What is the SSA 3373?
When filing a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income (SSDI/SSI), there are many forms and documents needed for you to complete your file. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires applicants to complete the SSA 3373, or the Adult Function report, for every disability claim.
Forms and documentation that look more like booklets can be intimidating--especially when the benefits you deserve are on the line. And although you must include all the facts, you also want to make sure that you receive proper benefits for your disability and highlight the key elements and lifestyle changes because of your disability that the SSA is looking for.
Going forward, you know your physical life will be difficult. It’s important that you receive benefits to assist with your loss of income and to support your family. And the Adult Function report is vital to receiving you benefits. If you fail to fill out this form in a timely manner, the SSA will deny your case for a lack of information. Make sure that the SSA decides your case based on the merits of your record, and doesn’t deny you for technical errors.
Although the SSA 3373 can be intimidating, the right legal advice from the right counsel will give you both the right information and the confidence to complete the form. We can help explain the importance of the detailed questions you are required to answer. We offer free case evaluations for those seeking SSDI/SSI, and we have helped over 40,000 Georgians in the past 40 years with disability claims.
We can help you, too.
Facts About the SSA 3373:
- It’s designed to be filled out by the applicant in their own words--not by their attorney or physician.
- The form is extensive--and can be up to 20 pages when completed.
- Along with you medical records and the opinions from medical professionals, the SSA will determine your level of impairment by asking detailed questions about your daily activities.
- This form is your opportunity to show how your disability limits your day-to-day functions and your ability to work, even with a disability.
When I Apply for Disability, when will I have to fill out form 3373?
When you apply for disability, an adjudicator will be assigned to your case by the SSA. Your adjudicator will send you a stack of form letters--often all at the same time--and one of them is the Adult Function report. Although overwhelming to receive everything at once, it’s important that they are all completed correctly in order for you to receive benefits.
Quick Tip: Get Organized.
On receiving your paperwork from your adjudicator, immediately create a place in your home where you can safely keep all documents together. This could be a folder or a three-ring binder. Eventually, it could mean a box once documents accumulate. Make sure it’s a safe place, in a home office cabinet or by you home computer, so that you always know where things will be.
In addition, if you are sick, hospitalized, or unable to fill out a form before a deadline, your lawyer may be your only way of alerting the SSA to your situation. The SSA only extends deadlines for very good reasons, so make sure at least one other person knows where your paperwork will be so that your attorney can help.
Regardless of how you create your system, it’s important that you do. Make sure all mail you receive from the SSA goes to your designated space so that nothing gets lost.
How Do I Get My Point Across in the SSA 3373?
The Adult Function report is like a written version of testimony--your report what you are experiencing subjectively. Before you begin filling out the report, read it completely and think about potential answers as you go.
Topics range from tasks you’re able to complete at home like cooking, bathing, and dressing. Make sure that you give detail and context when explaining exactly how your disability affects your daily life. People explain and understand things differently. Give details in your answers so that the SSA has less wiggle room to suggest you said something otherwise.
The attorney can't fill it out for you, but they will give you context. The SSA is a neutral party there to adjudicate the claim. They want to to get a picture of your functional limitations. They're asking what does your everyday life look like. If you are able to retain some functioning in terms of daily activities, please include how long does it take you to do these things. The SSA 3373 report also asks what problems you have with certain tasks like shaving, taking the garbage out, or walking your dog. Again, even if you can do these tasks, the SSA wants to know if you have difficulty with them as well, so give details.
If you write this report without details, you are allowing the SSA to fill in the gaps that you leave out. Keep control of your case by including the exact details that will help best explain your impairments.
Being honest and precise will allow your response to hold up to SSA scrutiny. A judge will examine a claimant’s hearing testimony for consistency, and for inconsistency. It’s important to be yourself and to tell the truth about your disability, but by going into detail about how impairments impact you in your daily activity, you’re more likely to get your point across in a reasonable way. Keep in mind that this form may be completed a year or two before your hearing. An attorney will help you prepare for your hearing and a judge’s examination.
If you’ve experienced your disability for a long time, you may already be overcompensating without realizing it. It’s important to convey and express you accommodations and limitations that you may have forgotten.
The Right Lawyer Can Help.
At Affleck & Gordon, we have over 40 years of experience with SSDI/SSI. We offer free case evaluations and don’t collect attorney fees unless you win your case. Helping you win your case is our priority.
If your Social Security Disability claim has been denied, or you’re thinking about filing and don’t know where to start, Affleck and Gordon can help. We’ve been helping people in Georgia just like you for over 40 years. Sign up for a free case evaluation here, or call us (404) 373-1649.