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The Institute of Medicine Recommends New Criteria for Social Security HIV Requirements Based on CD4 Cell Count

At the request of the Social Security Administration, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has evaluated the criteria used by the US Social Security Administration. There is concern that the HIV infection listings established in 1993 are out of date.

IOM agrees that the Social Security Disability criteria is outdated. The IOM is now recommending the following criteria to qualify for disability benefits:

1. A CD4 cell count at or below 50 cells per cubic milliliters of blood serum, a laboratory benchmark that indicates an advanced stage of illness.

2. One of the few rare but fairly severe disabling HIV associated conditions, such as pulmonary Kaposi-Sarcoma, certain lymphomas, dimension, or progressive multi-focal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

3. An HIV associated condition that appears in another section of the SSA’s full Listing of Impairments such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and hepatitis.

4. An HIV associated condition that is not already included in other sections such as neuropathy, neurocognitive disorders and wasting syndromes.

The Social Security Administration is considering these criteria, which if adopted, would only be applicable to applicants who apply after the SSDI criteria for HIV are amended.