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mental health evaluation for disability claim

Aug 23, 2002

I have a mental health evaluation coming up through social security for SSDI. I was wondering what they're looking for. I have been pos for 11 yrs, recently diagnosed with AIDS, and Hep B, and am frustrated that the mental health aspect is the only thing they seem to be focusing on as far as me receiving SSDI. Thank you.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

As far as I know being HIV positive or even having AIDS is no longer enough of a reason to apply for or qualifiy for SSDI. There has to be a documented condition that is the reason why you can no longer work. Today neither of these diagnoses in and of themselves would qualify you. Unless you have been diagnosed with a severe mental health disorder that is related to your having HIV/AIDS like severe depression or anxiety that has disabled you and prevented you from being able to work, or unless you have been disgnosed with an AIDS related central nervious condition that has caused you to have a severely impaired memory, for instance, I very much doubt that you are a candidate to qualify for SSDI. In order to be evaluated as qualifying to be elibible to receive SSDI, you have to be too disabled to be able to work whether it is due to physical symptoms or psychological or emotional ones. Michael Shernoff, MSW

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