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Does HIV or AIDS qualify a New Jersey resident for SSD benefits?

Beginning in the late 1970's to the early 1980's, doctors and other health professionals began to notice a burgeoning epidemic of a strange disease that had not been previously identified. While political arguments ensued, leading to much inaction, the disease spread until it became a major public health issue. This disease, caused by a virus labeled HIV, attacked the immune system of patients and caused a condition that became known as AIDS. While great strides have been made in combating the symptoms of the disease and improving quality of life of people who suffer from it, there is still no cure.

The Social Security Administration recognizes the seriousness of this disease, and it is possible that those who have the condition may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. According to the SSA's publication on the subject, people with HIV or AIDS who have an inability to work due to the disease may qualify for payments. Of course, as with all disability cases, they will have to show that the condition is expected to last for a year or more or lead to death, and that it affects their ability to engage in substantial gainful activity.

The SSA says that it attempts to process HIV/AIDS applications as quickly as possible, and gives some guidance as to what information is needed to get approved. Along with the normal information, such as name, date of birth and Social Security Number, applicants should have their recent W-2s, the names, addresses and phone numbers of all their health care providers, a list of the ways that the disease has affected their ability to work and the types of employment they have engaged in for the past 15 years.

While living with HIV has become "easier" over the past couple decades, the effects of the disease and the physical and emotional stress it can cause are well understood by those who have had contact with the people affected by it. New Jersey residents who wish to file for SSDI benefits on the basis of their HIV status may need to get more information about their own unique situation.

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