What Are the Benefits of Applying for SSDI with HIV/AIDS?

61 million adults in the United States live suffer from a disability and it is difficult for them to successfully undertake daily tasks that are required to live an adequate existence.

They have to depend on family for many of their needs and they suffer from financial hardship because they find it impossible to work with a disability like HIV/AIDS.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) considers HIV and AIDS to be a disability, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not automatically entitle someone with this condition the rights to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits unless the victim is unable to work for at least 12 months.

The SSA publishes a list of impairments related to HIV/Aids which are considered severe enough that they prevent an victim from performing substantial gainful activity such as outbreaks of bacterial infections, fungal infections, protozoan infections and viral infections

Financial Help With HIV/AIDS

The Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts an assessment of those with HIV/AIDS who have applied for SSDI benefits. As well as being un able to work, anyone who is eligible for SSDI benefits must have accrued sufficient work credits while employed.

The number of work credits required depends on the applicant’s age and when you the person became disabled with HIV/AIDS.  If you are less than 24 years you will only need six work credits but if you are over 62 years of age you must have 40 credits.

If the SSA decides you are eligible for SSDI benefits because your medical condition with HIV/AIDS is expected to persist for at no less 12 months and you have built up enough work credits you will start to receive SSDI. Every year SSDI increases when the SSA  makes cost-of-living adjustments.

Retirement and Survivors benefits 

If you were born after 1928, you need 40 work credits if you wish to qualify for retirement benefits. If you have earned more than 40 your retirement benefits won’t change.

If you have been working and have paid Social Security taxes, some of the taxes are set aside for survivors’ benefits. When you die your family members may receive survivors’ benefits.

The number of work credits needed so that family members are entitled to survivors’ benefits depends on the how old you are when you die.

The younger you are, the fewer the credits are required. No one is required to have more than 40 credits.  If you are in receipt of retirement or disability benefits on the day you death, the SSA will pay your survivors based on that entitlement.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare is available to a few people with disabilities if they are still under 65 years old. These people must have been receiving SSDI benefits for 24 months.

People with a disability such as HIV/Aids who are already receiving SSDI benefits should be sent a Medicare card when the 24 month qualifying period has been reached.

When the Medicare card has been received it will cover the cost any hospital stays, care required in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. It also covers doctors' fees, outpatient care, medical supplies, preventive services and prescription drugs.

Return to Work Incentives - the Ticket to Work Program

The aim of the SSA’s Ticket to Work Program is to provide career development opportunities for anyone who is receiving SSDI benefits and who is between the age of 18 and 64 years and is eager to rejoin the workforce. The Ticket to Work Program is both free and voluntary and assists those with disabilities to become financially independent.

The PASS Program

The PASS program aim is to assist disabled individuals to find suitable employment so that it lowers or eliminates the need for them to receive SSI or SSDI benefits.

Additional Resources 

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!