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SSD benefits may be available to HIV sufferers

Human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV, is a sexually transmitted disease that can reshape and even end a Floridian's life. Although medical researchers continue to search for a cure and develop treatments to extend the length and quality of life for sufferers, the reality is that this disease continues to strip away what sufferers may have once considered a normal life.

One way the disease can do this is by rendering an individual disabled. Once disabled, an HIV sufferer may be unable to work. The resulting lost wages may make it impossible to pay for needed medical care and other bills. This financial difficulty can be stressful in its own right, making a difficult time even tougher.

Fortunately, the Social Security Administration recognizes HIV as a disabling disease. In order to qualify for SSD benefits though, victims must prove that they meet federal requirements. With regard to HIV, this may mean showing the existence of bacterial, fungal, protozoan, helminthic or viral infections. Additionally, malignant neoplasms, HIV encephalopathy, certain skin and mucus conditions, and wasting syndrome may qualify an individual for benefits. Each qualifying factor must meet severity requirements as well as recurrence.

Many of the Social Security Administration's requirements may seem simple enough, but failing to meet even the most minor of them could result in a denied claim. Therefore, those who have been unable to work because of their condition should think about how to put forth the best possible claim under the circumstances. An experienced attorney may be able to help with this process, as well as assist in navigating the process and utilizing the law to a claimant's benefit.

Source: Social Security Administration, "14.00 Immune System Disorders - Adult," accessed on Oct. 31, 2016

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