Obesity

Obesity is a tricky subject when it comes to Social Security disability benefits.  You cannot be considered disabled on the basis of your obesity alone.  However, obesity can be considered as part of your disability if it is exacerbating or worsening your other disabling medical conditions.  For instance, if you have knee arthritis, then your obesity could worsen your disabling limitations of function by putting pressure on your knees as you walk.  In other words, even if your knee arthritis is relatively mild, your obesity could cause you to have severe limitations in your ability to stand and walk.

However, and here’s the key, you must be doing everything in your power to do what you can do to lose weight.  Many people tell me that they are doing everything they can do but still not losing weight.  You can still prove your efforts by going on a named diet (a formal diet, not just trying to eat less), keeping a food log and documenting your attempts at exercise.  Be sure to share all this with your doctor.  When we contact your doctor, she will need to confirm that you are truly trying.

Often people who are obese and have orthopedic issues or fibromyalgia find it very difficult to exercise.  If that is the case for you, we usually recommend that you see if you can get a referral through your doctor for water aerobics.  Everyone can do water aerobics.  Judges love it when they see that someone has participated in water aerobics because it shows that you are doing everything you can do to help yourself.  Almost every YMCA has a program.