Involuntary Weight Loss –Condition and Symptoms
Clinically significant weight loss has been generally defined as a decline in normal body weight by greater than five percent over a period of 6 to 12 months. Some weight loss is natural with aging. For example, a loss of 0.1 to 0.2 kilograms (about 3.5 to 7.0 ounces) each year would be normal weight loss in a healthy human. However, anything more without induced abnormality (for example, from dieting), would be considered unintentional weight loss.
Involuntary weight loss is a symptom of other problems, rather than a disease on its own. Involuntary weight loss is one adverse effect brought on by other health problems, but it increases the sufferer’s chances of mortality and adds to their disability.
Unintentional weight loss can be the result of identifiable or unidentifiable diseases, which generally include:
Nevertheless, the root cause of weight loss cannot be determined for one in every four adults with involuntary weight loss. Of all basic remedies, in place of forcing feeding, the most common treatment is the addition to the patient’s diet of protein supplements between meals, in order to increase their intake of calories and energy.
It is advised to hire a nutrition expert or a dietician to look into the problem and help resolve it through monitoring and intake management. There is also the availability of pharmacologic treatment. However, the long-term effects of medications remain unclear.
Filing for Disability Benefits with Involuntary Weight Loss
Being a somewhat vague problem, involuntarily weight loss is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of a disease. It is therefore possible to apply for to the Social Security Administration for disability benefits--with involuntary weight loss as a reason--under a larger range of listed disabilities. For example, your involuntary or unintentional weight loss may be caused be digestive problems or immunity issues.
With digestive problems, the sufferer can apply under listing 5.08, which specifically addresses “weight loss due to any digestive disorder.” In order to be eligible under this section, the patient or applicant should have taken medication and undergone treatment as directed by a physician. Also, the patient’s BMI must have been recorded below 17.50 on two occasions within six months, with a minimum of 60 days as an interval between the two recordings.
Applicants for whom immune system disorders caused their unintentional weight loss should apply for benefits under a different section, specifically under listing 14.00. The diseases under this listing include:
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Systemic Vasculitis
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Inflammatory arthritis
Regardless of the diagnosis, however, you will be eligible for social security disability benefits only if your condition has reached such a stage that it limits your social interaction, limits your ability to complete general daily activities, or distracts your concentration or persistence in accomplishing an otherwise simple task.
Your Involuntary Weight Loss Disability Claim
Since weight loss may occur due to a plethora of problems, it can be a difficult task to determine the correct section under which to apply for disability benefits. Instead, to choose the right approach—and thus, to have a good chance of having your application accepted--requires the exceptional experience and knowledge that a disability attorney provides.
Consider that the Social Security Administration receives a huge number of disability benefit applications every day. Given that there is a large volume of applications to be reviewed, the SSA might delay or overlook legitimate applications. This is when an experienced disability attorney can help, because a disability attorney provides experience, knowledge and skill set.
With these qualities, the disability attorney increases the chances your application for social security disability benefits will be given a fair review. If you’d like to speak to a disability attorney about your involuntary weight loss case, please fill out our Free Disability Evaluation.