World AIDS day is Dec. 1st. For many people living with HIV or AIDS, the condition may be so debilitating that you cannot hold full-time employment. In these cases, you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Symptoms of HIV/AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes a progressive failure of the immune system. In nearly all HIV cases, the condition will progress into Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
HIV involves various stages of the infection. When first affected with the primary infection, most people experience flu-like symptoms such as fevers, sore throats, muscle pain, lymph node swelling and mouth sores.
The clinical latent infection phase, or chronic HIV, can sometimes include persistent swelling of the lymph nodes, however, most often there are not specific signs or symptoms for this stage. For those taking antiretroviral therapy, this phase can last decades, though others may move through this phase at a much faster pace.
As the virus continues to multiply and breakdown a persons immune system, early symptomatic HIV will develop with symptoms like rashes, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue and weight loss.
By the time that HIV progresses into AIDS, your system is often severely damaged and you are more susceptible to life-threatening and opportunistic infections. Other symptoms include weight loss and declining mental function.
Treatment for HIV and AIDS requires that patients take a variety of pills every day.
Qualifying for Benefits
In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must meet the requirements listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book of disability listings.
You will have to prove that you have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS through documented medical evidence. You then must demonstrate that you have a serious version of one of the following conditions:
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Fungal infection
- Helminthic infection
- Skin condition
- HIV encephalopathy
- HIV wasting syndrome
Fortunately, unlike other types of disabling conditions, you do not need to show that you have been impacted for 12 months or that you expect to be affected for a minimum of 12 months.
If you have applied for disability benefits for HIV/AIDS and have been denied, contact Dayes Law Firm PC for a free case evaluation. A Phoenix Social Security Disability attorney from Dayes Law Firm PC can help you appeal the decision and get you the benefits you need.