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Social Security Disability Insurance – Obesity

Morbid obesity is a medical condition characterized by the excess accumulation of body fat. Adults who are obese have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater, and morbidly obese adults have a BMI of 40 or greater. Morbidly obese adults often have difficulties with mobility and several medical problems and illnesses.

However, in order to quality for SSI or social security disability, obese individuals must be diagnosed with a condition that is proven to limit their mobility and functional capabilities.

Although obesity was listed in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments for Disability at one point, it was removed in 1999.

However, you can still qualify for disability in spite of that fact. The reasoning behind its removal was the fact that many obese people are capable of leading productive lives, however morbidly obese people are often impaired to the point where they can hardly function.

As is often the case, morbidly obese individuals often have a variety of other conditions that can also make them eligible for disability payments such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular conditions, respiratory conditions, arthritis, some cancers, sleep apnea, digestive illnesses and many others.

Many of these conditions are listed in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments for Disability and if a morbidly obese suffers from them, he or she may have a greater chance of qualifying.

In the circumstance that a person’s obesity combined with their other illnesses doesn’t meet SSA’s impairment requirements, the person’s “residual functional capacity” (RFC), or their ability to perform work, will be assessed, including the person’s ability to walk, stand, sit, and other movements required for work and functioning.