We are a long way from the 1980s when a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS meant a fatal outcome in the near future. Today, even though people with HIV/AIDS can expect to live long lives with antiretroviral drugs, the condition itself can make it difficult for people to work full-time.
Persons living with HIV/AIDS can face a number of physical and mental impairments that make it difficult to work full time. These people are subject to bacterial, fungal and viral infections, skin impairments, as well as neurological and hematological impairments. They may suffer from chronic diarrhea, fatigue, cardiac problems including cardiomyopathy, as well as an increased risk of cancer. Persons living with HIV may also be at risk for mental problems, including depression and anxiety.
If you can prove that your condition makes it impossible for you to pursue full-time employment, you may have a strong claim for benefits. However, a diagnosis of HIV by itself will not be sufficient for the Social Security Administration to approve your claim for disability benefits.
Strong medical documentation is critical when applying for Social Security disability benefits for HIV/AIDS. Keep records of all the treatments and therapies that you are undergoing, including medications that you are taking. Make a note of all the times that you are unable to perform your regular duties because of the impairments brought about by your diagnosis. All documentation must be updated on a regular basis. Note down all the activities that you can now no longer perform because of your impairments. Don’t expect your doctor to note down all of these – your duty as an applicant is to ensure that all documentation is thorough.