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Tips on Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with an Eating Disorder


Eating Disorders can sometimes prevent an individual from working. In some cases, these individuals maybe to able to turn to Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits from Social Security Administration (SSA) for financial assistance. The following tips provide a guideline of how to get started with the disability application process.

Tip #1: Understand What Types of Disorders Qualify

The two most common types of eating disorders that qualify someone for disability benefits are anorexia and bulimia. If you have either Anorexia or Bulimia, you will have to prove that either the mental or physical symptoms associated with condition prevent you from working.

Tip #2: Understand the medical Requirements to Qualify with Anorexia/Bulimia

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA will compare your condition to a listing of conditions known as the Social Security Blue Book. The Blue Book (http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/) contains a listing of all of the conditions that could potentially qualify an individual for benefits, along with the criteria that must be met in order to qualify under each condition.

People with Anorexia and Bulimia may qualify for disability by meeting the listing in section 5.08 for weight loss due to any digestive disorder. You must prove that despite ongoing treatment:

- Your malnutrition is caused by a digestive tract disorder, and

- Your body mass index (BMI) is less than 17.50 when taken at two consecutive times at least 60 days apart but within a six month time period.

It is possible to qualifying without meeting a Blue Book listing. In order to so, you will have to fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Form to prove that your disability prevents you from working at the job at which you have worked in the past or any similar job. For those with anorexia or bulimia, you might be able to prove through an RFC form that your lack of calories provided to the body significantly affects your ability to do any kind of physical work.

Tip #3: Make Sure You Qualify for Benefits Financially

If you are applying for SSDI benefits, your household income will not be a factor in the determination of your benefits. Instead, the SSA will review your work history and will determine whether or not you have enough work credits to qualify for benefits.

If you are applying for SSI benefits, you should make sure that you qualify financially before applying. SSI is a needs-based program and the SSA has put financial criteria in place to determine who does and who does not qualify for benefits. As of 2013, your household income cannot exceed $760 per month as an individual or $1,060 per month as a couple. Your household assets may also not exceed $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple.

Tip #4: Fill Out the Application with Detailed and Thorough Answers

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you will be asked to fill out a number of forms. It is crucial that you fill each form out in its entirety. You should also answer each question that is asked with very detailed answers. The more detailed your answers are, the easier it will be for the SSA to understand how your condition prevents you from performing any type of work activity. A lack of answers or a lack of detailed answers may result in the delay of your benefits or even a denial of your Social Security Disability claim.

Tip #5: Don't Give Up if You Are Denied

If you are denied benefits after the initial application process, do not give up hope. The fact is that nearly two-thirds of all applications are denied during the initial stage of the application process. The good news is that the majority of denied applicants go on to successfully obtain benefits through the process of a disability appeal. If you are denied benefits, you have 60 days from the date of the denial to appeal the SSA's decision.

You may want to retain the services of a disability lawyer to appeal a denial of benefits. Statistics show that applicants who obtain legal representation are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who do not.

Article by Ram Meyyappan Social Security Disability Help


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In Partnership with the American Eating Disorder Association- -SINCE 1999