Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

Just started SSDI Process & very scared.

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I've been lurking for over a year and finally decided to register. Shout-out to all the wonderful members on this forum. I was first diagnosed in 2002 with CD count 38 and my CD Count has not seen any significant improvement. Within the last 12 years my CD4 has ranged from 100 - 250. It just recently dropped to 200, with viral load of 50. I'm really struggling with a lot of health issues, recurring genital herpes, Thrombocytopenia, HTN, chronic fatigue, dizziness, muscle pain, depression lack of concentration etc.  Applied for SSDI just two months ago and was told by the SS agent that I have enough credit despite being out of work for 3yrs. I  did informed my ID doctor in Feb that I wanted to apply for disability. He was not really impressed but promised to help. Handed him form SSA-4814 and he promised to sign but it's been over 2 months now and nothing done. My Attorney also sent him some forms to sign but nothing has been done. I'v seen him 4 times within last 6 months and each time he has diagnosed something new. He also showed me the medical request from SSA but he still has not forwarded my records. I know his practice is very busy but I'm not also sure he really want to help me.  Over the years, my treatment was at the local health department which mostly based on blood work and med. No proper documentation. So February 12, 2012, I started seeing my current ID and was amazed and happy that he documented all my issues and gave me a couple of referrals. I had to see surgeon for a cyst removal and and I'm also pcurrently seeing a Hematologist for my Chronic Thrombocytepenia. So overall, my ID Doc has really helped but I'm still not sure why he is so slow with SSDI forms.  Last month, I also collected all my medical records from my ID Doc and the Local Health Dept and handed everything to my Attorney. My Attorney submitted all the records to the DDS Examiner. I also had submit a Work History Report and a Function Disability Report which was very difficult to complete. Will sincerely, welcome any advice from members of this forum. Wow!!! Sorry for my long introduction and rambling. I'm exhausted and completely burnt-out.  More next time...

Check with your attorney, but I'm fairly certain that when the SSA makes a request for information from your physician it is NOT OPTIONAL.  I believe your doctor is breaking the law if he is not responding in a timely manner.

Thanks a lot Darryaz. I'll discuss this with my Attorney.
I read a lot of discouraging stories on this forum about the disability process and how SSA  denies almost all new claims related Hiv/Aids disability.  So what do they really want? What are are the Hiv/Aids conditions that SSA want us to meet? How long is the process? I'm really scared and terrified.

By itself, HIV does not qualify a person for SSDI as these days it is considered a manageable illness.  So you would do well to focus on the specific physical, mental or cognitive conditions that were CAUSED BY either HIV or its treatment and that prevent you from being able to work.  In my case it was NOT the HIV that gained me approval, it was the cognitive and memory deficits caused by a combination of meningitis and brain surgery.  The meningitis was a result of a "disseminated fungal infection secondary to HIV/AIDS" (i.e. my immune system sucked and I caught a nasty bug).

Here's a link to where I've listed a couple of "lessons learned" from my experience with going through the application process:

As far as the length of the process, it varies by state.  The SSA contracts with the individual states to manage the approval process.  Some states are quite strict whereas others make it fairly easy to receive SSDI approval.  Generally the "horror stories" you have read about here on the forum are from people in some of the strictest states.

Thanks for the link and tips Darryas. Your help is greatly appreciated.


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