In this world we clearly see obesity as an issue of health, but can it also create issues for a disability case? Unfortunately, being obese often does affect disability cases. Obesity is calculated using one’s BMI (Body Mass Index). The ratio of an individual’s height and weight is figured and if one’s BMI exceeds 30%, he or she is labeled obese. During a disability case, obesity is factored in to determine the end result.
Obesity often creates obstacles for individuals that others typically do not face in daily life. Basic work functions may be more difficult for those who have a BMI over 30%. Obesity also can lead to many diseases. The fact is the Social Security Advocacy takes obesity very seriously. Being obese can absolutely lead to being labeled disabled. It may not necessarily be an only factor into being disabled, for that is must be an extreme case. Those who are “severely” impaired because of it may end up being labeled disabled, however.
On the Social Security Advocacy website, they caution those who are obese. They hope to prevent those who are not obese to stay that way and aid those who are obese to no longer be ruled as disabled. One’s who have been labeled as obese can indeed be taken off of the list by increasing their health. To be considered “Medically Improved” by the SSA, one must lose and maintain at least a 10% body fat loss over a 12 month span. Cases will be evaluated and determined by the SSA.
As previously mentioned, the SSA takes obesity very seriously and has many reasons for doing so. The risks that obesity can have are tremendous and here are some of the major concerns: type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, hypertension, heart disease, vascular disease, stroke, and sleep apnea. If those risks are not enough to have an individual concerned about their health, there are still difficulties to come with being obese. Obesity can prevent people from doing typical work tasks such as carrying objects or standing for long periods of time. Those obstacles are also considered by the SSA when making rulings on cases.
If an individual is obese or borderline obese, what should they do? The best advice that anyone can receive is go to a doctor. A doctor can make an expert evaluation on whether or not the individual is in fact obese and then help the individual get back to better health. Regular check-ups with a doctor can also help with accountability. If one knows that a doctor visit is coming up, chances are they will want to come back in better shape than the previous visit. A professional in the health field will have quality advice for those struggling with obesity, and help prevent being labeled disabled.
Clearly the Social Security Advocacy does not take obesity lightly. It is seen as a real issue in the United States. It also a treatable issue, however, as seen by the SSA. Now one can know how obesity affects their disability case.