Social Security Disability Lawyers for HIV/AIDS
If the symptoms you’re experiencing due to HIV or AIDS prevent you from returning to work or performing another type of job, you might be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Indiana Social Security Disability lawyers of Hankey Law Office could file your claim and guide you through the entire process, so you receive the payments you need to afford your daily expenses. If you previously applied for benefits and received a denial letter, we might be able to file an appeal.
AIDS and HIV are immunodeficiency conditions that can cause debilitating symptoms, resulting in reduced functional capacity, diminished quality of life, and the inability to maintain gainful employment. We know how vital your income is. You need it to support yourself, your family and pay for basic needs, such as food and clothing. At Hankey Law Office, our team of award-winning Social Security Disability lawyers has over 80 years of combined legal experience. We will advocate for your rights and fight for the maximum benefits you deserve.
Learn more about how we can help by calling us at (317) 634-8565 for a free consultation.
Differences Between HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS are conditions that affect the immune system. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) attacks cells in the body that assist in fighting off infections. This can make a person more susceptible to developing diseases. Without the necessary treatment, HIV can eventually cause AIDS. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a late stage of HIV that develops when the infection causes severe damage to the body.
Common symptoms beginning around two to four weeks after becoming infected with HIV are:
- Night sweats
- Mouth ulcers
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches
As the virus progresses, you might notice additional symptoms indicating AIDS, such as:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Long-lasting and severe diarrhea
- Feeling tired all the time
- Bleeding or bruising for no apparent reason
- Purplish skin spots that won’t go away
- Yeast infections in the vagina, throat, or mouth
- Fever lasting longer than ten days
Once you become infected with the HIV virus, your body cannot get rid of it. There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS; however, there are treatment options for managing symptoms and preventing complications from developing. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) combines three or more medications from different classifications of drugs. It could reduce the amount of HIV in a person’s blood and prevent the virus from creating new drug-resistant strains.
Some people can benefit from alternative medicine, such as taking probiotics or making lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods. You should discuss all available options with your doctor to determine the ones that would work best.
HIV/AIDS might affect your physical or mental ability to earn a good living, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from receiving the benefits you need to afford your medical costs and household expenses. Two types of disability benefits are available depending on the circumstances of your disabling condition.
Determining Eligibility for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are separate federal programs providing benefit payments to people no longer working. They can replace your lost wages or provide cash benefits to pay for your basic needs.
Social Security Disability
You might be entitled to SSD benefits if your disabling condition kept you from working for at least six months. The amount of your payments will depend on the average monthly income you earned before becoming disabled and how many years you maintained employment. Benefits come from the Social Security taxes taken out of your paychecks, so the longer you worked, the more money will be available from these taxes.
Specific family members could also qualify for social security disability benefits, such as:
- Divorced spouse
- Disabled children
- An adult child who became disabled before turning 22 years old
Supplemental Security Income
You could collect SSI benefits if you earn a limited income and your assets don’t exceed these maximum limits:
- Individuals – $2,000
- Couples – $3,000
You could also collect cash benefits to pay for basic needs, such as clothing, shelter, and food.
Determining whether someone’s medical condition qualifies as a disability requires looking at five factors:
- Whether you’re working and the amount of your average earnings.
- Whether your condition limits your functioning abilities at work for at least twelve months.
- Whether your disability is on the disabling conditions list.
- Whether your symptoms prevent you from performing the duties of previous jobs you’ve held.
- Whether you can perform other types of work.
The Social Security Administration provides a Starter Kit if you want to apply for SSD or SSI benefits. You must submit proof of your disability with medical records and other documentation. If you can’t show that your HIV/AIDS impairs your work abilities, you likely won’t receive the payments you need.
Applying for Disability Benefits
You have three options to choose from if you want to apply for SSD or SSI benefits:
This is the most convenient option. The Social Security Administration website is user-friendly and contains a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.
You could schedule an appointment with a local Social Security office. A representative will provide the application for you to complete. Be sure to show up with all medical records and documentation related to your disability.
Over the Phone
You can speak with a representative by calling 1-800-772-1213. They can explain how the claims process works and answer all your questions. They will also ask for basic information to mail you an application.
Speak To A Dedicated Social Security Disability Lawyer
At Hankey Law Office, our legal team is available 24/7 to take your call and will treat you as a priority while we’re working on your claim. We care about our clients and always work hard to meet their needs. You can depend on us to fight for the maximum benefits you’re owed, so you don’t have to face the stress of financial strain.
If HIV/AIDS has left you disabled and unable to perform your job-related duties, call Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565 for a free consultation. We’re ready to obtain the SSD or SSI benefits you rightfully deserve so you can get your life back on track.