SSA Online Adult Disability Report And Your Work Activity

Today I finish discussing some of the topics on the Adult Disability Report , used to provide medical background information by adults applying for Social Security disability and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability.  

Social Security Administration disability decisions are not made by local SSA representatives. Assuming non-medical requirements are met, local offices send disability applications to a state agency, called the Disability Determination Service (DDS) to make the medical decision.

The Adult Disability Report is how you tell the DDS examiner what your disability is, why it prevents you from working, and where to find medical information about you. DDS examiners work from medical records. The examiner will not meet you and might not speak to you. 

One advantage to completing the disability report online is that you can exit and return to it. You have time and opportunity to provide complete information and, in your own words, explain how the disability affects you as an individual.

Continuing the last several posts, recall that the Social Security definition of disability is closely associated with your ability to work. It includes:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Keep this in mind when completing the Adult Disability Report. How does your injury or illnesses affect your ability to work? Try to be specific. Read how Social Security decides if you are disabled at

Part of the disability report is devoted to your work activity. It has questions about when you actually stopped working, why you stopped working and if your health caused you to make changes in your work before actually stopping work. Sometimes, such as when you are in an accident, work stops immediately.  Sometimes, such as with some diseases, perhaps you stopped working only after first changing work hours or work performed. If changes took place before stopping work, say so and specify what they were, using either a fill-in block or remarks section. Again, how does your injury or illnesses affect your ability to work?

Expect questions about your job history and educational background. Refer back to the SSA definition of disability. Whether you can do previous work is important but included is also whether you might be able to adjust to other work. With the medical information, your job history and educational background help determine this. Using the remarks if needed, consider explaining what your work involved and how your injury or illnesses affect your ability to work 

Completing the online Adult Disability Report portion of the SSA disability application is not hard. Prior posts over the last week linked to several Social Security website pages providing suggestions and explanations. Read them, take your time and, use your reentry number to leave and return to the report as needed.

You can file for Social Security disability completely online, by completing the disability report online and making an appointment with SSA, or by just making an appointment. However done, completion of the adult disability report is important to you. You are the topic. You have the information.