Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

I have HIV. Can I get disability?

Under the Social Security Regulations a person can be found disabled due to HIV. There are two ways to prove disability due to HIV. First, the Social Security Administration has regulations that list the exact criteria that must be met in order for someone to "Meet, Equal, or Medically Equal the Listed Impairments." Click herefor a full-text view of Social Security's HIV Listing. In my experience handling Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit and Supplemental Security Income claims, it is extremely difficult to meet this requirement; however, difficult does not mean impossible.

The second way to prevail on a claim for HIV is to show that the disease, medicine side effects, fatigue, and opportunistic infections, keep you from being able to perform the demands of different exertional levels of jobs. This is where most cases are won. In order to prevail, you must see your doctor and take advantage of any help that local agencies offer. For example, if someone applied for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit and Supplemental Security Income due to HIV, the Administrative Law Judge will be very skeptical of their complaints if they are constantly missing their doctor's appointments. The Administrative Law Judge will likely look favorably on someone if they are having complications from HIV and they are making their doctor's appointments.

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