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AIDS disability benefits are available if your condition is keeping you from working. Many individuals with HIV infection have severe symptoms that prevent them from working. If you have severe AIDS symptoms and you will be off work for over 12 months, then the SSA may find you eligible for SSDI benefits.

On the other hand, individuals with HIV infection who are asymptomatic or who have less severe HIV manifestations, will not usually win benefits. The reason is that their symptoms are not keeping them from working a 40 hour work week.

The SSA looks at each case on an individual basis. In order to win SSDI benefits, the SSA will look to the signs, symptoms, lab findings, and other information in your AIDS medical record to award benefits. You can win benefits when you can prove that your AIDS symptoms are keeping you from working.

Aids Infographics. AIDS disability. Vector illustration. Awareness HIV AIDS.

As you can see in the above chart, HIV/AIDS is a disease that effects more than 36 million people worldwide. Anyone can get AIDS. And, it is usually contracted by unprotected sex. Fortunately, AIDS is no longer a death sentence.

Due to advances in medicine, becoming HIV+ can be managed with medications, much like Diabetes. Unfortunately, even though there is more knowledge about AIDS, over 1 million people contracted the disease in 2020. Likewise, over 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illness since the epidemic began.


The Social Security Administration has a very strict set of rules about when they will award benefits. While some insurance programs give money to people on a short term basis, Social Security does not.

You will only be paid benefits by Social Security if you are unable to do any substantial gainful work activity because of a medical condition that has lasted, or can be expected to last, for at least 12 months. Learn more about SSA’s definition of work. Additionally, you can also get benefits if your medical condition is expected to result in death.

There are two types of Social Security benefits your can receive:  Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI).  You can receive one or both benefits.

To find out more about the differences between SSDI and SSI, read here. Go here to learn how to apply for SSD benefits.  Likewise, read here, if you need help obtaining the SSD application or appeal forms. With both types of benefits, past due benefits tie to the date of your application. That is why it is important to file your  application as soon as you know you are not returning to work. Learn more about past due SSD benefits.


Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are for people who have worked and paid taxes. You may qualify for SSDI if:

  • You’ve worked and paid Social Security taxes.
  • You’ve worked at least 5 of the 10 years before you became disabled. This could be fewer years the younger you are.
  • You can’t do any job, not just the one you had.
  • You’ve been disabled and off work for at least 5 months.
  • You expect your situation to last for 12 months or longer or to result in death.

How much you get paid on a monthly benefit depends on your past earnings and how long you’ve been covered under Social Security. Go here for more information about earnings and the amount of your SSD benefit. After 24 months of getting SSDI, you’ll also qualify for Medicare benefits.

If you have not worked or did not pay taxes, or both, then you may be able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In order to win these benefits, you must meet the medical rules and meet SSA’s income and asset rules.

Find out more about SSI benefits. SSI benefits come with Medicaid. Medicaid covers a variety of health services and medications. Go here to learn more information about Medicaid benefits.


Medical reports you provide to the SSA should include a complete description of your medical history.  This includes information on your HIV diagnosis, onset, duration, and prognosis. It is important to describe the full medical course of your illness, as that will help the SSA determine when the HIV infection and other health conditions began and kept you from working.

Establishing the correct onset date is important because it may affect when cash benefits and Medicare coverage begin. Find out more information about Medicare benefits.

Your medical records should also describe the standard positive and negative findings of a physical exam. Progress notes that document the findings of your doctor are also helpful. Your reports should include all clinical findings and lab findings, including any results of HIV testing.

An HIV infection that is not supported by lab test results should be explained. Find out how to support your AIDS case with free medical records. If you have other medical conditions, like mental impairments such as Depression, you need to include those records too.


The following Listing 14.07 is for AIDS. In order to win benefits, you must meet the 14.07 criteria.

14.07 Immune deficiency disorders, excluding HIV infection with:

A. One or more of the following infections. The infection(s) must either be resistant to treatment or require hospitalization or intravenous treatment three or more times in a 12-month period.

1. Sepsis; or

2. Meningitis; or

3. Pneumonia; or

4. Septic arthritis; or

5. Endocarditis; or

6. Sinusitis documented by appropriate medically acceptable imaging.


B. Stem cell transplantation as described under 14.00E3. Consider under a disability until at least 12 months from the date of transplantation. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system.


