Disabilities are disruptive. If you have a disability, it may affect your ability to work, but also may limit your day-to-day routines. For example, Ben’s arthritis had progress to the point where he could no longer work his construction job. In addition, he was dismayed to notice that he was having more and more trouble getting up from his recliner, walking from room to room in his house. Even getting dressed became a problem because his hands could no longer manipulate buttons and zippers. Ben applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits because of his inability to work. However, he will also be assessed for his functional limitations.
What are functional limitations?
Functional limitations relate to the normal activities of daily living, or ADLs, including:
- Maintaining personal hygiene, including bathing, and caring for teeth and nails;
- Getting dressed, including choosing appropriate clothing, putting it on, and taking it off;
- Feeding yourself, which usually does not include preparing meals;
- Using the restroom;
- Transferring or moving, like the ability to walk, stand, get in and out of bed; and
- Being able to see, hear, comprehend, and speak.
Simply stated, a functional limitation is the inability to perform one or more ADLs due to a disability. For SSDI and SSI recipients, functional limitations usually influence whether a claim is approved or denied.
Tell me more about functional limitations.
Most of the ADLs mentioned above involve physical activity. However, functional limitations also include mental limitations. For example, depression can be considered a disability. Someone suffering from depression may find it difficult or impossible to handle the mental demands, not only of work but also of daily living.
Some conditions affect a person’s ability to remember or understand. This, too, can be considered a functional limitation.
Understanding Functional Limitations Is Important When Applying for Benefits.
The person processing your application for disability benefits may ask questions about your normal daily routine to determine your level of functional limitation. Your answers, in conjunction with your medical records, likely will affect whether your application is approved or not.
We know that the application process for disability benefits like SSDI can be long and frustrating. It’s important to have someone helping you who knows the system and understands functional limitations.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Call us at 714-385-8100 to set up a free consultation. Though our office is conveniently located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.