Life activities under ADA also include important bodily functions that are not visible, such as the function of the immune system. Because a person with HIV or AIDS has impaired immunity, the ADA considers the conditions as disabilities, even if people have no symptoms. The SSA definition of disability may differ from some other generally accepted definitions. The SSA definition is specific and being HIV-positive is not automatically considered a disability.
Although currently available treatments for HIV are often effective in controlling symptoms and complications, continued employment depends on how far your HIV has progressed and whether your illness has progressed to AIDS. In addition, there is a growing understanding that people living with HIV or AIDS are also at risk of becoming permanently or episodically disabled as a result of their illness. Certain complications of an HIV-positive condition make it more likely that the SSA will consider you for disability benefits. Intensive AIDS treatments can also force a patient to become unemployed. This is one of the factors that answer the question: “Is AIDS a disability.
For HIV to be considered a disability by SSA, you do not need to be able to work significantly due to the symptoms you have. For an illness to be considered a disability by SSA, it must be impossible for you to earn enough money through a job to support yourself. It is important to know that this is not the only way to be eligible for disability benefits with AIDS. For example, if you worked the same job for 20 years before becoming disabled, it would be harder to learn the skills needed to change jobs at this point in your life.
People with invisible disabilities may not look disabled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t identify with communities for disabled people. It is easier for someone who becomes disabled at a younger age or has worked in multiple areas to make a transition.
- Disability and HIV/AIDS | United Nations Enable