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Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Will the disability judge consider the effect of my obesity and the fact that I was prescribed a cane?

Hi, I am wondering if I am considered disabled by Social Security with the following conditions. I have advanced degenerative arthritis in my spine, bone spurs in my neck, spine and hips, ossification of my anterior longitudal ligament, bridging osteophytes, my lower spine is straight with joint space narrowing, also joint space narrowing in my hips (I fall alot from this). My orthopedist prescribed me a cane, I have pain all the time from muscle spasms...also i am allergic to arthritis meds. I am 300 lbs, was 318 lbs.

I had my hearing the other day and the ALJ told me I needed to eat better and exercise. I replied that I can't use my legs very long. His reply was "use your arms and maybe later on your legs and you might feel better about yourself and not worry about falling so much. Even the vocational expert said I could be a housekeeper or cashier.

I am still awaiting my decision letter. I am almost certain he denied me. I thought the ALJ considered obesity and my cane when considering whether I'm disabled with my conditions.

It sounds like you have significant problems with regard to your arthritis, and I am sure you are in a lot of pain. Social Security changed their impairment listings a few years ago and removed the obesity listing. Now they consider your arthritis under musculoskeletal impairment listings with some consideration for obesity. It really makes it harder for individuals with obesity to be approved for disability, even when they have very serious medical conditions.

While I am not sure what they judge's decision will be, I do think that it may be a denial as well considering the suggestions of the vocational expert for jobs more than the judge's remarks. Still you never know until you have your actual decisional letter in hand.

Did you have a representative? If so, what did they think?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Am I disabled with degenerative arthritis, bone spurs in neck, spine and hips, and joint space narrowing?
Will Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and arthritis in my hands qualify for disability?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Filing for Disability
Osteoarthritis and Filing for Disability
Repetitive Stress Injury and Filing for Disability
Facet Arthritis and Filing for Disability
Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Filing for Disability
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
Psoriatic Arthritis and Filing for Disability
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Filing for Disability
Arthralgia and Filing for Disability

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What is qualifying for disability based on?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What are the SSI disability qualifications for Adults and Children?
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
Working while getting Disability - Is it Possible?
What is Social Security Back Pay?
What is the maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability?