If you are suffering from malnutrition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may grant you disability benefits if you meet certain criteria. Many digestive disorders and diseases can deprive your body of the nutrients it requires to function properly. If you are unable to work and earn a living, you may qualify for disability for malnutrition.
Filing your application for disability benefits can be challenging, but the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help. Call 866-628-8179 today for a free consultation about your claim.
How Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits for Malnutrition?
In order to qualify for benefits, you must suffer from a qualifying medical condition that prevents you from working long-term.
In order to determine whether your condition qualifies as a disability, the SSA will first refer to its listing of impairments, also known as the Blue Book. While malnutrition is not listed by itself, it can often relate to the digestive disorders listed in Section 5.00 of the Blue Book. For instance, malnutrition can occur as a symptom of the following qualifying medical conditions:
- Crohn’s disease or another form of inflammatory bowel disease;
- Gastrointestinal hemorrhaging;
- Short bowel syndrome; and
You may also qualify under the listing for weight loss if you meet the following criteria:
- Your body mass index (BMI) must be less than 17.50 on two evaluations;
- Each evaluation must have occurred at least 60 days apart within six consecutive months; and
- You are continuing a prescribed treatment.
What If I Do Not Meet These Criteria?
If your malnutrition does not meet the listed criteria for any related conditions, do not lose hope. The SSA may still consider your application if your condition prevents you from working. If you have a medical condition that causes malnourishment, the SSA will consider you disabled if:
- You are unable to do the work you did prior to your illness;
- You are unable to take on other work due to your disability; and
- Your disability has lasted or will last for a year or more, or is likely to result in death.
As our attorneys help you prepare your application, our goal will be to prove to the SSA that your symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from working. Malnutrition can cause the body to shut down mentally and physically, and make it impossible for you to work. If you suffer from additional side effects, we will make sure the SSA understands how disabling these are in your daily life. Common side effects of malnutrition include:
- Neurological issues;
- Organ failure;
- Bone loss;
- Severe fatigue or weakness; and
How Can I Prove to the SSA That My Malnutrition Is Disabling?
Merely describing your symptoms is not enough. The SSA needs proof of these symptoms. That is why our attorneys will ensure you have as much documentation of your ailment as possible before you apply for benefits. If the SSA has enough medical evidence to confirm the severity and existence of your condition, it may approve your application. The SSA will look for proof of your condition, including:
- A description of your condition;
- The number and types of medical visits you have had;
- Past and future treatments and surgeries;
- Your prognosis; and
- Lab tests and imaging results.
If these records are not enough, the SSA may require a consultative exam to find out more about your condition. Your doctor or a third-party physician may conduct the exam. In either case, the doctor will give their honest opinion of your condition and whether they believe you are capable of holding a job.
Are There Other Qualifications I Must Meet to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
When it comes to disability benefits, it is not enough to suffer from a qualifying medical condition. To determine if you qualify for disability, the SSA will also examine your employment history, age, and income. If you meet the specific requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSA will consider you disabled and eligible for benefits.
Additional Criteria for the SSDI Program
The SSDI program requires people seeking disability benefits to have a certain number of work credits accumulated in order to qualify. Every year that you work and pay Social Security taxes on your paycheck, you can earn up to four credits. The number of credits you need to earn will depend on your wages, your age, the number of years you have worked, and how recently you last held a job.
Our attorneys can help you determine if you have earned enough work credits to qualify for the SSDI program. If not, you may be a candidate for SSI benefits.
Requirements for the SSI Program
If you do not have the work credits required to apply for SSDI, you may still qualify for disability benefits under the SSI program. If you fall below the strict income and personal asset limits, you may qualify for SSI benefits.
We can examine your finances to determine if you meet the requirements for this program. The SSA allows certain deductions and exemptions, so even if it seems like you earn too much to qualify, we may be able to help you get the benefits you need.
Our Attorneys Can Assist With Your Disability Benefits Claim.
Malnutrition can cause serious illness and keep you out of the workforce for a long time. You and your family may need disability benefits to provide financial stability during this difficult time. No matter where you are in the process, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help make sure you get the benefits you need and deserve for your malnutrition.
If you are applying for benefits for the first time, our attorneys will ensure you have the documentation and evidence needed to make a strong claim. If the SSA has rejected your claim or stopped your benefits prematurely, we will help you explore your appeal options to get the SSA to reconsider your claim. Call us at 866-628-8179 today to find out what we can do for you.