The Four Areas of Functioning: Part 1
When an individual submits an application for social security based on disability, a Social Security judge will consider the application and the four areas of functioning to determine if a person’s illness or disability is severe enough to prevent him or her from working. The first two areas of functioning to be considered by the judge are daily living and social functioning.
Daily living exactly what it sounds like. The activities in this area of functioning include cooking, cleaning, and laundry. The ability of an individual to function adequately on his or her own including brushing teeth, going to the grocery store, and paying rent and bills on time are very important for an individual to hold a job. If a person’s mental or physical disability prevents him or her from executing basic daily living skills, the level of disability may high enough that the person qualifies for disability social security.
If a person needs reminders for these very basic tasks or else they will not be performed, the person is said to have “marked restriction of activities of daily living.” This distinction is very important for proving that a mental or physical disability prevents an individual from working.
Some people with mental illnesses are unable to operate in social situations. They do not know when to say something or how to phrase something in a way that is not offensive to others. This social awkwardness may lead to evictions, firings, fear of strangers, and general social isolation. These things are all indicators that a person is unable to work because of a mental illness.