Qualifying for SSD with AIDS/HIV

The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a number of conditions to be severe enough to prevent you from working. Regardless of the condition, all are subject to evaluation and must meet certain criteria to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Though most of the conditions listed by the SSA as disabling are permanent or expected to result in death, those that are not require evidence showing that the condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year. Our dedicated Social Security Disability lawyers are here to help and support you during this time.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a life-threatening condition that affects the immune system by infecting and attacking the white blood cells (CD4 lymphocytes) in the body used to fight off foreign diseases. With a decreased number of CD4 cells, the body can no longer fight off other viruses or bacteria, leaving it defenseless. Symptoms of HIV occur in three general phases. The last stage of HIV infection is known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Estimates from the federal government show nearly 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV or AIDS. Many individuals with HIV or AIDS cannot work and may qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Is AIDS/HIV Considered a Disability?

HIV is considered a disabling condition by the SSA and may qualify you for either SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits depending on your condition and age. To qualify for SSD benefits with HIV or AIDs, the applicant must be unable to hold a full time job as a result of their symptoms. For SSI benefits, they must meet the SSA’s strict income qualifications.

The SSA evaluates HIV with the following conditions in mind:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Diarrhea lasting one month or longer and requiring intravenous or tube feeding
  • Fungal infections
  • HIV encephalopathy (dementia caused by AIDS)
  • Infections requiring hospitalization or intravenous care for at least three months in a 12-month period, including:
    • Sepsis – a bacterial infection affecting the bloodstream
    • Meningitis – a viral or bacterial infection resulting in inflammation around the brain and spinal cord
    • Pneumonia – an infection in the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi
    • Septic arthritis – a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection affecting one or more joints
    • Endocarditis – a bacterial infection in the heart valves
    • Sinusitis – inflammation in the sinuses
  • Malignant tumors or cancer
  • Parasitic intestinal infections
  • Repeated occurrences of HIV infection that limit:
    • Daily activities
    • Social activities
    • Completing tasks in a timely manner
  • Significant weight loss from chronic diarrhea and weakness
  • Skin conditions with extensive sores and lesions
  • Viral infections

It would be advantageous for someone to document how their HIV or AIDS affects their everyday life, as well as to list all previous jobs they have held in the past.

Ask an Attorney about Qualifying for Social Security Disability with AIDS/HIV

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, you may be eligible to receive SSD benefits. At Fleschner, Stark Tanoos & Newlin, we’ve helped many people suffering from serious illnesses who are unable to work, and we know how difficult this time is for you and your family. That’s why our Social Security Disability attorneys will fight to get you the disability compensation you need to support yourself and your loved ones.

Don’t delay getting the legal help you need. Contact us today.


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