Change in social security disability: HIV-positive recipients may now have to go through reviews

Published 28, Jun, 2017
Author // Guest Authors - Revolving Door

As of March 1, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began requiring that people living with HIV prove they are still disabled. From TheBody.com, Enid Vázquez reports.

Change in social security disability: HIV-positive recipients may now have to go through reviews

People living with HIV (PLWH) who receive government disability checks have previously received that income without going through reviews. As of March 1, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began requiring that PLWH prove they are still disabled. Like others receiving disability payments, they will have to go through a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). These are conducted every one to seven years.

There are exceptions. Not subjected to a CDR are those with HIV who have

  • Multicentric Castleman disease,

  • primary central nervous system lymphoma,

  • primary effusion lymphoma,

  • progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or

  • pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma.

"The big take-away here: if you are receiving disability benefits, it is very important to stay in medical care. Document every symptom and have your doctor note them. Document, document, document," said Marina Kurakin of the Legal Council for Health Justice, in Chicago, who wrote "Money Trail" in the November + December 2016 issue of Positively Aware.

She said that one of the biggest concerns now is those who received disability based on mental health status but are not currently seeing a therapist and individuals who are working part-time while receiving disability benefits. Previously, PLWH were screened out of CDRs. That simply means that they did not have to undergo the reviews. Today, some of those people are actually very healthy. A review may put their disability income at risk.

It's not yet known when CDRs are expected to begin for people living with HIV. Legal advocates for PLWH, however, point out that the Social Security Administration moves slowly. If there are staff and budget cuts, SSA can be expected to move even more slowly.

To read the complete article by Enid Vázquez, visit TheBody.com, here.

About the Author

Guest Authors - Revolving Door

Guest Authors - Revolving Door

The Revolving Door is the place where we publish occasional articles by guest writers. If you would like to submit an article for publication, please contact editor Bob Leahy at editor@positivelite.com