Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Disability For Hiv And Depression

Information That Should Be In Your Medical Records To Support Aids Disability Benefits

Psychosocial Aspects of Disability and Chronic Illness Video

There is specific information that the SSA is looking for in your medical records. Examples of laboratory findings may include:

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A Long Term Disability Attorney Can Help

Filing for long term disability for HIV can be challenging your insurance company may be skeptical of your symptoms and their severity, underestimate the effects of your medications, and not take into account both physical and cognitive impairments.

An experienced long term disability insurance attorney can help. While your insurance company will ask your employer to provide basic information, at Riemer Hess we will dig deeper to develop a detailed and accurate description of your actual job duties and the nature of the working environment.

Your insurance company will ask the doctor to fill out a pre-printed Physician Statement. We will help your doctor do better than that by providing him with a Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire. The Questionnaire will provide us with much more detailed information about your HIV status, your symptoms and treatment, and your ability to function relevant to your specific job duties

Additionally, we can also substantiate your HIV claim through other testing, such as a Neuropsychological Evaluation. We have experience with HIV cases and know what evidence your insurance company requires to approve disability benefits.

If you are suffering from HIV and considering long term disability, or if you have already been denied disability benefits but have HIV, our New York long term disability lawyers can help. for a consultation on your disability case.

How To Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits With Hiv/aids

Social Security Disability benefits.Meeting the Medical CriteriaSection 14.00Listing 14.11

  • Multicentric Castleman disease that affects multiple groups of organs containing lymphoid tissue or lymph nodes OR
  • Primary effusion lymphoma OR
  • Primary central nervous system lymphoma OR
  • Pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma OR
  • Absolute CD4 count of 50 cells/mm3 or less OR
  • Absolute CD4 count of less than 200 cells/mm3 or CD4 percentage of less than 14 percent, and one of the following BMI measurement of less than 18.5, hemoglobin measurement of less than 8.0 grams per deciliter, or complications of HIV infection requiring a minimum of three hospitalizations within a 12-month period at least 30 days apart with each hospitalization lasting no less than 48 hours.

Applying for Disability Benefits Resources:

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Assessing Your Residual Functional Capacity

After reviewing your medical records and your ADLs, Social Security will determine what restrictions you would have in a work environment. This determination is called your residual functional capacity . A typical RFC for somebody with HIV/AIDS will include physical limitations such as:

  • how long you can sit, stand, and walk for
  • how much weight you can lift and carry
  • how often you can move your arms and hands, and
  • how often you can bend, stoop, crouch, crawl, and kneel.

Depending on what additional symptomsâsuch as depression or fatigueâare documented in your medical records, you might also have mental limitations such as:

  • whether you can do skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled jobs
  • how frequently you can work with the general public and your coworkers, and
  • how long you can maintain concentration.

Stigma Social Rejection And Low Income

2/3 of parents cite barriers in recognizing youth depression

Psychosocial factors contribute to the variability in the clinical outcomes of HIV disease . One key issue of HIV stigma is that infection is often associated with behaviors that are condemned by society, promoting prejudice, discrimination and abuse against patients . Stigma represents an epidemiological barrier since a proportion of HIV-infected patients do notâand will notâget tested due to the perceived fear of rejection and abuse . Thus, adverse effects on the mental health of HIV+ subjects may result from such stigma generating feelings of anxiety and depression . The depression that often develops in HIV-infected patients is thought to be attributable to the stress that attends being diagnosed with a highly stigmatized chronic condition . The social stigma may cause some HIV+ individuals to refuse to disclose their HIV/AIDS diagnosis . Furthermore, HIV-related stigma is an important stressor that leads to poor ART adherence . In some cases, HIV-infected individuals tend to isolate themselves to prevent stigma-related negative attitudes . A broad analysis of the physiological and mental effects of stigma revealed that stigma accounts for problems with adherence to ART, missed clinical visits, and depressive symptoms . Low-income is also a socio-demographic factor significantly associated with the appearance of depressive symptoms .

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Is Hiv Considered A Disability

The SSA definition of a disability might differ from some other generally accepted definitions. The SSA definition is specific and being HIV positive is not automatically considered disability.

