Search This Blog

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Social Security Disability- Obesity

Obesity, a disease characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher, has become a massive issue across the United States. Excess body weight can make it nearly impossible for some sufferers to perform every day tasks like driving, bathing, or even walking. Obesity used to be on the Social Security Administration's (SSA) list of medical impairments, allowing sufferers to claim Social Security disability benefits if their obesity prevented them from holding down gainful employment. However, now that the listing has been removed, claimants can no longer point to obesity as their sole disability to receive benefits.

There are still two ways in which obese claimants can become eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

1. The obese claimant is suffering from additional ailments, perhaps caused by their obesity. Obesity can cause severe conditions, ranging from heart disease to diabetes, most of which are on the SSA's list of medical impairments. You or your disability attorney can submit a claim using the subsequent listed condition instead of obesity to make your claim. Be sure to note in your claim the ways in which the condition, combined with your obesity, has affected your ability to work.

2. The claimant can apply for a medical vocational allowance. A medical vocational allowance is for claimants who can prove that their disability prevents them from working, despite its absence from the SSA's list of medical impairments. Your physician, or a Social Security physician, must provide the court with a statement of residual functional capacity (RFC). RFC statements specify exactly what activities your condition prevents you from performing.

If an individual suffers from a condition that is a listed impairment and the effects of individual's obesity increase the severity of the other medical condition that an individual can be found to meet or equal a listed impairment due in part to the obesity. In other words, if a claimant has a medical condition on the listings of impairments that by itself does not meet or equal a listing, the fact that the individual is obese may complicate that medical conditions further to where it does meet the listing and therefore the individual can be found disabled at this step of their SSDI claim.

SSA will find that a listing is met if an impairment in combination with obesity meets the requirements of a listing. For example, obesity may increase the severity of coexisting or related impairments to the extent that the combination of impairments meets the requirements of a listing. This is especially true of musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular impairments.

This may be true for mental disorders. For example, when evaluating impairments under mental disorder listing 12.05C, obesity that is "severe" satisfies the criteria in listing 12.05C for a physical impairment imposing an additional and significant work-related limitation of function.

Call your Michigan Social Security Disability attorneys today at 1-866-540-0677 to help you file for Social Security Disability benefits if you suffer from a physical or mental illness. If you are in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County or anywhere else in Michigan and need help with your Social Security Disability case, contact our office at

No comments:

Post a Comment