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How are eating disorders assessed by the SSA?

A severe eating disorder can disrupt the course of a sufferer’s life. While some may believe that eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are self-imposed conditions that individuals can control, these and other conditions are recognized as mental diseases and may qualify Oklahoma residents for disability benefits. To qualify, individuals who suffer from these mental conditions must meet certain criteria.

First, the eating disorder that the individual suffers from must be persistent and not be a short-term affliction. It must be documented through medical evidence, and the condition must be of such a severe nature that in affects the individual’s ability to consume or absorb food. Their affliction must also manifest in physical or psychological harm.

Second, the individual who suffers from the documented eating disorder must suffer an extreme limitation or other qualifying limitation in one of several categories. Those categories include the capacity to use and remember information, the ability to interact with other people, the ability to utilize concentration skills, and the ability to change or adapt to their situation. These categories generally relate to the skills and aptitudes individuals must possess to work and hold down jobs that bring them into contact with others.

Eating disorders are controlling mental conditions that can afflict victims for years. Though some individuals who suffer from them may be able to move past their disorders with treatment, others may never be able to break the cycle of disease that controls them. When their eating disorders are severe, documented, and impacting their lives, individuals may be able to apply and qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

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