Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

How To Fill Out Social Security Questionnaires

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Jun 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

The last set of forms your Disability Examiner (DE) is likely to send you are questionnaires.  There are many different questionnaires your DE could chose to send you. Among the ones I see most commonly are:

Exertional

Headache

Pain

Seizure

Substance Abuse

Symptoms

These questionnaires are very similar to the function reports, discussed in an earlier blog post. The questionnaires tend to be shorter; all the ones I have seen are either one or two pages. They focus on one particular aspect of your disability claim.  Just because they are shorter and more specific does not mean you should approach them differently than any other forms you get from Social Security. As with the work history report and the function reports, you need to be very careful how you answer.

Questionnaire-158862_1280
That's A Lot Of Questions

Your Answers Cannot Help, But They Can Hurt

The same warning I gave about the function reports applies here: these forms cannot help your claim, but they can hurt it. Your DE is likely to comb through your answers to look for anything that supports a finding that you are not disabled. So, the same advice applies here: be truthful, but do not say too much. 

Do not repeat yourself. If you have already told your DE what medications you are taking, for example, you are not obligated to provide that information again in one of these questionnaires.

Questions About Substance Abuse Are A Minefield, So Tread Lightly

Be especially wary of the substance abuse questionnaire. If your DE sends you this one, it means she is already thinking about denying your claim based on allegations of drug use or alcoholism.  Open-ended questions like Do you think that drinking or drugs has affected your ability to  work? might as well be labeled as ticking time bombs.  The issue of substance abuse and disability could fill an entire book. Suffice it to say, this is a complicated matter. But, the wrong answer on a question like this one could undo your claim. As always, the most important thing is to be honest. If you deny substance abuse problems you have or try to explain them away with some unconvincing excuse, chances are you are digging a very deep hole with each word.

If you have questions about any of these forms, or suggestions about how to deal with them, please let me know. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.

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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 20 years.

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