Odds are you have heard of the issues with obesity in the United States. It’s been called an epidemic, with the CDC putting the obesity prevalence at more than 42%.
Now, there are many reasons for obesity. Some individuals are more genetically predisposed and there is little they can do. Others are obese due to injuries that prevent them from working out. It’s easy to assume that nutritional decisions are the leading factor, but that’s not always the case. Many people find themselves dealing with a disheartening and dangerous condition through absolutely no fault of their own.
But, if it’s so common, does obesity count as a disability? Could someone be prevented from working and need to seek benefits because of their condition?
Obesity can be considered a disabling condition
The Social Security Administration notes that they look to see if someone has a medically determinable impairment (MDI). They go on to state that, on its own, obesity isn’t listed as an impairment. That said, the “functional limitations caused by the MDI of obesity, either alone or in combination with another impairment(s), may medically equal a listing.”
In general, extreme obesity can make it difficult for people to function normally, let alone work. Their weight may make it difficult for them to sit or stand in any given position for a long time. They may have damaged joints that limit their ability to walk, bend, kneel or do other manual moves that are necessary for a lot of jobs. They may also be prone to additional health problems, like diabetes, breathing disorders, sleep disturbances, pain, lymphedema and other conditions — all of which create even more functional difficulties.
Regardless of a person’s condition, seeking proper benefits can be a long and complex process, and they must know exactly what steps to take to get their Social Security Disability claim approved.