If you are wondering what Social Security looks at to see if you will qualify for disability due to HIV/AIDS, please read on! Social Security will try to assess your ability to return to work. They will use a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment to do this. Below we will discuss what Social Security looks for in your medical evidence to complete the RFC and determine whether you would qualify for Social Security Disability.
Social Security realizes that not only does the illness itself cause a person to have symptoms but, the medication that is use to fight the illness may cause symptoms as well. So Social Security takes both into consideration when filling out the Residual Functional Capacity assessment. An examiner will go through all of your medical records and look for all symptoms that have been attributed to the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.
The acute and clinical latent infection periods are known as the first two stages of HIV. A patient’s symptoms would probably not be deemed by Social Security to meet a level as to cause a person not to be able to work. As the disease progresses and the patient becomes symptomatic, that is where the RFC begins to take shape. The early stage symptoms can be weight loss, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and fatigue to name a few. It should also be known, that women’s symptoms can be different than men’s and Social Security will take that into consideration as well.
Once a person’s HIV develops into AIDS, not only will they still show the above symptoms but, opportunistic infections start coming into play. Pneumonia seems to be one of the biggies. Others might include various cancers, toxoplasmosis of the brain, and memory loss.
The medications use to fight this disease have nasty side effects and can be a great contributor as to why a person with this disease cannot function in the workplace. These medication side effects can increase the symptoms that the sufferer already possesses from the disease itself.
The Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment will take into account not only the physical symptoms the patient possesses but, the mental limitations and sensory limitations as well. Then Social Security will take the RFC information along with your education level, job skills, and your age to see if there are any jobs that you would be able to do. If the answer is no, then you will be considered disabled under Social Security Disability Rules.