Terms to Know When Filing a Social Security Disability Claim

If you’re disabled and planning on filing a Social Security disability claim in Utah, you’ll likely come across an array of unfamiliar terms and acronyms. For many people, the jargon used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) causes a great deal of confusion – and what you need are clear, easy-to-understand definitions of important terms. The list below, from the professional team at Mountain West Disability, should help.

Social Security disability claim Utah

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

After you file your Social Security disability claim, the SSA will send you a questionnaire that asks you to describe your activities of daily living. ADLs are the basic tasks you do on a daily basis, such as bathing, cooking, shopping and taking care of pets.

Alleged Onset Date (AOD)

In a disability application, the alleged onset date is the date that the applicant became disabled and unable to work. Your AOD may play a role in the amount of backpay you receive – but, the SSA could conclude that your disability began on a different date.

Back Pay

Back pay is the amount of money a claimant would have received if their application for disability benefits had been immediately approved. Due to the lengthy processing time for disability claims in Utah, many applicants receive large lump sum payments.

Disability Determination Services (DDS)

Many disability claims in Utah are initially handled at one of the field offices, located in Ogden, Provo, St. George, Salt Lake City and South Jordan. Claims are then sent to the Office of Disability Determination Services in Salt Lake City for a decision on benefits.

Past Relevant Work (PRW)

In evaluating disability claims, the SSA considers an applicant’s job experience over the last 15 years, or their past relevant work. Defining your PRW can be difficult, as not all jobs qualify — and getting the list wrong could cause your application to be denied.

Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

After examining your records, the DDS will have a doctor, psychologist or other medical consultant make a residual functional capacity assessment. The RFC form rates your work abilities and limitations, and it will be used to determine if you can return to work.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

When assessing Social Security disability claims, the SSA looks at whether or not an applicant can perform substantial gainful activity. SGA is work that brings in a certain amount of money per month, and earning more typically results in a denial of benefits.

As you no doubt realize, filing an application for disability benefits can be rather complicated. The highly experienced attorneys and advocates at Mountain West Disability have helped hundreds of disabled individuals in Utah and throughout the country obtain the benefits they need. Our professional team is here to help you with every stage of the Social Security disability claim process. For a free consultation, contact us today.