Can I Receive Disability Benefits For Obesity?

A common source of confusion for people applying for Social Security disability is the way that disability is defined by Social Security, and the way that it’s viewed in the popular imagination. Misconceptions and stereotypes abound in popular culture, leading some to believe that without a wheelchair or other mobility aid, you aren’t really disabled.

There are also misconceptions about how Social Security determines who is disabled and who isn’t. People who apply for Social Security disability may be looked at with suspicion if their qualifying disability is a common one, like depression or fibromyalgia, even if they’re approved. Other people believe that approvals and rejections are completely arbitrary and without any regard for the diagnosis.

For a person whose disability is related to obesity, these misconceptions can be especially confusing. Many people don’t think of obesity as a disability, but the effect that it can have on a person’s health and mobility isn’t much different from many other medical conditions. Nonetheless, in 1999, Social Security removed obesity from the list of qualifying conditions.

How Obesity Can Affect Your Disability Claim

If obesity impacts your ability to work and you apply for disability, you don’t have to worry about this condition automatically disqualifying you. Rather, Social Security has simply tightened the requirements for people seeking disability for no other reason than being very overweight. If you’re one of these people, all this means is that you’ll have to explain how your obesity creates obstacles to maintaining employment.

More than likely, these obstacles will be co-occurring medical conditions. As obesity has a far-reaching impact on a person’s overall health, the Social Security Administration will likely have to consider the combined effects of your weight and related impairments. Because of this, it’s important to be honest about the role that your obesity plays in your inability to work. This may help you more than anything else.

Obesity, like many other health conditions, is frequently misunderstood by people who aren’t directly affected by it. If you’re seeking disability payments for obesity or related conditions, don’t let misinformation add to the stress that you’re already experiencing. Contact a disability attorney like Katherine, who can guide you through every step of the application process with as little discomfort as possible. For a free consultation, call, email, or text us today point!