How Obesity Factors Into Social Security Disability Benefit Claims

If current trends continue, the obesity rate in California is expected to increase from 23.8 percent in 2011 to 46.6 percent in 2030. This epidemic is a growing concern in the United States, with an estimated 30 percent of the adult population suffering from obesity. This poses major health risks- in California alone, 800,000 cases of diabetes could be prevented if residents lost an average of five percent of their body weight. Obesity, which is defined by the Social Security Administration as a chronic disease that is characterized by excessive amassment of body fat, can be so severe, that in some cases it keeps an individual from being able to work. The SSA used to allow those suffering from morbid obesity to qualify for disability, but recently removed obesity from its list of impairments, since many morbidly obese individuals can still function adequately at work.

An obese individual, however, may still qualify for disability if his or her condition is so severe that it impairs them from working. Most often the morbidly obese individuals who are awarded disability benefits suffer from severe orthopedic, arthritic, respiratory and cardiac impairments all stemming from their weight.

If you apply for Social Security Disability benefits due to obesity, you’ll most likely be denied at the initial stage, unless you have a resulting condition that is listed in the SSA guidelines. Two-thirds of all disability applicants with likely have their claim denied, and an appeal, even if successful, will most likely take several more years to come through.

The SSDI application process is quite daunting, and it’s statistically proven that applicants without representation are more likely to be denied. An Orange County social security disability benefits attorney can help an individual understand the nuances of what’s needed to advance a claim.

Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in 1981.