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DisabilityCan I Get Disability For Being Obese?

October 25, 2021

Obesity is commonplace in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 42.4% of Americans are obese — a 26% increase since 2008. If your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30, you are considered obese. 

Obesity can lead to other medical issues. It also can impact mobility. This blog looks at obesity and whether it qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O, has helped disabled Nebraskans and Iowans navigate the confusing, lengthy claims process. If you are disabled and can’t work, give us a call. 

 Social Security Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O.’s Social Security Disability team can help you secure benefits needed  to support yourself. Chellsie Weber, our wildly successful and experienced disability attorney, and Abby Reid, our wonderful and thorough disability paralegal, can offer support and advice as it pertains to your disability and the benefits approval process. Remember, you’re more likely to have a successful disability claim with an attorney by your side. Call us today at 402-991-2100. You also can share your story here.

Do I Medically Qualify For Disability Benefits if I Am Obese? 

The SSA defines obesity as a “chronic and complex disease “and it is “characterized by an accumulation of body fat.” Again, a BMI of 30 and above is considerd obsese, though those with a BMI of 40 or greater are considered morbidly obese. That means the level of obesity is more likely to result in death. 

 When determining a person’s level of obesity, healthcare providers  look at excess fat. If an individual has a significant portion of weight from muscle, their BMI could be elevated — but they are not obese. Or, if someone has a BMI in the normal range with little muscle, they could have an unhealthy body weight resulting from too much body fat, even if they don’t look overweight. 

At one time, obesity was listed as an impairment in the Blue Book, which is used by the SSA. However, that listing was removed in 1999 with the approach that such applicants can maintain gainful employment and live productive lives. To be approved for disability benefits because of obesity today, you must show your limitations are equivalent to a listing — and that it causes or contributes to additional impairments. For example, if obesity affects mobility and you can meet the criteria of the major dysfunction of a weight bearing joint, then your disability claim could be approved. An attorney by your side makes this more likely. 

What Health Problems Can Obesity Cause? 

Obesity can contribute to or cause cardiovascular issues, musculoskeletal conditions, respiratory disorders, diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, cancers, stroke or arthritic disorders. Hard medical evidence and other supporting documentation showing the severity of your condition is required, as is how it stops or inhibits your ability to earn a living. 

The SSA will consider how obesity affects your ability to function alongside the other medical conditions you suffer. If obesity causes you to extreme fatigue or severe pain, you may suffer more limitations than someone who isn’t obese. Your disability attorney will be able to review your medical records and the details of claim to determine if you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Your obesity, along with any other impairments, will be given joint consideration to determine if you meet the requirements of a Blue Book listing. 

How Do I File a Disability Claim for Obesity? 

If you are obese and you are unable to work because of your size or any accompanying medical issues, call the disabilty team at Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O, to consult with an experienced disability attorney who can help you with the Social Security disability claims process. 

About Watson & Carroll 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a medical malpractice case or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld. 

Our firm can help. Call 402-991-2100 or email contact@watsoncarroll.com. You also can fill out our confidential contact form.

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