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Disability question
May 7, 2012

I was diagnosed with HIV in May of 2006. I also suffer from chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, and was recently diagnosed with gastroparesis. All of these illnesses affect my day and there is never a day I feel 100%. I am lucky to be somewhere around 75%. I am considering going on disability but how do discuss this with my doctor? Do I qualify?

Response from Mr. Chambers

Based on your diagnoses, I'm amazed you are even at 75% part of the time. That said, however, there's no way to know for sure if you qualify for disability without knowing your symptoms and their frequency and severity. In addition, it would depend on your work history and educational background, as well as the definition of disability for the plan you are applying for.

Hopefully, your doctor is noting all your symptoms in your record. The next time you go to the doctor, tell her that you are having more and more problems working (assuming that's true) and you are considering filing for disability. Ask her if she will support your claim and whether the medical record documents your problems enough.

Before actually filing for disability, you should determine which disability programs you are eligible for. You should also get an idea on what to expect when you file for Social Security Disability. There are many website with information about the process.

Good luck, Jacques

If you go on Cobra with HIV

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