For any condition to be considered a disability by the SSA, it must make it impossible for you to earn enough money through a job to support yourself. This monthly income level is called substantial gainful activity.

In 2020, the substantial gainful activity amount is $1260 for non-blind individuals. This number is $2110 for blind individuals. Therefore, in order for HIV to be considered a disability by the SSA, the symptoms that you have must leave you unable to earn substantial gainful activity.

Another condition that must be met in order for HIV to be considered a disability is that it is not possible to earn money by learning a new skill or changing jobs. This will take into consideration things like age and employment history.

For example, if you have worked the same job for 20 years before you became disabled, it would be more difficult to learn the skills required to change jobs at that point in your life. For someone who becomes disabled at a younger age, or has worked in multiple fields it will be easier to make a transition.

Although there is very specific criteria that must be met in order to qualify for disability benefits, the SSA provides clear definitions of those guidelines.

How Can I Apply For Disability

If you meet the above criteria, you may qualify for disability benefits for depression. Its important to apply as soon as you can. It can take several months to receive SSDI and SSI.

Youll apply directly at your local SSA office. You may choose to hire an attorney to help prepare and file your application. Just be aware that a percentage of your benefits will then be awarded to your legal representative as compensation.

It can take up to half a year to receive a decision on your application for disability benefits. If youre approved, youll receive retroactive pay based on the date you first applied.

Many applications for disability benefits are denied by SSA. If this happens to you, you can appeal the decision in court. It can take up to 2 years to get a hearing. During this time you may consider hiring an attorney to help.

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Get Information On Older Adults With Hiv

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Getting Advance Payments Through Ssi

Psychosocial Aspects of Disability and Chronic Illness | Comprehensive Case Management Certification

The SSA provides two types of disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . If you applied for SSI, you might be eligible for “presumptive disability” payments that can help support you while the agency decides your claim.

Social Security can grant you immediate SSI payments if you’ve been diagnosed with AIDS or HIV complications. For more information, see our article on presumptive disability.

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How To Apply For Disability Benefits With Hiv

The SSA must usually see the same types of medical documentation regardless of whether you qualify through the Blue Book or through an RFC evaluation. This documentation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Lab reports proving a positive HIV diagnosis
  • CD4 test results showing immune system compromise and how susceptible you are to opportunistic infections
  • Hospitalization or emergency room records going back at least one year
  • Diagnostic reports documenting complications of HIV, including infections, cancer, if present, or organ damage

HIV disability applications can be submitted online, via the SSAs website, or in person at the local SSA office. Under some circumstances, remote or phone applications can also be arranged:

  • Visit the SSAs website to start your Social Security Disability Insurance application.
  • Visit the local SSA office to complete a Supplemental Security Income application.
  • Keep in mind that SSDI applications can also be done at the local branch office.

Take as many records with you as possible for your visit at the local office and be sure to have your records handy if completing your application online as well. You dont want to leave any blanks on your application. Failing to answer all questions can lead to delays and may even result in denial of benefits.

Is Aids A Disability

Knowing the answer to the question, Is AIDs a disability not only focuses on the symptoms of the disease, but also the side effects that develop during the treatment and rehabilitation processes. One important reminder for AIDs patients: The disability definition for AIDs referred to by the Social Security Administration differs from the definition of the disease used by other federal government agencies.

An HIV infection weakens the strength of the bodys immune system, which creates the ideal condition for other serious diseases to develop. Infections can quickly grow to compromise the immune system enough to generate a higher risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Intensive treatments for AIDS also can force a patient out of work, which is one of the factors that answer the question, Is AIDs a disability. Side effects of treating an HIV infection include acute fatigue, nausea, and nerve damage.

The SSA defines the symptoms that qualify patients for disability benefits under Section 14.11 of the Blue Book. You also have to meet other qualifying criteria, such as not having earned a minimum amount of income and having stayed out of the workforce for 12 consecutive months. Another criterion for qualifying for disability benefits with AIDs is not being able to earn income by changing jobs and/or learning job skills.

