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Can you claim disability with an eating disorder?

by | Jul 18, 2018 | Firm News |

If you or a loved one suffers with an eating disorder, you have certainly lived through many frightening moments. An eating disorder can be one of the most comprehensive conditions to have, affecting you physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially and even financially. As much as you may try to maintain an appearance of living a normal life, it may become more difficult as your illness progresses.

When you finally decide it is time to seek treatment, you want to be sure to obtain the most thorough and intensive help available in Alabama. Recovery is difficult, and it may be a matter of life and death. This is why you may be exploring the option of seeking Social Security Disability Insurance for financial support while you work to get well.

Qualifying conditions

There are three major eating disorders — anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating — but many levels of each. Whichever your condition, you know that it can be disabling as your body struggles to maintain strength under the punishing effects of binging, purging or starving. Nevertheless, the Social Security Administration does not name any eating disorder in its list of conditions that would qualify you for SSDI.

To be eligible for SSDI, you must have a medical condition that doctors expect to last a year or longer. Your condition must meet the standards for one of the listed qualifying illnesses, even if it is not the illness itself. In other words, even if your main diagnosis is not anemia, for example, you can apply for SSDI based on your debilitating anemia that results from your eating disorder. An eating disorder may result in numerous medical complications that are among those approved for SSDI, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Organ failure
  • Debilitating weight loss

Each SSA listing for qualifying conditions has a set of standards to meet, and you can improve your chances of acceptance under any listing by submitting copious documentation to demonstrate that you meet those standards. This includes medical reports, doctor affidavits, testimonials from family and co-workers, and personal logs of how your condition affects your life and impairs your ability to work.

It is not unusual for the SSA to reject a claim for benefits, especially for a condition that is not technically named as eligible for SSDI. Nevertheless, with the strong advocacy of an experienced legal professional, you may be able to assemble a successful application.



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