Eating Disorders; PKU, etc.

Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia are not included as one of the categories in the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. However, these conditions can still be incapacitating and can affect your ability to work and/or function in your daily life.  If you have an eating disorder, and it has affected your body to the point where you have severe limitations of function, then you still might be able to obtain disability benefits.  There a number of conditions that can be caused or exacerbated by an eating disorder such as osteopenia or osteoporosis, ulcers, abnormal heart rhythms, depression and seizures.  These conditions will be assessed according to the regulations that address those conditions.

Sometimes if you have a condition that is similar to another condition listed under the regulations in terms of its effects you can argue that your condition “meets or equals” that listing.  Weight loss due to a digestive tract disorder is included in the SSA’s listing of impairments.  There is a table under that listing that spells out how low your body mass index (“BMI”) needs to be in order to be considered disabled.  Under section 5.08, if your BMI is less than 17.50 when taken at two consecutive times at least 60 days apart but within a six month time period then you could successfully argue that your eating disorder meets or equals the requirements of section 5.08.

As with all conditions that could lead to disability, ultimately the question is can you work.  If you are too weak and ill to work and your doctor supports you in saying that then you could have a good case for disability.  It is best if you have seen a specialist, or preferably multiple specialist, and you have been compliant with their recommended treatment to the best of your ability.

PKU is a disease in which the sufferer cannot digest a certain amino acid, phenyalanine. Eating every very small amounts of this substance will cause severe, permanent mental and physical disability. That can disable.

Even if it doesn’t, the meticulous monitoring that is necessary to prevent that damage can disable children.