September 29, 2010
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently provided guidance to the Social Security Administration on updating its Listings of Impairments -- a tool that helps SSA quickly assess whether someone with HIV or another condition qualifies for benefits. The HIV/AIDS listings were last updated in 1993.
The following are the new recommendations to qualify someone as eligible for SSA disability payments:
The biggest change would be that HIV-positive applicants seeking disability would have to reapply to SSA every three years. That policy pertains only to new applicants, not to those already receiving disability through SSA.
Raeline Nobles, executive director of the Dallas-based non-profit AIDS Arms, said SSA currently allows disability for people with a CD4 count of 200. She said she sees many clients who get along fine with a CD4 count of 100. "But politically, it might be a way to cut some expensive corners," she said, adding, "50 seems awfully low to me."
To view the report, "HIV and Disability: Updating the Social Security Listings," visit http://iom.edu/Reports/2010/HIV-and-Disability-Updating-the-Social-Security-Listings.aspx.