“Hi, my name is Andrew Kinney. I’m an attorney at Hoglund Law offices and I practice Social Security Disability Law for a living. Today I wanted to address a difficult topic. HIV or AIDS.
It’s a very difficult diagnosis to get. What is good news though is that in recent years, medication has helped avoid symptoms from these diseases. Social Security Disability, the program that I’m involved in proves that someone is unable to work for a period of a year or more, or is expected to be unable to work for medical reasons for a year or more. The question in HIV or AIDS cases comes down to this: What symptoms do you have? Fatigue, although hard to quantify, is very important to make sure to mention to your doctor. Also if there are chronic infections associated with HIV and AIDS, that, when they are not resolved in a short period of time can build up over time and can allow an approval for social security benefits on that basis.
So if you get the idea a diagnosis is not enough for social security. It’s a diagnosis that’s medically determinable in this case some tests, but it’s also the function limitations you suffer from day in day out. Now there can be periods where you have better days and worse days. Ultimately, the question comes down to this: are you unable to work for a period of a year or more? If you’re able to do a little work, social security will evaluate whether you’re currently working or not. As of 2011, the standard is: Are you making $1000 or more a month for 3 months in a row?
If you find that you are still able to work with HIV or AIDS but you are unable to keep a full time job, that’s the time to consider whether you will apply for social security disability. What’s also fine is to talk to your doctor about how much you should work and when you should work. The reason is this: When you’re approving your case in front of social security, judges in particular are evaluating what your doctor is going to say. If you’re working until you can’t and you’re also discussing with your doctor your ability to work, that is reflected in the medical record. So, I might see a medical record that says talked with my patient, I recommended my patient only work part-time due to fatigue and chronic sinusoids.
All sorts of Comments in the record mean your doctor is caring for you, your doctor knows you’re trying your best, your doctor knows the extent of your symptoms, but the judge in turn would know what you can and can’t do. The medical standard for social security is your inability to work full time. If that’s the case you may consider applying for social security benefits. If you have more questions about HIV or AIDS we have a medical disability library on our website at www.HoglundLaw.com. You can also just call our office about general questions about how we might be able to help you. Thank you.”
If you are sick enough from HIV or AIDS, you may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits in Minnesota. There are essentially two ways to be found disabled under the government’s guidelines. You either meet or equal a “listing”, or your combined symptoms are severe enough to make you unable to work full-time for 1 year or more.
HIV may begin with relatively few or no symptoms but progress as your body cannot fight infections. “Opportunistic” infections, and other health problems from HIV and AIDS, may be serious enough to lead to hospitalization:
- Bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or viral infections
- Malignant neoplasms
- Conditions of the skin or mucus membrane that don’t respond to treatment
- Blood abnormalities
- Neurological abnormalities
- HIV wasting syndrome
- Diarrhea lasting 1 month or more and requiring IV hydration or IV alimentation or tube feeding
- Septic arthritis
- Chronic Sinusitis
Social Security also considers complications from HIV and AIDS-related conditions which may not lead to hospitalization but will severely impact your daily activities, ability to interact with others, and your ability to concentrate for at least 1 year or more.
If you, a friend, or a loved one cannot work due to HIV or AIDS, you may wish to hire our team of Hoglund Lawyers. If you do, our lawyers will give you legal advice about the following:
- What kind of medical treatment allows us to argue your true level of functioning over time?
- How do you treat to avoid Social Security blaming you for your symptoms?
- How can an attorney help you before a federal judge at a hearing?
Most Social Security disability cases can be complex, especially involving HIV and AIDS. If you would like a licensed attorney rather than a generic “advocate or representative” to be on your side, call Hoglund, Chwialkowski, and Mrozik today for a free initial consultation.