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:
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.
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.