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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Social Security Disability Benefits for Obesity

  • Published: January 19, 2012

If you suffer from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Obesity is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a medically determinable impairment. If obesity makes working difficult or impossible for you, your Ocala disability lawyer may recommend that you file a claim for disability benefits.

In reviewing a disability claim based on obesity, the SSA will evaluate what work-related functions a claimant can perform despite the limitations caused by obesity. Obesity can severely limit a claimant’s ability to work for a number of reasons. For example, the obese claimant may have difficulty with job requirements such as walking, standing, sitting, stooping, and bending. He or she may suffer from fatigue caused by sleep apnea. Depression may also be a problem.

Although the SSA expects you to follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment, denial of benefits for failure to follow prescribed treatment rarely occurs in obesity cases. One reason is that a doctor’s advice to eat a better diet and exercise more is not a “prescribed treatment.”  Prescribed treatment must be a form of treatment prescribed by your doctor that is expected to restore your health and your ability to work.

Although drugs and surgery can be used to treat obesity, Medicare and most private health insurance plans do not cover these treatments. If your doctor prescribes drugs or surgery that you cannot afford to treat your obesity, you have a valid excuse for not following the doctor’s prescription.

If you believe you have a claim for Social Security disability benefits based on obesity, or any other medical condition, a knowledgeable and compassionate Ocala disability lawyer may be able to help. Please contact the CJ Henry Law Firm at (352) 304-5300 if you would like to talk to us about your case.

Claudeth Henry

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