Tricky Questions After You Apply for Disability (First Six Months)

Art: Robin Mead

After you have finally finished the grueling work of filling out forms and answering questions for your disability application, you can look forward to…. more forms and more questions! Here’s what to expect in the first six months:

Forms About Functioning

About a month after you apply, they will send you some more forms. It may take longer. Learn more: How to Fill Out an Activities of Daily Living / Adult Function Report

Phone Calls About Functioning

They usually send the adult function form on paper, but sometimes they call instead and ask the questions over the phone. Some people prefer answering by phone, and some people hate answering by phone. If you have difficulty with questions on the phone, you can request they send you the paper form instead. Learn more about: How to Avoid Scary Phone Calls

Work History Report

You will probably be sent this form at the same time as the Adult Function Form. If you are under age 50, this form has very little importance, just fill it out and send it back. If you are over age 50: How to fill Out a Work History Report (form SSA-3369).

Third Party Form

On your function report and application you are asked to list one or more people who know your daily life and functioning. These people may be sent a form: How to Handle an Adult Function Report Third Party Form (SSA-3380-BK)

Consultative Exam

You may be sent to an appointment with a Social Security doctor. This often happens about 3-6 months after you first apply. This doctor will have their own tricky questions! What Happens When I Am Sent to the Social Security Doctor?

Why Haven’t You Been Going to the Doctor? or
Why Haven’t You Been Following Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan?

If you have not been going to the doctor regularly, or your are not following your doctor’s treatment recommendations, you may be asked about this. Your answer is very important. How To Explain Why You Haven’t Been to the Doctor

SSI Interview

Shortly after you apply, you may be contacted for an SSI Financial Interview. If you applied in person, you may have already done this. In some cases, the SSI interview comes later, after you are approved, and some people never have an SSI interview.

They will contact you set up a time for your interview by phone or in person. You can always request phone if that’s what you prefer.

These questions are important only if you are applying for SSI. For SSDI, they do not matter. How to Understand the Difference Between SSI and SSDI Without Making Your Head Explode

Here’s questions that may come up:

What is your income? Assets? Savings? Houses? Cars?

The SSI rules take a long time to learn, so if you don’t want to learn them now, you don’t have to. Just answer the questions honestly and see what happens. If your SSI application has a problem and gets denied, you can reapply at any time. For example, if you have $50 too much savings, you can follow the SSI rules for allowable ways to spend $51, save  your receipt, and then reapply the next day. If you’d like to learn more of the rules now: How to Apply for SSI Without Falling into Quicksand

Are You Living with a Boyfriend or Girlfriend? 

If you are living with a boyfriend, girlfriend or someone else you are not married to, you may find it helpful to learn the rules for Holding Out As a Married Couple


If someone at Social Security or at a lawyer’s office or anywhere else tells you that you cannot apply for disability, take a look here to see if there are solutions for your situation: “Someone Said I’m Not Eligible”


🌞 Ideally, what you write on your disability application will be similar to what your doctors writes in your medical records. Learn more: How to Paint a Consistent Picture

🌞 While you’re applying, it’s a good idea to see your doctor regularly. While there, you may run into more Tricky Questions at the Doctor’s Office


🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability 

🌷 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌷 Page Updated: 7/1/19


🌷 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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