Social Security and HIV/AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that causes progressive failure of your immune system. The failure of the immune system can lead to life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancer. In almost all cases, HIV will develop into Autoimune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This progression from HIV to AIDS generally takes about ten years. Patients with HIV infections that have not progressed into AIDS, and even some patients with AIDS, will not be found disabled. To meet the requirements to receive Social Security Disability Insurance, you must first be diagnosed with HIV or AIDS through proper medical evidence. Then you must show that you have one of the follow: • Bacterial infection, which includes recurrent diarrhea caused by the presence of Salmonella bacteria in the blood; bacterial infections that appear at places other than the lungs, skin or lymph nodes in the head, neck or lungs; nocardiosis, a lung infection that can cause various breathing and neurological problems; and multiple or recurrent infections that require hospitalization or antibiotics intraveneously at least three times or more in one year. • Viral infection, including herpes caused by herpes type 5 that occurs in parts of the body other than your liver, spleen or lymph nodes; herpes simplex virus; shingles that spread and are resistant to treatment; and progressive inflammation of the white matter in the brain in multiple areas. • Fungal infection, which includes yeast infection in a part of the body other than the skin, urinary tract, intestines, mouth or vagina; aspergillosis, a fungal infection or allergic reaction caused by the Aspergillus fungus; coccidioidomycosis, that affects areas other than the lungs or lymph nodes; cryptococcosis, a fungal infection that can cause fever, fatigue, chest pain, dry cough, swelling of the stomach, headache, blurred vision, and confusion, occurring somewhere in the body other than the lungs; histoplasmosis, that affects the body somewhere other than in the lungs or lymph nodes; mucormycosis, an infection that occurs in the sinuses, brain or lungs; and pneumonia. • Protozoan or helminthic infection which includes parasites affecting the intestines that cause diarrhea for one month or longer; strongyloidiasis (roundworm infection) outside the intestines; toxoplasmosis that occurs somewhere in the body other than the liver, spleen or lymph node. • Cancer which includes tumors in the cervix at stage II or worse; cancerous lesions in the mouth or occur in the lungs, intestines or other organs of the addomen; cancer in the lymph nodes; squamous cell cancer in the anal canal. • Skin or mucus membrane condition which includes extensive fungus or lesions of the skin that do not respond to treatment • HIV encephalopathy with swelling of the brain that causes cognitive or physical impairments • HIV wasting syndrome with loss of 10% of body weight and diarrhea at least twice a day or fever for longer than a month or longer. • Diarrhea which lasts longer than a month, does not respond to treatment and requires intravenous hydration or a feeding tub. To prove disability, an individual will have to present medical records with very specific medical findings illustrating that they meet the requirements of the above complications. Importantly, there is no need to show that the individual has been impaired for 12 months or that they expect to be impaired for at least 12 months. They only need to show that they suffer from the complications listed above.