Could an eating disorder become a disability?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2022 | Social Security Disability

People are able to seek Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for both physical and mental disabilities. When asked for the stereotypical idea of someone who has a disability, a lot of people imagine someone who is sitting in a wheelchair because they have mobility issues, but it’s very important to know that it doesn’t always look like this. Many disabilities may be all but invisible to outsiders. 

For instance, perhaps you’re suffering from an eating disorder. Could this qualify as a disability? 

It can qualify if it impacts your ability to work

An eating disorder is not automatically a disability, as with other conditions, and the Social Security Administration has to determine if it impacts your ability to work and earn a living. If it does, though, an eating disorder like anorexia certainly could qualify and you may be entitled to benefits.

Anorexia is a condition in which people seek extreme weight loss, often by fasting or simply not consuming enough calories. This can get to be very unhealthy as they become malnourished and dehydrated, and they can lose too much weight.

Overcoming something like this takes a long time, but a person who is suffering from anorexia may realistically be too weak to work. They could be a high injury risk, as well, and they could be dealing with other types of mental or emotional trauma caused by the disorder. While they may not need a wheelchair or anything else so obvious, it’s clear that this is changing their life and they may need benefits for the future — at least while they seek treatment and recover.

Exploring your options

If you do have a condition that you believe is a disability, it’s wise to explore all the legal options that you have.