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Obesity, the “complex, chronic disease characterized by excessive accumulation of body fat,” is an impairment for which individuals can receive Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, provided certain criteria are met.

Determining Obesity Disability Benefits

Once diagnosed by a medical provider as being obese or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) that falls within the medically accepted range for obesity, a claimant must prove that their obesity is “severe.” Generally, severity can be shown when the obesity (alone or in combination with another medically determinable condition) significantly limits the individual’s ability to perform basic work activities. In considering the severity of an individual’s obesity, SSA will consider any effects of the condition, including fatigue and pain.

If the finding is that a claimant’s obesity is a severe impairment, SSA will consider the claimant’s ability to perform exertional and non-exertional functions, including but not limited to:

  • Walking
  • Sitting
  • Standing
  • Pushing
  • Pulling
  • And reaching

SSA will also consider endurance, fatigue, and the ability to tolerate heat, cold, or hazards when making a decision. If SSA finds that the individual has significant functional impairments that have or will prevent the individual from working for at least a year, SSD benefits can be awarded.

If we can be of assistance to you regarding obesity disability benefits, please call us at (301) 563-6685 or toll-free at (888) 558-7871. You can also complete one of the contact forms directly on our website, and we will contact you for a consultation with one of our lawyers for social security disability located in Silver Spring, MD.

We have significant experience representing clients seeking disability benefits. For more information and how you may be impacted, contact one of our Disability Benefits attorneys, Elliott Andalman and  Peter Casciano.