It is the impact of the disease process on the individual that determines whether HIV is disabling.
Belleville, Ill. (PRWEB) November 26, 2013
Allsup, a nationwide Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) representation company, is joining with thousands of other organizations worldwide to mark the 25th anniversary of World Aids Day Dec. 1, 2013. More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, according to AIDS.gov.
Not everyone who has HIV will develop AIDS, which is the final stage of HIV infection. However, individuals with HIV are susceptible to multiple complications due to a suppressed immune system. These complications include bacterial, fungal, protozoan and viral infections as well as cancers, lymphomas, blood disorders and neurological abnormalities. If individuals living with HIV are unable to continue working due to a physical or mental impairment, they may be eligible for federal disability programs, including SSDI.
SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program funded by FICA payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers. It provides monthly income to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal.
“The diagnosis of HIV itself does not mean an individual is disabled,” said Ed Swierczek, senior claimant representative at Allsup. “It is the impact of the disease process on the individual that determines whether HIV is disabling.”
Conditions related to HIV that often make a return to work impossible include:
- End stage renal disease. Up to 30 percent of people living with HIV have abnormal kidney function, which can lead to the complete or almost complete failure of the kidneys.
- Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Antiretroviral therapy helps people living with HIV/AIDS live longer, healthier lives, but some HIV medications can increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes by causing high cholesterol levels and insulin resistance.
- HIV-associated dementia /AIDS dementia complex (ADC). HIV can affect the central nervous system and an individual’s ability to think and function. This may cause poor concentration, memory loss, slowed movements, lack of coordination, mental slowness, difficulty learning new things, confusion and depression.
- Acute respiratory failure. This accounts for approximately 25-50 percent of intensive care unit admissions for people with HIV disease.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an extensive medical listing (14.08) that addresses HIV. This provides the guidelines one must meet to receive Social Security disability benefits at step three of its five-step evaluation process.
“If an individual does not meet any of the criteria in medical listing 14.08, then the SSA will assess residual functional capacity to determine if he or she has the ability to engage in any substantial gainful activity,” said Swierczek. SSA defines “substantial gainful activity” as the ability to work and earn at least $1,040 per month in 2013.
For more information and assistance on SSDI eligibility, call (888) 841-2126 or visit Expert.Allsup.com.
For more information on World AIDS Day, visit http://aids.gov/.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/allsupinc.