The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that targets the immune system. Without proper treatment, HIV may progress into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a serious medical condition that lowers the body’s ability to fight infection. Those with AIDS may also acquire opportunistic infections, such as certain types of pneumonia, or even rare forms of cancer, like Kaposi sarcoma.

Fortunately, modern medicine provides a variety of ways to manage HIV and AIDS. Even better, a cure for these conditions may be only a few years away. Still, if a doctor has diagnosed you with HIV or AIDS, you may be wondering if you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Meeting the listing

With some medical conditions, the Social Security Administration has a list of criteria that you must meet to qualify for benefits. HIV and AIDS both have a listing. To meet the listing, you must show that you have an HIV or AIDS diagnosis. Then, you must prove that you have a qualifying complication. While the list of qualifying complications is broad, most on the list are serious medical matters.

Understanding recent changes

To qualify for SSDI benefits, your HIV or AIDS generally must interfere with your ability to work. You should realize, though, that because of changes in both prognosis and treatment, the SSA has reworked its qualification criteria. Unless they constitute a qualifying limitation, many types of bacterial, fungal and viral infections no longer meet the SSA’s listing.

Documenting your case

When you apply for SSDI benefits, you need to have sufficient documentation of your illness. First, you must have acceptable proof of your HIV status or AIDS diagnosis. Antibody, RNA and DNA detection and other laboratory results usually work. Then, you must compile evidence of your qualifying complication. Finally, you must have proof that your medical condition interferes with your ability to work.

Even though HIV and AIDS treatments have advanced significantly in recent years, you may not be able to work because of your medical condition. By understanding how to prepare your SSDI filing, you can better position yourself for receiving benefits.