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Can I continue to attend school while on Disability?
Jun 1, 2001

First a quick thank you for your wonderful work. After working while infected for three years (while also attending night school) I find I can no longer continue. I'm thoroughly exhausted. My firm announced it is dissolving in August - December 31 is the last day. The partner I work for has asked me to come to his new firm. However, I may be able to attend a work/study program through my school. The hours would be flexible. I could rest more. My question is, will I be eligible for public assistance (and then disability after 5 months) if I continue to attend school? I am realistic about my condition. This summer my Tcells fell below 200 for the second time in three years and I was on disability for 6 weeks. School is the only thing that keeps me going. Do you have any advice? Again, thank you in advance.

Response from Mr. Berg

While I'm not the public/governmental benefits expert, generally speaking, attending school doesn't necessarily preclude disability benefits as long as the duties and hours are consistant with the documented physical limitations. As long as school is seen as theraputic and not a replacement for work you should be ok. Work -study may be a problematic for public assistance programs since you are receivng an income. You may want to contact your local AIDS Services Organization for assistance in applying for disability benefits.

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