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Obesity And Disability

In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) recognized Obesity as a disease.

It may surprise you to know that SSA was ahead of the AMA regarding obesity. In 2002, SSA release SSR 02-1p, which guides judges regarding the evaluation of obesity. It recognizes that “obesity is a “severe” impairment when, alone or in combination with another medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s), it significantly limits an individual’s physical or mental ability to do basic work activities.” It also recognizes the impact that obesity can have on physical and mental health:

“Obesity is a risk factor that increases an individual’s chances of developing impairments in most body systems. It commonly leads to, and often complicates, chronic diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal body systems. Obesity increases the risk of developing impairments such as type II (so-called adult onset) diabetes mellitus-even in children; gall bladder disease; hypertension; heart disease; peripheral vascular disease; dyslipidemia (abnormal levels of fatty substances in the blood); stroke; osteoarthritis; and sleep apnea. It is associated with endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and other physical impairments. Obesity may also cause or contribute to mental impairments such as depression. The effects of obesity may be subtle, such as the loss of mental clarity and slowed reactions that may result from obesity-related sleep apnea.”

Obesity is an often overlooked severe impairment. If you have obesity, be sure to gather evidence that shows how your obesity impacts your ability to perform basic work activities. Call Yancey Disability at 760-999-2299 for a free consultation.


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  • Rancho Santa Fe Office
    16950 Via de Santa Fe
    Suite 5060-117
    Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067
    Phone: 760-999-2299
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