Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Mobile Social Security Disability Law Blog

Social Security Disability benefits for HIV/AIDS patients

HIV/AIDS is among the most serious illnesses that any person can suffer from. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration understands the gravity of the diseases and how it they affect the lives of patients and their loved ones. Therefore, the agency offers Social Security Disability benefits to those HIV/AIDS patients who meet the SSA's established disability guidelines.

In order to determine the eligibility for HIV/AIDS-related SSD benefits, the SSA appoints a Disability Determination Services agency. As a first step after receiving a claim application from an HIV/AIDS patient, the SSA forwards the application to the DDS agency. The agency has doctors and disability evaluation specialists who review the application and determine whether the applicant is eligible. To arrive at their decision, the agency refers to SSA's list of HIV/AIDS-related medical conditions.

Will Facebook disqualify you from disability benefits?

If you could work, you would. You are not the kind of person who enjoys asking for help, but you know when you can't avoid it. Since your illness or injury has left you unable to work to earn a living, you now rely on the benefits of Social Security disability. The process of applying for disability benefits was long and challenging. You may have received a denial at first, which meant you had to go through the appeals process. It was a lot, but it was worth it.

Now that you have your benefits, you know you can't do anything to jeopardize them, so you follow your Alabama doctor's orders for treatment and comply with any requests the Social Security Administration makes during its routine reviews of your case. However, one item you may be overlooking is your social media presence.

SSI for disabling birth injuries and congenital diseases

It is an unfortunate reality even today that many children suffer an injury or illness at the time of their birth. The life of that child can then often full of challenges, especially financial, owing to the constant medical attention that the child might need through the rest of his or her life. The Social Security Administration understands those challenges and, therefore, it offers certain benefits to children born with birth injuries or illnesses.

Per the existing rules set by the SSA, some children who suffered a birth injury or are afflicted by congenital disease are eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. The SSA provides this financial assistance to help the parents them meet the various expenses they have to incur in bringing up the child. Some of the more common birth-related illnesses and injuries that are eligible for SSI are total blindness or deafness, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and several intellectual disorders.


If you have filed or intend to file for disability then know that the work you have done can affect your disability care. When someone files for disability with Social Security, they are alleging that they are unable to work. The basis to Social Security disability is not just based on if you can do work you have done before, but also to consider if there is other work you can do.

New and Material Evidence at the Appeals Council

After receiving an Unfavorable Decision from an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), a Claimant who disagrees with the decision of the ALJ may appeal the decision to the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration within 60 days. The Appeals Council will evaluate a decision of an ALJ for any abuse of discretion by the ALJ, error of law, if the issue affects the general public interest, or if the ALJ's actions, findings, and conclusions were not supported by substantial evidence.

How other disability benefits can affect SSD benefits

There are many people here in the Mobile area who receive Social Security Disability benefits for a disabling injury or illness. Many of these people also receive financial benefits from other sources such as the state's workers' compensation program and other state-funded benefits or from private sources such as personal insurance or private pension schemes.

Usually, benefits from private sources do not affect the SSD benefits. In addition, there are certain other public benefits, such as benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Supplemental Security Income, which do not affect SSD benefits. Also, if Social Security taxes are deducted from the earnings, SSD benefits are not affected by any state and local government benefits.

SSI: What is the One-Third Reduction Provision?

The Social Security Administration runs the Supplemental Security Income program to provide financial support people who have limited income and other resources owing to their inability to work as a result of their disability, blindness or advanced age. In addition to these people, some children with qualifying disabilities and blindness may be eligible for SSI. At present, the SSI benefit amount is $750 per month for individuals and $1,125 per month for couples.

As SSI benefits are primarily based on an individual's income and resources, the SSA tries to ensure that a recipient is not awarded more than what is actually required because the SSI program is funded by money that the government earns from personal income taxes, corporate taxes and other similar taxes. In order to achieve that goal, the SSA may reduce the benefits of a recipient under certain circumstances.

Current Status of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Procopio Decision

On January 29, 2019, a 9-2 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned past court opinions and stated that the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot deny disability benefits to Vietnam veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants merely because those veterans served in the waters off the coastline of Vietnam and not inland. This is a major victory for "blue water" Navy veterans who have fought for years over these denials.

Benefits for veterans affected by Agent Orange

Veterans here in Alabama are well aware that during the Vietnam War, the U.S. military sprayed Agent Orange, a defoliating agent, to clear vegetation from enemy territory. In addition, it was possible for some veterans to have contacted this dangerous chemical outside of Vietnam and Korea, in particular in bases in Thailand or while working with planes used to transport the chemical. Unfortunately, at that time the military was unaware of the various harmful effects of Agent Orange on all those who were exposed to it.

Now, however, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges the ill-effects and provides benefits for veterans affected by Agent Orange exposure. The VA assumes that all veterans who served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 and have a qualified illness were affected by Agent Orange. The VA also assumes that veterans who visited the shore for short durations or veterans who entered Vietnam's inland waterways were also exposed to Agent Orange. Additionally, veterans who served in the Korean demilitarized zone between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971 are eligible.

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