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The Listing Of Impairments

History and Purpose

When the SSDI program began in 1956, SSA was faced with quickly processing a large number of claims. To ease the administrative burden of determining the functional capacity of each claimant, SSA adopted a list of serious medical conditions and incorporated it as Step 3 of the sequential evaluation process. Most adult claims not allowed based on the Listings require the lengthy RFC assessment to determine whether a claimant can perform past relevant work. Thus, the Listings are an administrative expedient that allows SSA to process many cases more efficiently, saving time and resources. The percentage of initial allowances made at Step 3 based on the Listings has declined steadily, from more than 90 percent in the early years of the program to 70 percent in the 1980s to 49 percent in 2009 .


The Listings consist of Part A and Part B and are organized into 14 and 15 body systems, respectively . Listings for each body system begin with a narrative introductory text that defines key concepts and terms used in that body system. Each body system and listing is identified by a number for example, the immune system disorders body system for Part A is 14.00 and Part B is 114.00. The Part A HIV Infection Listing consists of 11 sublistings and the Part B HIV Infection Listing consists of 12 sublistings .

Suggested Citation:HIV and Disability: Updating the Social Security Listings

What Are Hiv And Aids

Association of Increased Chronicity of Depression With HIV Appointment ...

The human immunodeficiency virus is a retrovirus that damages the immune system by destroying T-helper lymphocytes . After an HIV infection destroys enough lymphocytes, the infected person can develop what are known as “opportunistic infections”illnesses and cancers that take advantage of a person’s weakened immune system. It is the symptoms and impairments caused by these opportunistic illnesses, not the HIV virus itself, that cause someone with HIV/AIDS to be unable to work. Women infected with HIV are particularly susceptible to certain opportunistic diseases, such as vulvovaginal candidiasis and pelvic inflammatory disease.

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Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility

Step 1 of 11< backforward >

Social Security disability benefits are available for people who have acquired immune deficiency syndrome or are HIV-positive and have symptoms that limit their ability to work. Some HIV-positive people can remain free of significant symptoms for years in these cases, Social Security will not approve disability benefits until an HIV infection has progressed far enough to cause serious symptoms, discussed below.

The Longitudinal Impact Of Employment Retirement And Disability Status On Depressive Symptoms Among Men Living With Hiv In The Multicenter Aids Cohort Study

  • * E-mail:

    Affiliation Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America

  • Sergio Rueda,

    Roles Writing original draft, Writing review & editing

    Affiliation Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Medical Science, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

  • Roles Conceptualization, Supervision, Writing original draft, Writing review & editing

    ¶ These authors are joint senior authors on this work.

    Affiliation Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America

  • Roles Writing review & editing

    Affiliation Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

  • Chukwuemeka N. Okafor,

    Roles Writing review & editing

    Affiliation Department of Public Health, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, United States of America

  • Affiliation Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

  • Roles Formal analysis, Writing review & editing

    ¶ These authors are joint senior authors on this work.

    Affiliation Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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What Can People Do If They Experience Discrimination

If someone experiences discrimination in the U.S., the ADA recommends that the person inform their manager about the protections the law offers people with a disability as a first step. If the manager does not comply, the next step involves seeking out community or public mediation services.

If the first two steps fail to produce the necessary changes, the third step is to file a complaint with the Department of Justice. An individual may file a complaint online or send a complaint to:

U.S. Department of Justice

Getting Help With Your Disability Application

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You can get help with your claim from a friend, family member, disability advocate, or Social Security attorney. You can even have someone else attend an application appointment with you or complete an online application on your behalf.

To find out more about your case, you can fill out this free evaluation form. Use all of the resources at your disposal for the best chances of winning.

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Evidence Provided By You

Your insurance company will also take into consideration your own information, documentation, and statements. Medical records do not always encompass all the ways your HIV symptoms interfere with your occupational duties. Other evidence you can submit with your claim includes:

  • A job description, written in your own words, with notes indicating how your symptoms have impacted your ability to perform each required task.
  • A symptom diary, in which you detail the nature of your symptoms and the impact of those symptoms on your daily life, over an extended period of time.
  • A personal statement. To support your claim, you can write a personal statement explaining the onset of your HIV, your symptoms, and the ways they prevent you from working. For example, if your HIV-related fatigue is severe, you may have trouble focusing for extended periods of time, arrive late to work from oversleeping, miss deadlines, or make mistakes on projects you ordinarily wouldnt. Make sure to cite specific examples of your symptoms impacting your ability to work. The more detailed, the better.

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