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eating disorder


The SSA has added eating disorders to their disability criteria in the listed impairments.  If you have an eating disorder that impacts you physically or mentally, it is possible that you could be granted disability benefits.  For example, if you have Anorexia, you may have difficulty with your memory, interacting with others, and concentrating. If you can’t concentrate or remember instructions, you may be unable to work.

You must have objective medical evidence to present to the SSA about you impairment. In the case of an eating disorder, this evidence should be from your treating doctors. For example, you may have evidence from your psychologist that would help. Likewise, you may have records from a treating counselor. These records would document depression. Or, they may document other mental issues. Additionally, your primary care doctor should record your weight over a 12 month period.


If you have anorexia or bulimia, the same advice applies. The most important thing you can do for yourself is seek treatment. You will need a record of any hospitalization. You will also need record of any visit to your doctor.  Also, get the records if you have treatment from a clinic or in-patient stay. The SSA will ask you to provide the names and addresses of your treating providers. Additionally, you will need to provide a list of your medications. It is possible that your eating disorder is a life-long problem. Therefore, it is smart to start collecting your medical information now. Because you will want to submit all of it to the SSA.

It is also important for you to understand how the SSA will evaluate your disability. They will use the listed impairments. The listed impairments is a “list” of the impairments that the SSA considers to be disabling. Most physical and mental impairments are part of the SSA’s listings. Below please find the criteria for eating disorders that the SSA considers.


Anorexia is a serious eating disorder. People with anorexia have abnormally low body weight and an intense fear of gaining weight. They may also have a distorted perception of their weight or the way they look. People with anorexia limit their calories in order to control their weight and shape.

When you have anorexia, you excessively limit the calories you eat every day. Or, you use other methods to lose weight. For example, you may exercise too much. Likewise, you may use laxatives, diet aids, or vomit after eating. Efforts to reduce your weight can cause severe health problems. Some people with anorexia die from self-starvation.


Bulimia can be a life-threatening eating disorder. When you have bulimia, you binge and purge the food that you eat. Many people with bulimia also restrict their eating during the day. This can lead to a cycle of more binge eating and purging.

During these binge eating and purging episodes, you eat a large amount of food in a short time, and then try to rid yourself of the extra calories by vomiting. Because of the intense fear of gaining weight, a person with bulimia may force themselves to vomit. Or, they may exercise too much to get rid of the calories.


Eating patterns that may show an eating disorder or even unhealthy eating behavior are listed below. Teenagers are more susceptible to peer pressure and that may trigger an eating disorder. Eating disorder patterns may include:

  • Skipping meals or making excuses for not eating
  • Adopting an overly restrictive vegetarian diet
  • Making own meals rather than eating what the family eats
  • Persistent worry or complaining about being fat and talk of losing weight
  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws
  • Repeatedly eating large amounts of sweets or high-fat foods
  • Use of dietary supplements or laxatives for weight loss
  • Excessive exercise
  • Problems with loss of tooth enamel that may be a sign of repeated vomiting
  • Leaving during meals to use the toilet
  • Expressing disgust or shame about eating habits
  • Eating in secret at odd hours

If you have any of these behaviors, you may need treatment for an eating disorder.


In order to meet eligibility for SSD & SSI benefits, you must have all of the criteria below. If you have all of the elements of the listing, then you meet the criteria. Likewise, if you have all of the elements of the listing and you have additional impairments, you may equal the listing.

12.13 Eating disorders (see 12.00B10), satisfied by A and B:

  1. Medical documentation of a persistent alteration in eating or eating-related behavior that results in a change in consumption or absorption of food and that significantly impairs physical or psychological health.


  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning (see 12.00F):
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information (see 12.00E1).
    2. Interact with others (see 12.00E2).
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (see 12.00E3).
    4. Adapt or manage oneself (see 12.00E4).

The difficulty in meeting the listing occurs when you need to prove the Part B criteria. Having a marked limitation in two areas or an extreme limitation in one area must be shown with your medical records. You will need your treating physician to document the elements of the listing.

Feet on bathroom scale with junk food garbage eating disorders


If you feel you cannot work due to eating disorders, contact our office for help. Contact Cannon Disability Law at 801-322-2121. We can often tell you over the phone whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. If you have worked consistently, you may qualify for SSD benefits. If you do not have a work history, you may still be eligible for SSI benefits. You can apply for disability benefits online at Social Security’s website.

If you are searching for the best attorney for your disability case, you are in the right place. Cannon Disability Law serves clients in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. We also have clients in California. California Disability information is available here. We also have clients in Washington, Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon. Wherever you live, we can come to you. If the SSA schedules a hearing for you, it will be near your home. So, we will travel to where you live to assist you. Also, we will answer your questions for free over the phone. While there is no obligation for you to become our client. We do want to be your legal team.


One thing you should know is it doesn’t cost anything to call us. We offer a free consultation. It also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This is a contingency fee. It means if we win, you pay an attorney fee out of your back benefits. If you do not win, then there is no attorney fee to pay. If there are costs in your case, such as paying for a copy of medical records, then you pay that cost. However, the costs in most disability cases is less than $100. If you lose your disability claim, then you will not pay an attorney fee. But, you will still pay costs of obtaining records.

If you have questions about attorney fees, call us. Additionally, if you have worries about paying for the costs of your claim, then call us. Let’s talk about it. We believe we will be able to answer your questions. And, we hope to put your worries to rest. Dealing with a disability and the inability to work is a huge transition in your life. You do not need more worries. Our goal, as your disability legal team, is to make things easier for you.

Dealing with eating disorders is hard. You need to seek treatment and deal with your eating disorder. It is important to have a relationship with your treating doctor. Make sure you follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Your time needs to be spent on feeling better. Let us help you with your disability claim. We have the legal experience you need. Give us a call. We can help you today. Or, contact us on this website. Every day you wait, is a day without benefits.


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