Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

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.

The SSA considers several medical conditions to be qualifying illnesses for HIV/AIDS patients. For example, common conditions such as diarrhea and bacterial, fungal and protozoan infections typically apply. Similarly, more complicated diseases like nephropathy, cardiomyopathy, HIV wasting syndrome and hematologic and neurological abnormalities are also considered qualifying conditions. In addition, certain conditions of the skin and mucus membrane and certain mental illnesses are also considered to be qualifying conditions.

When the SSA receives an HIV/AIDS-related SSD benefits application, it usually processes that application within three to four months. Those applying for HIV/AIDS-related benefits should know that they need to be in close correspondence with the SSA and the DDS agency during this period so that doctors and disability evaluation specialists are fully aware about the applicant's medical condition and also that applicant's financial condition as award of SSD benefits it greatly dependent on these two factors.

That being said, it is a challenge for someone already suffering from HIV/AIDS to be engaged in constant communication with the SSA and DDS agency and undergo multiple medical examinations so as to prove his or her eligibility for SSD benefits. Therefore, to ease the pressure somewhat, an applicant may choose to retain an SSD benefits claim attorney. The attorney's help during the claim process may make life a little easier for the person who is already experiencing the agony inflicted by HIV/AIDS.

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