This page is probably the most important part of your claim for disability benefits. Let me repeat that,

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR CLAIM.

I say that because this is your chance to tell Social Security what your disability is, and how it prevents you from working. They ask you to list your; illnesses, injuries and conditions that limit your ability to work. You are provided with 2 lines to write in your response. Yet I would say 75% of the people who fill out this form put an answer of one or two words in here. They usually don’t even write a full sentence. The first question on page 2 is “What are the illnesses, injuries, or conditions that limit your ability to work?”

Tip #1, if you are given enough space to write more than one or two words, fill the space up with a full sentence giving some details.

For example, some people file because they have a back problem, and they write in this space, “back”. Instead you should state in detail what’s wrong with your back. For example, you could say “I have advanced degenerative disc disease.”, or whatever your condition is. That means you will have to ask your doctor for the medical name of your condition, and write it down, including the spelling.

Tip #2, list ALL of your medical problems, not just the condition that made you decide to file for benefits.

For example, you have diabetes, but you follow a diet and take medication for it, and you continued to work with it for years, so it’s not a “disability” in your mind. But you had a heart attack causing heart muscle damage and you’re filing for disability now. You should list both your heart condition and the diabetes. So your answer to the first question should be “I have heart damage from a heart attack and I also have diabetes.”

Tip #3, include any mental health issues you have, such as depression or anxiety. These conditions can be enough to be approved for disability alone. So if you have medical problems,and mental health issues, don’t just list one or the other, list both.

Don’t leave anything out. You can’t count on Social Security finding out that you have something else wrong with you.

I recall a case years ago, a waitress filed for disability after she had a heart attack, and she was denied. She did not have any permanent damage to her heart, so she was told she could continue to do her past work. When she filed her appeal request, she said, “I can’t do waitress work anymore because of arthritis in my hips” Huh? Arthritis??? Did she mention that when she filed her claim? Um, no, she did not. She filed because she had a heart attack, and that’s all she listed on her form. In reality, she was filing because she was getting older, and just found waitress work too hard anymore. But she didn’t list ALL of her medical problems, and her claim was denied.

So, list ALL of your medical problems,

  • chronic conditions you have been dealing with,
  • the current condition that caused you to file a claim,
  • and don’t forget mental health issues.

Related Posts

The SSA-3368 form
Completing the SSA-3368 page 1