According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, 35.7 of adults over the age of 20 are considered obese. In some instances, weight has had a significant impact on the lives of obese people. Some have even had to give up working. If you are obese and unable to work, you might be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Here is what you need to know.
Can You Receive Disability Benefits Solely Due to Weight?
In the past, obese applicants could receive disability benefits based solely on their weight. The theory was that at a certain point, a person's weight impacted his or her ability to work and function on a day-to-day basis. However, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, has made it more difficult to qualify for benefits based on weight.
In order to qualify, a person now has to prove that the weight has limited him or her to the point that working is impossible. For instance, if you develop inflammatory arthritis as a result of being obese, you can potentially qualify for benefits if the condition is severe enough to affect your mobility.
What Can You Do to Qualify?
One of the most important steps you can take is to receive medical treatment. Your medical records can help document the physical and mental problems that your weight has caused and could be instrumental in making the case for benefits.
It is important to note that one of the factors that the SSA looks at is whether or not you are following doctor's orders. It is not uncommon for applicants to be denied because they have not. If your doctor has provided you with a guideline to lose weight and you have not followed it, the SSA could choose to deny your application.
In addition to receiving treatment, you need to also be detailed on the Residual Functional Capacity form you have to complete. The form asks questions about how your weight has impacted your ability to work and function from day-to-day. You should view the form as your chance to convince the SSA that you are unable to work.
When documenting your weight-related issues, be as specific as possible. For instance, instead of saying that you cannot stand, note the maximum amount of time that you can stand and how it impacts your ability to work.
To improve your odds of being approved for disability based on weight, work with an attorney, such as one from Duncan Disability Law SC.