C. Repeated manifestations of an immune deficiency disorder, with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss) and one of the following at the marked level:

1. Limitation of activities of daily living.

2. Limitation in maintaining social function.

3. Limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace.


There is specific information that the SSA is looking for in your medical records. Examples of lab findings may include:

  • CD4 counts;
  • Abnormal blood counts (e.g., hematocrit);
  • Radiographic or other imaging abnormalities; and
  • Pertinent microbiology or pathology reports. Please report any signs you have observed, such as:
    • Muscle weakness or progressive motor dysfunction;
    • Documented persistent fever;
    • Documented weight loss;
    • Dyspnea;
    • Neurological complications related to HIV infection (for example, HIV encephalopathy or peripheral neuropathy); or
    • Mental abnormalities causing impairments, such as difficulty concentrating.

Also, include in your medical records and reports to the SSA any symptoms or other effects of HIV infection. Examples include the patient statements about:

    • Persistent low energy, fatigue, weakness, or pain;
    • Fever, or night sweats;
    • Shortness of breath;
    • Persistent cough;
    • Persistent diarrhea;
    • Depression;
    • Anxiety;
    • Cognitive symptoms, such as loss of concentration, or slow thoughts;
    • Headaches;
    • Nausea; and
    • Vomiting.

Read here, if you need more information about how to collect your medical records.


In your AIDS disability case, we will use our legal skills to help you through the Social Security appeal process. It is our goal to win your case. But, it also our goal to make filing for SSDI and SSI benefits easier for you.

We offer a free review of your case. If you call, then there is no obligation to become a client. You can simply ask questions. We will answer. Even if we don’t accept your case, we will still try to help you.

It also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This means if we win, then you pay us out of your back benefits. If you do not win, you do not pay an attorney fee.

How much is the fee? It is 25% of your back benefit. The fee cap is $7200. However, you never pay more than the fee cap at the hearing stage of your case. And, 25% of your back benefit is usually less than the $7200 attorney fee cap. You will pay whatever is the lesser amount and only if we win the case. Find out more here about what it will cost.


If there are costs in your AIDS case, then you pay for those costs. However, the costs are usually less than $100. Typically, if a doctor charges for copies of your medical records, then that is your bill to pay. We also have a small office fee that covers the expenses for the costs in your case. However, that fee is also less than $100.

There are costs in every case. You will owe the costs in your case whether we win or lose your case. However, your attorney fees come from your back benefit. You only pay an attorney fee if we win your case. You owe no attorney fee if we do not win benefits for you.

Hiring an attorney with experience to represent you in your case is the best thing you can do to help yourself. Contact us today and take advantage of the free review of your case. We want to be your legal team and help you obtain your AIDS benefits.

If you cannot work due to AIDS disability, then Cannon Disability Law can help you apply for SSD and SSI benefits. Also, we can help you appeal an SSA denial. Additionally, we will represent you in court at your hearing. We will help you be a witness in your case.


If necessary, we can appeal your case to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is an appeal board that reviews cases throughout the entire country. Find out more here about the Appeals Council.

Likewise, we file appeals in Federal Court. Also, we can represent you no matter where where you live. Read more about cities we serve. For example, we can represent you if need an attorney in Utah or Nevada. Additionally, we can help you if you live in Idaho, Colorado, or California. Learn more information about Idaho SSDI benefits.

Your ability to receive Medicaid and Medicare depends upon winning your SSDI claim. You are going to need health insurance to care for your AIDS symptoms. Medicare benefits come with SSD benefits. Likewise, Medicaid benefits come with SSI benefits. If you have AIDS, your medications are expensive. Therefore, you need to know about your Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Find out more about Medicare benefits.

In order to fight the SSA’s denials, you need a lawyer with experience. See reasons to hire an SSD attorney. Hire us. Dianna Cannon has been helping people win benefits for over thirty years. Likewise, Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers also have many years of legal experience.

Together, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI hearings. You can trust us. We will do everything we can to win your SSD and SSI benefits. Find out more about our legal experience and how we can help you with your AIDS disability case on our About Us page.  Give us a call today. Contact us for the free review of your case. Put our experience to work for you.

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