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AIDS diagnosed
Sep 15, 2003

I was diagnosed with AIDS in Dec. 99. I was given the AIDS diag. because of Kaposis Sarcoma on my legs and shoulders and low cell count. At this time I feel heathly since being on the meds since Dec. 99. My cell count is over 500. Most of the lesions have gone away except for some on my legs. They are taking alot longer to disappear. My question is: am I considered disabled? Also do I qualify for medicare? I am concerned if I lose my health insurance. Thank you

Response from Ms. Breuer

Whether you are considered disabled is a matter that the Social Security Administration decides, if that is the definition of disabled that you're thinking of. You don't say anything about whether you're working. If you can work, I strongly encourage you to do so. Given the way that so many people with HIV are improving on HAART, the SSA is becoming much more restrictive about that "disabled" label, and some people who really should be classified as disabled are having difficulty obtaining that classification. Please contact a benefits counselor about that health insurance question. That's your lifeline right now. Please check with your local AIDS service organization, or with www.helpwithbenefits.com, to get reliable information.



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