How to Claim Social Security Benefits for HIV/AIDS
HIV infection is a life-threatening disease that can develop into AIDS if left untreated. It can progress into debilitating conditions that can affect your ability to work. Thus, the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows HIV patients to collect disability benefits.
However, HIV patients must satisfy some conditions to get SSA approval. These are the points you must know to prepare for your application to improve the chances of approval.
Social Security Disability Benefits Approval
You can apply for disability benefits if you have a condition that makes you unable to handle full-time work. Your disability must also be expected to last for at least a year or may result in death.
SSA wants to ensure that you need financial support because your disability keeps you from earning enough income. You may need financial assistance to cover significant medical expenses too.
The agency uses its Blue Book to outline the disability criteria for different conditions with Listing 14.11 for HIV and AIDS.
Applying for Disability Benefits if You have HIV or AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a disease that damages the immune system. HIV infection may develop into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) if left untreated.
AIDS makes you prone to many other diseases and cancers because of your weakened immune system. That causes different symptoms which makes you unable to work efficiently, like:
- Feeling physically weak
- Easily feeling fatigued
- Frequent fever
- Persistent cough and colds
- Severe weight loss
- Nausea or vomiting
- Depression and anxiety
- Forgetfulness, lack of focus, and lack of alertness
As mentioned earlier, you must satisfy the Blue Book listing 14.11 to receive disability benefits for HIV or AIDS. So, you should present medical reports confirming your diagnosis, and you should prove any of the following:
- Multicentric Castleman disease on multiple organs throughout your body
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
- Primary effusion lymphoma
- Primary central nervous system lymphoma
- Pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma
- Absolute CD4 count of 50 cells/mm3 or lower
- 14% CD4 percentage or lower
Along with that, you must also prove 8.0gm per deciliter or lower hemoglobin measurement and 18.5 or lower BMI.
Moreover, you should have undergone at least three hospitalizations in one year, and each had lasted 48 hours or more. Each hospitalization should be at least 30 days apart from each other too.
Consult a Social Security benefits attorney in Burbank for more explanation about the Blue Book listing on HIV and AIDS.
Getting SSA Approval through Residual Functional Capacity Form
In some cases, HIV may not show enough symptoms to qualify you through the Blue Book listing criteria. Some medications can suppress HIV symptoms and make them unnoticeable too.
However, you may still suffer from physical or psychological limitations because of HIV itself or HIV medication side effects. In that case, Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) can help you.
The RFC form will help in proving that you suffer from particular work limitations.
For example, RFC can prove that the physical weakness you experience makes it difficult for you to lift heavy objects at work. It may also prove that psychological symptoms, like forgetfulness and lack of focus, make a full-time office job challenging for you.
Ask your physician to fill out your RFC form. They will consider different factors to prove your work limitations because of HIV and provide enough documents to support your RFC results.
Hire a Burbank Social Security Benefits Lawyer for HIV Disability Benefits
HIV infection is a threatening disease that can lead to significant treatment expenses while reducing your work efficiency.
That’s why you deserve Social Security disability benefits for financial support.
Hiring a Social Security benefits attorney in Burbank helps you file an application and get SSA approval.