Social Security Disability for HIV/ AIDS

Facts About Social Security Disability For HIV/ AIDS

In the medical world, some conditions are considered to be progressive in nature. HIV/AIDS falls into this category because there is a high chance that the virus will spread dangerously henceforth worsening the condition. The Social Security Administration lists HIV/AIDS as a disabling condition; hence, people living with HIV are considered to be disabled.

Disability for HIV/AIDS

HIV or AIDS Symptoms Required To Be Eligible For Disability Benefits

Your claim for disability benefits may be rubber-stamped if you are finding it hard to work because of your AIDS. However, just having HIV doesn’t automatically guarantee you disability benefits. Your condition must be severe enough to cause you significant functional limitations. The basis for deciding whether you deserve benefits is centered around your functional limitations and not just having the virus.

The SSA’s Guide For HIV Impairment Listing And Requirements For Qualification.

A claimant needs to satisfy certain criteria for them to meet the disability definition undoubtedly. Here is what is required:

Medical Indicators Needed to Exhibit HIV Infection

In the documentation required by the SSA, you should outline specific Positive HIV/AIDS tests. They include:

i. An immunoglobulin test.

ii. Tests to detect p24 antigen.

iii. Nucleic acid tests to detect HIV in RNA or DNA.

iv. HIV isolation through viral culture.

v. other particular lab tests utilized in the diagnosis of HIV.

If a claimant is missing one of the mentioned tests, they can prove they are infected if they display cancer or any of the opportunistic diseases associated with HIV positive patients.

Complications, Diseases or Infections Essential to Qualify for Disability

After proof of HIV infection, the complainant needs to authenticate that he or she is suffering from one of the opportunistic diseases or cancer common with HIV-infected persons below:

i. leukoencephalopathy

ii. Kaposi’s sarcoma

iii. Hodgkin’s disease

iv. Hamartoma of the lymphatics also known as Castleman Disease

v. A low CD4 count fewer than 50 cells/mm3

vi. Has less than 14 percent CD4 percentage, only if any of the following also exists:

a. A hemoglobin measurement fewer than 8.0 grams per deciliter, or
b. A body mass index of less than 18.5, or

vii. HIV infection complications that led you to be hospitalized more than thrice in one year.

Also, the infection must significantly deter you from engaging in any of the following:

i. Day to day activities
ii. Normal social functioning
iii. Finishing tasks on time

Residual Functional Capacity

If a claimant still doesn’t qualify under the aforementioned listings, the SSA rates the residual functioning capacity (RFC) of the claimant to determine whether they are eligible to get disability benefits under a medical-vocational allowance. The RFC of the claimant is vital because it discloses whether he or she is adjudged to be able to do light, medium or sedentary work.

You can seek help from your local AIDS organization so that they can advise you on how to go about the process of filing a claim. It is highly recommended that you also involve a disability advocate for HIV/ AIDS. If and when you get the social security check, you can live a fulfilling life with the conditions for decades as long as you take the required medication accompanied with regular checkups.

Need Help Getting Your Disability Claim Approved?

If you or a loved one need help getting your disability claim approved, contact a GAR Disability Advocate today for a free consultation.

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