If you cannot work due to HIV or AIDS, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Like other disabilities, the evaluation will depend on whether your disability will last at least a year or end in death, and prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful work. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is also available if your child has HIV or AIDS, depending on the same household income threshold as other SSI claim.
No, disability benefits will not be approved if the individual’s only disability is drug or alcohol addiction. However, if an individual has other independent impairments that render him/her disabled when combined with the drug or alcohol addiction, then benefits may be awarded for those medical conditions, although payees may be mandated.
Yes. In determining an individual’s disability, Social Security is actually required to consider how the combination of health problems affects the individual’s performance. It is not uncommon for a disability claimant to have multiple health issues and still be able to receive benefits.
Yes. In fact, we recommend that you do not wait until Worker’s Compensation benefits end before filing for SS disability, because individuals have been able to receive payments under both programs in many instances.
Yes, so long as gross earnings are below a specified amount. If you experience medical improvement, unlimited earnings are allowed for up to 9 months while disability benefits will still continue under a Trial Work Period.
Yes. You can receive disability benefits so long as you have been disabled or expect to be disabled for at least 1 year, so you should file for SS disability benefits even if you hope to eventually return to work.
Normally cases are handled on a contingency basis, where representatives will only receive a fee if your case is won. The typical fee is 25% of your back benefits only, and must be approved by Social Security. If there are any incidental costs or expenses, you will always be notified in advance.
The important thing to remember is that you can get experienced legal aid even if you don’t currently have money.
It is recommended that you hire a legal representative as early as you can in the claim process, in order to help prepare for the initial filing/appeals and to ensure that all important information is correctly provided.
No, a claimant can represent himself through the entire process. However, legal representation is strongly recommended. The application and appeals process can be complicated and overwhelming, and often involves precise legal definitions and inquiries that must be responded to appropriately. Additionally, claimants with experienced counsel win much more often than unrepresented claimants.
A large number of claims are denied due to a lack of proof in individual medical records that shows the degree and consistency of the disabling medical conditions. It is important to remember that only your doctor’s medical charts and records, and not the doctor himself, will be present when Social Security makes its determination. As such, medical records must be extensive and detailed enough to overcome any medical inquiries conducted by Social Security.
Unfortunately, doctors are often not trained to routinely record such extensive information, so medical records frequently lack credible documentation or a showing of regular medical treatment.