The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes an infection that may progress to the life-threatening disease known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Whether or not the infection progresses, HIV patients are at an increased risk for many different diseases due to the immune system compromise that characterizes this type of infection.

If the effects of HIV and/or AIDS cause debilitating health problems, an individual may be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Insurance benefits upon approval by the Social Security Administration.

Disabling Effects of HIV/AIDS

A compromised immune system puts a patient in constant danger. Because the immune system is weakened, the patient’s exposure to bacterial and viral infections means they have a greater risk of contracting the disease than the average person. HIV patients commonly contract hepatitis-B, pneumonia, and other types of contagious diseases. Frequent medical checkups are a necessary part of living with HIV and AIDS, along with drug therapy to slow the progression or onset of AIDS.

HIV and AIDS patients may experience the following disabling effects that prevent them from working, either from the infection itself or related complications:

  • Oral health problems like periodontal disease and thrush
  • Neurological impairments like dementia, trouble concentrating, and brain tumors
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Contraction of pneumonia and other infections
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Lactic acidosis from medication therapy
  • Lipodystrophy (fat redistribution syndrome)
  • Sinus infections
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Peripheral neuropathy (tingling/burning of the feet, legs, and hands)

Also, the HIV virus is highly transmittable, so patients must take certain precautions not to put others at risk of contracting the virus.

Hiring an Attorney to Prove HIV/AIDS Disability

If you or someone in your family cannot work due to HIV or AIDS, a disability attorney can provide you with information on your eligibility for SSD benefits and help you apply. If you’ve already submitted an SSD or SSI application and been denied, your lawyer can help you restructure your approach to improve your chances of appealing the negative decision.

With nearly two-thirds of initial disability insurance applications receiving a denial, it is best to retain an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you are in an ideal position to be approved. For more details on disability benefits for HIV/AIDS patients, please use our SSD lawyer directory to locate legal assistance near your home.