When this blog has discussed Social Security Disability Insurance benefits previously, it has touched on the fact that often disability applications based on mental conditions or illnesses are more difficult to prove than those based on physical conditions. One reason for this is that medical science has not yet developed comprehensive and reliable objective testing for many illnesses that affect the way the brain works. Thus the Social Security Administration or Ohio Disability Determination Services must rely on more subjective evaluations of the existence and effects of psychological problems.
Further, even if a medical condition exists, SSA will need to determine that the illness or injury substantially affects the way a person lives his or her life, goes about daily routines and whether it interferes with the individual’s ability to earn a living. Because of this, the administration may need, to some extent, to rely on self-reporting from the individual applicant.
One way the SSA does this is through the use of Form SSA-3373-BK, otherwise known as a ‘Function Report-Adult.’ This is a form that is not solely used for mental disabilities, but may be more important in such cases for the reasons outlined above. This form contains various sections in which the applicant him- or herself provides information about his or her condition and the way it affects daily activities. For example, the form asks the applicant to describe his or her daily activities from the time he or she rises until bedtime. It also inquires as to whether the applicant cares for another person, such as a family member, or even a pet, and whether he or she does so with or without the aid of another.
The more complete and detailed the answers are on the function report, the better position the SSA will be in to determine whether the applicant is qualified for SSDI benefits in Ohio. It is important that anyone applying for SSDI based upon a mental condition take the completing of this form seriously. Those with questions about the function report or other aspects of an SSDI claim may wish to consider contacting an experienced disability attorney.