Obesity can have a detrimental impact on many different aspects of your life. But can it interfere with your ability to hold a job? When obesity is established by objective medical evidence from an acceptable medical source (AMS), it may be considered a medically determinable impairment (MDI).
However, it’s important to note that obesity alone is not considered a disability. However, there are limitations that obesity may cause, which may be considered a disability. Obesity along with additional impairments may restrict one’s functions. Each case of obesity is evaluated based upon the specifics of the circumstances.
What Is Obesity?
Obesity occurs when an individual has an excessive amount of body fat and is determined based on physical examination, medical history, and body mass index (BMI). BMI is what is considered an acceptable weight for one’s height. Those with a BMI of 30.0 or higher are considered obese.
Obesity can be the result of a variety of factors, such as family history, genetics, metabolism, behaviors, and environment. It can also be caused in part by medications. However, there is no one specific BMI that makes obesity a severe impairment for purposes of disability.
Obesity may be associated with cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and endocrine issues and can increase one’s risk of developing additional diseases and health issues.
The SSA Looks at All the Evidence
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers whether someone qualifies for SSD benefits and looks at the severity of their obesity, they consider all of the evidence and look at any symptoms that could limit an individual’s functions. If an individual’s obesity (by itself or with another impairment) significantly limits his or her physical or mental ability to do basic work activities, then the impairment will be found to be severe.
The SSA will do an assessment of the effect of obesity on a person’s functioning when deciding whether the impairment is severe. The SSA will also consider whether the individual has any limits regarding exertional functions, such as standing, sitting, walking, pulling, pushing, lifting, and carrying.
Residual Function Capacity
The SSA will also evaluate an applicant’s “residual function capacity” (RFC) in order to determine the impact that their obesity has on their ability to perform daily tasks. All told, the SSA has the responsibility of determining whether you’re obesity impacts your ability to perform work. A knowledgeable and experienced SSD attorney can help to explain your options.
The Las Vegas SSD Attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Can Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know how to proceed. Fortunately, the attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your physical, emotional, and financial health. That’s why it’s our mission to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!