The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a strict definition of what constitutes a disability. An applicant who has a short-term or partial impairment doesn’t qualify for Social Security (SS) disability benefits. Instances in which a child has severe functional limitations or an adult cannot perform substantial gainful work for at least 12 months or is terminal may make someone eligible for SS disability benefits. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is one of many conditions that may allow an applicant to receive benefits.
It’s not uncommon for people who have HIV to be asymptomatic. Others may find themselves so crippled by their medical condition that they’re unable to work. The SSA weighs various factors, including laboratory results and a patient’s symptoms, to determine whether an applicant warrants receiving disability benefits.
If you have HIV, and you’re anticipating requesting SS benefits, then you should begin compiling your medical records now. They need to show when you received your diagnosis, when you first experienced an onset of symptoms, how your illness affects you and what your prognosis may be.
Your SSA application reviewer may want to see specific documentation when you apply for disability benefits for HIV. Your pathology or microbiology reports, abnormal blood or cluster of differentiation (CD) 4 counts and X-rays or other imaging showing abnormal findings are some of the most important documents they’ll want to review.
Your file reviewer will want to know if you’ve lost weight, experienced HIV-related neurological impairments, including decreased motor skills or muscle weakness, cognitive impairments such as an inability to focus, a constant fever or dyspnea. You should also document your experience with night sweats, persistent diarrhea, pain, fatigue or a cough. If you experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, anxiety or depression, then you’ll want to report those as well.
The SSA contends that workers need certain mental functionality, including remembering and understanding what others say, following simple instructions, and exercising sound judgment to perform work-related functions on the job. They also argue that workers must be capable of standing, pushing, reaching, carrying, pulling, sitting and lifting to perform physical functions at work.
You may want to consult with a Social Security Disability Benefits for Illness attorney if your medical condition affects your ability to carry out your work-related tasks. Your Oklahoma City lawyer can help you compile the necessary information to substantiate how serious your condition is in hopes of you securing disability benefits.