The Social Security Administration or Law Judge must determine whether you are able to perform any gainful employment-not just the job you are trained for. How you get through your day-the tasks and errands you can do for yourself, and those you can’t-are an important part of your case. Can you fix your own meals? Do your own laundry and clean your house? Do you travel to buy groceries, or to spend time socializing with friends or other groups of people? All these questions, and more, are part of the case you will present to the judge.

Your ability to carry out the basic tasks of daily living will not necessarily keep you from winning your case. You must be clear to describe any limitations on that ability. For instance, does a particular task take you much more time than it would a healthy person? Does it result in pain that has to be medicated, and/or in a long rest? Do you require very long breaks between tasks?

It is very important to be as detailed as possible about how your disability harms your ability to carry on the basic tasks of daily living, even when you are able to perform some of those tasks. You do not want to leave the administration or judge with a false or incomplete impression that may result in a long appeal process.