Law Offices of Terri D. Mason, P.C.


I Can Still Do Some Household Chores. Am I Qualified for Social Security Disability Benefits?

career concept about social security disability benefits with phrase on the sheetMany people find the definition of “disability” for Social Security disability benefits to be confusing.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has very precise rules that apply to disability determinations. When evaluating claims, the SSA looks closely at both the work activities that a claimant can perform and the ordinary, everyday activities that a claimant can perform. While for social security disability house cleaning or other household work doesn’t determine the validity of a claim, the inability to do certain kinds of household chores can help prove a claimant can’t do gainful work.

This blog post will focus on how the ability, or inability, to do household chores can influence a Social Security disability benefits claim.

How Does Social Security Define Disability?

Social Security requires disability claimants to prove three things:

  1. The claimant suffers from a serious medical condition that prevents substantial gainful activity through work;
  2. The claimant can’t do the work they did previously or adjust to other work because of the serious medical condition;
  3. The condition has lasted or is expected to last for more than one year or result in death.

The test is a very strict one. When a claim is filed, Social Security will review both the medical records of the claimant and require the claimant to fill out an evaluation form showing exactly what sort of work and life activities are possible. In many cases, the simple activities of daily living can be used as evidence to show that the claimant can’t engage in gainful activity.

How Can Evidence of Household Chores Influence a Disability Claim?

Many of the ordinary tasks we do every day represent skills that carry over into the work environment. For example, if you have a medical condition that prevents you from buttoning your clothing or picking up small objects like coins, you may also be unable to perform fine manipulations on the job, like punching small buttons or picking up objects in the workplace.

Similarly, if you’re unable to stand for long periods of time or to perform repetitive tasks like raking leaves or shoveling snow, you may not be able to perform repetitive actions or walk on the job.

The Social Security disability evaluation looks at mental and psychological capacity as well as the ability to perform physical tasks. If an applicant has lost interest in socializing with friends or taking part in hobby activities, the fact could be used to demonstrate that the applicant is suffering from depression or some other psychological condition that prevents employment in the workforce.

In preparing a disability evaluation form, the applicant should look for opportunities to explain how the limitations in their everyday life affect their ability to engage in work. Any lack of capacity to perform the activities of daily living should be highlighted as a means of demonstrating to the Social Security hearing officer that the claimant is disabled according to the definition of the SSA.

If a caregiver is assisting the claimant, then the caregiver can often shed light on the ability of the applicant to perform household chores and work in the workforce. A good Social Security disability lawyer will assist the claimant in developing the facts of the case by exploring how the medical condition of the claimant affects all aspects of life, including household chores, outside activities, hobbies, and work.

Can Disability Lawyers MD Help With Your Social Security Disability Claim?

Social Security disability claims are complex and often difficult to prove. Many times the claimant is denied at the initial hearing and prevails only after one or more appeals. Claimants shouldn’t be discouraged, though.

If you or a loved one require the assistance and advice of a Social Security disability lawyer in Baltimore, we can help. The Law Offices of Terri D. Mason in Baltimore have provided clients with aggressive representation for nearly a quarter-century. We’ve assisted many satisfied clients in gaining Social Security benefits.

If you live in Baltimore or the nearby counties, contact us today for a consultation. We would be delighted to meet you and evaluate your case. We’ll handle your legal work with compassion and care.