Although you may think that obesity is not a disability, it is sometimes viewed as one by the Social Security Administration. There are certain requirements a case of obesity usually needs to meet to qualify for disability benefits. We at Adler Stilman, PLLC, know it is important for you to understand these requirements.
The Social Security Administration says that when you apply for disability benefits because of your obesity, you typically need an official diagnosis from your doctor. Your weight will usually be considered over a period of time so the SSA can determine if you have a history of obesity. If you have not been officially diagnosed, you can typically still apply for disability benefits. In these circumstances, the SSA generally uses current medical knowledge to determine whether your body mass index and weight indicate obesity.
Your level of impairment is also one of the factors that determines whether you qualify for disability benefits. The SSA generally looks at the ailments you have developed because of your obesity. These can include vascular disease and hypertension, as well as musculoskeletal problems such as osteoarthritis. Mental impairments are also usually considered, as you may experience drowsiness or have problems concentrating if you have sleep apnea. Additionally, the SSA considers your ability to perform daily actions such as carrying and lifting.
In addition to long-term health problems, obesity can keep you from working in some circumstances. To receive disability benefits, you typically need to prove that your obesity is serious enough to be considered a disability. More information on this subject can be found on our webpage.