How to Fill Out Your Adult Function Report for Mental Health

Mental Health

When you want to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) to receive much-needed benefits and assistance after a mental health issue like anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has stopped you from working, you will likely have a stack of paperwork and documents to get through. One important form is the Adult Function Report (Form SSA-3373) used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to evaluate your physical health and mental well-being. In other words, the Adult Function Report is one of the SSA’s first tools to see if an applicant is eligible for disability benefits or if their application should be denied. As such, the importance of filling out this form correctly cannot be overstated.

What Does the Adult Function Report Look For?

The SSA Adult Function Report is comprised of 10 pages of questions and prompts. By the time the 10-page report is filled out, an SSA agent should have a reliable overview of the applicant’s situation, so they can see if the application should be approved for further consideration.

Overall, the Adult Function Report for mental health will check for three things:

  1. Day-to-day activities: The Adult Function Report gives you an opportunity to discuss your daily routine and responsibilities, including details about your family life, education, and work (or prior work). Please keep in mind, you want to focus on your limitations and how your mental health impacts your functioning on a day-to-day basis.
  2. Mental health functioning: You should use the Adult Function Report to discuss how your mental health has impacted your functioning in your important daily activities.
  3. Limitations: If your mental health difficulties have been diagnosed by a medical provider or psychiatrist, which is usually necessary to get SSD benefits, be sure to mention the diagnosis in the Adult Function Report. Specifically, you will want to note any limitations that your medical provider has linked to your mental health issue, such as anxious or depressive episodes that make it unreasonably challenging to hold gainful employment.

Filling Out the Adult Function Report for Mental Health

You know you have to fill out the Adult Function Report completely and accurately to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. What else should you know before you get started on this 10-page form, though?

  1. Be honest: You must always answer every question with honesty. Never fabricate or exaggerate any details so the SSA can get an accurate understanding of how your medical conditions affect your day-to-day functioning.
  2. Say what you know: It is okay if you don’t know the fine details of your mental health condition or aren’t sure what a prompt on the Adult Function Report is asking. Rather than making assumptions, you can say that you aren’t sure or don’t know.
  3. Mark every prompt: If you don’t know an answer to a question or prompt, make sure you write that down. Don’t leave a prompt completely blank.
  4. Provide details: When you do know the details that the SSA should know about a prompt regarding your mental health, provide relevant details and information. Thorough answers are appreciated and help the SSA agent better understand why you need SSD benefits. The importance of details is perhaps the most pronounced in question 5 of the Adult Function Report, which asks how your mental health condition limits your ability to work.
  5. Remain consistent: You might notice that some questions and prompts seem fairly similar or almost overlap. Or your answers to different questions might discuss similar situations. When this happens, double-check what you are saying for consistency. Any inconsistency will be sharply scrutinized by the SSA.
  6. Don’t paraphrase too much: Do you have a lot to say for one question or prompt but don’t think there’s enough room on the Adult Function Report to cover it? Don’t paraphrase everything and risk omitting something about your anxiety, PTSD, etc. Instead, use the ‘remarks’ section on the final page to continue your answer, denoting clearly which question it is continuing.
  7. Talk to a disability lawyer: Worried about the Adult Function Report and how it directly affects your chances of getting SSD benefits for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions that interfere with employment? Give yourself the support you need by working with a disability attorney before you even begin filling out the form.

Call Affleck & Gordon For Help with Disability Claims

Affleck & Gordon has helped people throughout Georgia with Social Security Disability claims for more than 45 years. If you need to fill out an Adult Function Report to pursue SSD benefits after a mental health condition has interrupted your ability to hold gainful employment, please start by reaching out to our firm. We would be happy to use our experience, insight, and knowledge to help you complete this important form and then guide you through any Social Security processes that follow.

Dial (404) 990-3945 for a free, confidential consultation with our SSD lawyers.

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