1. Claimants don't understand the purpose of forms they receive and don't complete them correctly. The SSA has a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services in each state. A real person in a unit of the state DHHS called "Disability Determination Services" will make the decision in your case when you apply. That person is called an Analyst. You will never spreak to this person to explain yourself. Your only chance to explain yourself is when you respond to Questionnaires the Analyst sends you. The Questionnaires will seem silly and there is a great temptation to rush through it. They will ask, Can you shop? First, note it sounds like a yes/no question. But, if you say "Yes," they will say "You can work." And, if you say, "No", they will say you are a liar - a bit less bluntly. Thus, you cannot treat it like a yes/no question. For example, a client with extreme bi-lateral carpal tunnel and can't use her hands, wanted to answer "Yes" to the Can you cook? question. Obviously, if she said yes, she was admitting she could use her hands - thus wasn't disabled. But if she'd said "No" - she would have been lying. Thus, the answer lies between yes and no. Your job is to explain in as much detail as possible how you shop now (i.e. you used to buy a gallon of milk. But, now you habe to buy quarts because you can't lift a gallon.) and how you cook now (i.e. no chopping of any vegetable ever; no use of anything other than paper plates and plastic cups due to breakage). You must prove your case. The only way to do that is to fully explain your story.
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