Social Security Disability and Morbid Obesity

by DISABILITY PROFESSIONALS on May 3, 2013

post-1No one can deny that obesity is a looming problem in the United States. You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, but only if it causes or contributes to listed impairments that Social Security already awards benefits for, or if your obesity severely limits your functioning.

To be considered obese, a person must have a body mass index (BMI) 30 or more. Morbidly obese adults have a BMI of 40 or more.

Obesity can be part of metabolic syndrome, which involves a large abdomen, insulin resistance, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure. To qualify for Social Security or SSI disability; however, an individual needs more than a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome or even diabetes. They also mobility need to have suffered from  cardiovascular disease or have limited functional abilities and mobility.

The SSA considers obesity under the impairment listings only if the limitations it causes are equal to those in an impairment listing or if it causes or contributes to other listed impairments. If, for example, your obesity inhibits your walking capabilities in a manner equal to the impairment listing for a weight bearing joint, you could qualify for benefits.

As far as obesity causing or contributing to other impairments, it is often linked to musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular conditions as well as to diabetes-related problems of high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, sleep apnea, stroke, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers.

If your obesity doesn't combine with another impairment to meet any of the SSA's impairment listings, the SSA will assess your "residual functional capacity" (RFC) -- what you can do in a work situation, and determine if you should be awarded benefits.

If the SSA denies your claim, the staff at Disability Professionals can help prepare the appeal and gather further evidence to support your claim for benefits.

Getting Legal Help

If you or a loved one needs to pursue a disability claim or wishes to discuss claim eligibility, give Disability Professionals a call at 855-201-9569 or email Disability Professionals  to set up your appointment today.

 

 

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