharmacy and ask for a printout of all your prescriptions so you won’t miss anything.

Super Tip: If you experience side effects from your medication that could prevent you from working, tell your doctor. Furthermore, make sure he or she writes it down in your records. These could include drowsiness, dizziness, jitters, shakes, insomnia, fatigue, and more. Often these types of side effects are “normal” or “common” and your doctor may not consider them important. Many times, we see medical records saying “no side effects” because doctors didn’t feel the reported side effects were abnormal. This inaccurate medical record can negatively affect your claim.

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Our Top Tip for Applying for SSD

Here is one of the top things to remember about the Social Security Disability and the Function Report application process. You will have to see a medical or physiological professional on a regular basis to document your claim. Tell your doctor or therapist that you’re pursuing a disability claim because you will need their help. If they say they “don’t want to get involved,” find a different doctor if you can. You will probably get better care as well.

Pride can be your enemy if you become disabled, but don’t let it. If you can’t afford regular medical care, you must seek out free or reduced price care. It’s out there. Look online for help finding affordable medical care. You can also call us at 1-800-LAW-3030 and we will be happy to help you find it. Se habla español.

Our SSD attorneys would love to help and lend you their expertise. If you need help with the SSD Function Report, or need to appeal a decision, contact our law offices today!


Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.