Can’t work due to HIV?
Get Social Security Disability for HIV ― and get a monthly check.
More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States. HIV, which stands for human immunodeficiency syndrome, is a virus that attacks the immune system, which is our body’s natural defense against illness and infections.
There is no cure for HIV and the progressive failure of the immune system can lead to life-threatening infections, illnesses and cancer. If left untreated, HIV will progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency disorder), which is the last stage of the HIV infection.
Many individuals with HIV or AIDS are no longer able to work and bring home a paycheck. The loss of income exacerbates their health crisis, causing feelings of anguish and desperation.
Fortunately, there is hope.
If you or a loved one is suffering from HIV or AIDS and can no longer work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. If approved, you will receive a monthly check and, quite possibly, a lump sum of back pay. This steady income can help you pay bills, cover costs of medical care and manage everyday living expenses.
Getting approved for Disability for HIV is not straightforward. The process can be complicated and tiresome. It requires an extensive amount of information about your medical condition, education, work history, limitations and capabilities. Even then, benefits are not a sure thing.
Your best hope for a stress-free, successful outcome is to get legal help from the start. The Disability team at McDonald Law Firm have helped hundreds of people obtain much-needed benefits and we would be pleased to help you, too.
How does the Social Security Administrations decide who qualifies for Disability for HIV or AIDS?
Because HIV/AIDS can lead to many different infections and complications, getting approved for Disability benefits during the initial application phase is complex. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has very specific criteria that must be met and backed up by solid medical evidence. In order to get approved at the beginning of the process, you must prove that you have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and suffer from one of the following:
Bacterial Infections, which include:
- Recurrent diarrhea caused by salmonella bacteria in the blood.
- Infections such as tuberculosis or leprosy that appear in places other than the lungs, skin, or lymph nodes in the head, neck or lungs.
- Nocardiosis, an infectious disease that can affect the lungs, brain or skin.
- Multiple or recurrent bacterial infections, including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, that requires hospitalization or intravenous antibiotic treatment at least three times a year.
Fungal Infections, which include:
- Aspergilloisis, an infection or allergic reaction caused by the Apergillosis fungus.
- Yeast infection that occurs somewhere other than the skin, urinary tract, intestines, mouth or vagina.
- Coccidioidomycosis, an infection also known as “Valley Fever,” that affects areas other than the lungs or lymph nodes.
- Cryptococcosis, a yeast-like fungus, that occurs somewhere other than the lungs.
- Histoplasmosis, a fungal infection also known as “Cave Disease,” that occurs somewhere other than the lungs or lymph nodes.
- Mucormycosis, a serious but rare fungal infection that affects the sinuses or lungs.
- Pneumocystitis Pneumonia (PCP), a serious infection that causes inflammation or fluid in the lungs; or a Pneumocystis infection that has moved beyond the lungs.
Protozoan or helminthic infections, which include:
- Parasitic infections that cause diarrhea for a month or longer.
- Strongyloidiases, a round worm infection, outside the intestines.
- Toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, that occurs somewhere other than the liver, spleen or lymph nodes.
Viral infections which include:
- Herpes caused by herpes type 5, occurring somewhere other than the liver, spleen or lymph nodes.
- Herpes simplex virus which causes a skin or mucus membrane infection that last more than a month; an infection in another part of the body; or an infection that has spread to other areas of the body.
- Shingles that spread and are resistant to treatment.
- PML, a progressive brain inflammation.
Cancer, which includes:
- Tumors in the cervix that are Stage 2 or worse.
- Cancerous lesions in the mouth, lungs, intestines or other organs in the abdomen.
- Cancer in the lymph nodes.
- Skin Cancer in the anal canal.
With extensive fungus or skin lesions that don’t respond to treatment.
With swelling of the brain that causes mental or physical impairments.
HIV wasting syndrome
With loss of 10 percent body weight, and diarrhea at least twice a day or fever for a month or more.
If it lasts longer than a month, doesn’t respond to treatment, or requires intravenous hydration or a feeding tube.
One of the following infections if it doesn’t respond to treatment or leads to hospitalization at least three or more times a year:
- Septic arthritis
Don’t meet the criteria for Disability for HIV? Don’t worry.
If you don’t meet the above criteria for Disability for HIV, don’t worry. If you can show that your symptoms, complications or treatment prevent you from working any job full time, you may still qualify for Disability benefits. You will have to show how your condition limits your ability to carry out daily activities, function in social situations, or complete tasks in a timely manner.
This can get complicated. An experienced Disability attorney will know how to get the necessary evidence to substantiate your claim. At McDonald Law Firm, we understand that living with HIV/AIDS is not one-dimensional. We will work diligently to make sure the SSA gets the full picture of your limitations.
Denied Disability for HIV? Don’t give up.
If you receive a rejection letter in the mail, don’t despair. The unfortunate truth is that 67 percent of initial applications are denied. The reasons vary, but oftentimes, it’s for incomplete forms or lack of information. The good news is that you can file an appeal and, with a savvy Social Security Disability attorney, you have an excellent chance of winning the benefits you desperately need.
Don’t drag your feet, though. You only have 60 days to appeal a denied Disability claim after receiving your rejection notice.
The Disability team at McDonald Law Firm can help ― and it won’t cost you anything up-front.
As you can see, getting approved for Disability for HIV can be extremely technical and complicated. Your claim must be backed up by extensive, specific medical evidence, as well as an abundance of information about your work history, daily activities and functional limitations.
That’s a lot for anyone to handle, but it can be especially cumbersome for those who are sick. That is why so many people turn to McDonald Law Firm. Getting Disability benefits for people like you is what we do.
We have extensive experience handling Disability claims, including dire need and hard-to-prove cases. We will gather the pertinent information, fill out the mountain of confusing paperwork and prepare a strong case on your behalf. If for some reason your claim gets denied, we will file an appeal and aggressively fight for you.
What’s more, you will never pay up-front for our services. Our check is cut by the federal government ― but only if we are successful. If we win you benefits, our fee is taken by the Social Security Administration out of the back pay award.
Countless clients have trusted us to help get them through this difficult time. We hope you will put your trust in us, too. Call 855-702-9061.