SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1607. What is lay evidence of incapability

Lay evidence is any non-legal or non-medical information that helps us understand how a beneficiary functions in day-to-day life. For example, it may be evidence of how the beneficiary has been managing any available funds, prior to Social Security payments, to meet his or her daily needs.

Some typical examples of lay evidence are:

  1. Our observations (during a face-to-face interview) of the beneficiary’s behavior, reasoning ability, how he or she functions with others and how effectively he or she pursues the claim; or

  2. Any signed statements from people (such as relatives, close friends, neighbors or landlords) who are in a position to know of the beneficiary's ability to manage his or her funds.

Last Revised: Nov. 16, 2010