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HIV and Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney Serving Cook and Lake Counties

What Is HIV/AIDS?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV infection can occur in a number of ways: through breast milk, semen, blood, and vaginal fluid. Once HIV has been transferred, it begins by infecting important cells in the immune system, such as CD4 and T cells. Once infected, these cells slowly diminish. Once CD4 and T cell counts reach very low levels, this poses significant risk to other systems of the body and can be life-threatening.

There is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS. There is also no consensus in the medical community at what CD4 count therapy should begin. Fortunately, the advances in modern science have improved drastically over the years and treatments have significantly increased the life expectancy for someone diagnosed with HIV. Medications have progressed so much that many people with HIV are able to live normal lives. Dispite advancements, it can be difficult to hold down a full time job, and this could create a need for Social Security disability benefits.

Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits If I Suffer From HIV Or AIDS?

HIV/AIDS is recognized by the Social Security Administration! In the past, it was much easier to receive disability benefits if you had this troubling disease. The Social Security Administration used to tend to approve HIV and AIDS cases if an individual had below a certain CD4 count and seemed to do so at a pretty high rate. Now, in order to win your disability case you will have to prove that your condition is symptomatic. In other words, the medical advances in HIV and AIDS treatments have had the alternate effect of making it more difficult to win a HIV/AIDS disability case. However, if HIV or AIDS prevents you from working for at least 12 months, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits. When you apply for disability benefits with HIV/AIDS, the Social Security Administration will first determine whether your condition is severe enough to meet a listing. If you meet a listing you will be found disabled. If you do not meet a listing, the Social Security Administration will then evaluate your residual functional capacity.

Is There A Specific Listing For HIV And AIDS?

The Social Security Administration recognizes HIV under Listing of Impairments 14.08: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which can be found on the Social Security Administration website. Much of this listing is structured using medical terminology and can be quite difficult to know whether you will meet the HIV listing. If you or a family member suffers from HIV or AIDS and are unable to work and want to know more about whether you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits (either SSDI or SSI), contact Pearson Disability Law, LLC for a free consultation at 312-999-0999.

If I Do Not Meet The Listing, Is There Another Way To Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you do not meet Listing 14.08 and HIV or AIDS is preventing you from working, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

As stated earlier, the Social Security Administration will proceed with your HIV Social Security disability case by evaluating your Residual Functional Capacity. How does this evaluation work? The process determines the most amount of work that you can do despite having HIV or AIDS. The system divides “work” into four different categories. The categories are heavy, medium, light, and sedentary. Being put into a lower category increases the changes that a your HIV/AIDS claim is approved for Social Security disability benefits.

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