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Can I Get Disability Benefits For Obesity?


The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists obesity as a complex and chronic condition due to excessive body fat. If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more, you are considered obese. Morbid obesity is defined as anyone with a BMI over 40.

If you are obese or morbidly obese, that alone won’t qualify you for disability benefits. You must show your obesity leads to conditions in the SSA’s special set of rules or that because of your obesity, you’re unable to work.

Social Security’s rule recognize many conditions are affected by obesity, like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Arthritis

Basically, the SSA will look at your obesity to see if, if your situation leaves you unable to work. If so, you should be eligible for disability benefits.

Winning Disability Benefits For Obesity Is Complex

Because the SSA removed obesity from its special rules in 1999, winning a case for obesity is no longer as straightforward as it once was. If obesity plays an important role in why you are no longer able to work, you should consider getting help from a disability attorney.

A disability lawyer, like one from Nash Disability Law, can look at your claim for benefits from top to bottom to learn how obesity limits your ability to work. Working with medical experts, a lawyer can form a case to show how your obesity (and any other important conditions you have) should qualify you for disability benefits.

You should know that most people who apply for disability benefits are denied. But, if you are denied, you can appeal your case to an Administrative Law Judge. Most cases are won when presented before an ALJ, but you must be prepared. You will need to gather all of your medical evidence and work history evidence to prove to the judge that you can no longer work because of your obesity and/or other conditions.

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