Belleville, Ill. (PRWEB) June 15, 2012
It is estimated that 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV. One in five people don’t realize they are infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As part of their Take the Test, Take Control campaign, the National Association of People with AIDS(NAPWA) urges individuals to be tested for HIV on June 27, National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation, assists HIV patients daily, and is raising awareness of the importance of HIV testing.
To maintain health and lower the risk of spreading the virus, it is critical for everybody to know their HIV status. The NAPWA said that people who are sexually active or using injections drugs should be routinely tested. With advancements in medications and treatments, those infected with HIV can live long, productive lives. The key is taking that first step and getting tested because early treatment is more effective. Early detection also allows steps to be taken to prevent transmitting the virus.
Leading up to National HIV Testing Day, the association encourages people to get involved and spread the word. Free posters can be downloaded at http://www.greaterthan.org and distributed throughout the community.
Social Security Disability: HIV/AIDS
The HIV/AIDS virus can affect one’s ability to work, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the virus as a potentially disabling condition, possibly qualifying an individual for Social Security disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance provides monthly benefits to individuals who are eligible and have paid FICA taxes to be insured under the program. SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
Applicants must be under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and can no longer work because of a severe disability that is expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal.
“Appropriate treatment and care, including coordination of benefits and available resources, begins with an accurate diagnosis,” said Tai Venuti, Allsup’s manager of Strategic Alliances. “It’s important to note, however, that HIV infection alone does not mean you are automatically eligible for SSDI. With proper treatment, many people with HIV are able to continue working long after their diagnosis.”
HIV is evaluated under Social Security’s medical listing 14.08. According to the SSA, if one meets the criteria established in the listing, they will be found to be disabled. Most importantly, to be eligible for SSDI, you must have medical evidence and proof that HIV/AIDS has affected your ability to work.
“Medical evidence is crucial when applying for SSDI,” Venuti said. “It’s important that you’re able to show how the symptoms of HIV have affected your life.”
To determine if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, call the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for a free SSDI eligibility evaluation. For more information on National HIV Testing Day, visit http://www.napwa.org.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. 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 http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.