Monthly Archives: July 2016

Set Up MySocialSecurity Account

Social Security has added new step to protect identity when creating or logging into MySocialSecurity account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

Starting in August 2016, Social Security is adding a new step to protect your privacy as a my Social Security user. This new requirement is the result of an executive order for federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services. Any agency that provides online access to a customer’s personal information must use multifactor authentication.

When you sign in at ssa.gov/myaccount with your username and password, we will ask you to add your text-enabled cell phone number. The purpose of providing your cell phone number is that, each time you log in to your account with your username and password, we will send you a one-time security code you must also enter to log in successfully to your account.

Each time you sign into your account, you will complete two steps:

Step 1: Enter your username and password.
Step 2: Enter the security code we text to your cell phone (cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply).
The process of using a one-time security code in addition to a username and password is one form of “multifactor authentication,” which means we are using more than one method to make sure you are the actual owner of your account.

If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone or you do not wish to provide your cell phone number, you will not be able to access your my Social Security account.

5 Tips for Completing the Function Report Form SSA-3373

5 Tips for Completing the Function Report Form SSA-3373

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) sends a claimant a Function Report Form to complete at both the Initial Application and Reconsideration Stages.  This Form is critically important for explaining how your disability affects you.  Your answers on the Function Report Form are used to show how you would function in a workplace and also are used at the Hearing Stage to show that your answers to how your disability affects you are consistent.

The Function Report Form is lengthy and detailed and can seem overwhelming for most claimants.  Here are 5 tips for making the process easier and more effective for your claim.

  1. Take Your Time and Give Detailed Responses

DDS sends the claimant the Function Report Form with a cover letter from the DDS Adjuster asking that the Form be returned within 10 days.  Unfortunately, the letter is often sent out well after the cover letter date and the 10 day deadline can come up very quickly.  While it is important to return the Function Report within the 10 days if possible, it’s more important to complete the Form with as detailed information as possible.  If you need an additional few days, call the DDS Adjuster on the cover letter and let him/her know that you need just a few more days.  This is generally not a problem and calling the DDS Adjuster lets them know that you are working on the Form.

  1. Answer this Question Last

Describe what you do from the time you wake up until going to bed.

This question appears on the first page of the Function Report and should be viewed as a summary of your answers to all the questions contained in the remaining pages.  This question tends to be the most overwhelming for claimants to answer so it makes things easier if you answer the shorter, easier questions first and return to this question afterwards.

  1. Don’t Feel Limited to the Spaces Provided in the Form

The last page of the Function Report Form provides additional space called the “Remarks” section.  You should feel free to provide more detailed information in the “Remarks” section referencing the question in the Form you are answering and even providing Additional Sheets with even more information if the space provided for each question is too small for your answer.

  1. Be Consistent

Ask someone else to review your answers to the Form, if possible, or take an extra hour or more to review your answers to make sure there are no inconsistencies.

  1. If Everyday is Not the Same, Write This in Your Answers

For many people with disabilities, each day and what happens and how you feel are not the same.  If this is true for you, write this in your answers to the Function Report Form.  One approach is to describe what a good day and bad day are like.  Then, estimate how many good days or bad days that you experience per week or per month.  Again, if you need additional space to explain the difference between good and bad days, take this extra space in the “Remarks” section or with Additional Sheets.

How the Lawyer Can Help

Our office has over 10 years of experience helping claimants complete the Function Report Form.  When you work with us, we complete the Form with you to make sure your answers can be fully understood by Social Security.