This ruling re-affirms that obesity is indeed a disability, and that those suffering from the debilitating and potentially fatal condition must be afforded the same rights and respect as others who are applying for benefits.
San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) May 27, 2014
National disability law firm Heard & Smith is commenting on the recent Federal Court ruling Whittaker v. America’s Car-Mart, Inc. (No. 1:13CV108), which could impact thousands of people who are in the process of, or will in the future, apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits on the grounds that they are disabled due to obesity.
The ruling, which was handed down on April 24, 2014 by the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division, affirmed that an individual’s obesity may be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regardless of whether it is necessarily caused by an underlying physiological condition – an insight that Joshua C. Eyestone, an experienced SSD lawyer in Heard & Smith’s Social Security Disability practice group, says could have far-reaching implications for individual SSD applicants and their dependents:
“Per its policy interpretation rulings, the Social Security Administration is supposed to regard `severe’ obesity as a standalone condition that may or may not be linked to another medically determinable physical or mental impairment,” commented Mr. Eyestone. “However, in practice some technically obese applicants who don’t have an underlying physiological condition – or have one that isn’t appropriately documented – find that their application is not approved, or that they face a level of scrutiny not experienced by applicants who have different disabilities.
“This latest ruling by the Federal Court is important because it re-affirms that obesity is indeed a disability, and that those suffering from the debilitating and potentially fatal condition must be afforded the same rights and respect as others who are applying for benefits.”
Individuals who wish to learn more about SSD benefits can visit the Social Security Disability section of Heard & Smith’s website at http://www.heardandsmith.com/ssdi_ssi.html, which contains helpful articles, a glossary of SSD terms, SSD FAQs, links to additional SSD resources and more. Access to the section is free, and no sign-up is required.
For more information, contact Joshua C. Eyestone at jeyestone(at)heardandsmith(dot)com or 210-820-3737.
About Heard & Smith L.L.P.
Heard & Smith helps thousands of clients each year get the disability benefits they are entitled to. The national disability law practice group at Heard & Smith represents deserving clients in all 50 states. Heard & Smith specializes in representing the disabled in Social Security Disability (SSD), and Veterans (VA) Disability matters.
Learn more at http://www.heardandsmith.com/