Job Related Work Issues and HIV/AIDS

What do you do when you or someone you know is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS?  There are federal, state and local antidiscrimination laws in effect.  In addition, you may qualify for a number of programs within the Social Security Administration.

Learn more about the rights of PWAs (Person With AIDS) in the workplace and the options available to you when you decide to return to work and how that might affect your Social Security benefits.  Employers can also learn more and determine effective accommodations and comply with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Returning to Work and HIV/AIDS

You might have questions on how returning to work might affect your Social Security and/or Social Security disability status.  There are many questions that arise for those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS who receive one or more of the following:

If you receive any benefits (any form of Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, Medical Assistance, etc.) you are required to report your wages/income to all agencies including but not limited to the Department of Social Services, Social Security Administration including SSDI and SSI.

The Social Security Administration provides incentives for individuals receiving any Social Security assistance to return to work.

Work Incentives

There are special rules called "work incentives" that help you keep your cash benefits and Medicare while you test your ability to work. For example, there is a trial work period during which you can receive full benefits regardless of how much you earn, as long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disabling impairment.

The trial work period continues until you accumulate nine months (not necessarily consecutive) in which you perform what is called "services" within a rolling 60-month period.

Ticket to Work Program

The Ticket to Work Program provides most people receiving Social Security benefits (beneficiaries) more choices for receiving employment services. Under this program the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues ticket to eligible beneficiaries who, in turn, may choose to assign those tickets to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve a vocational (work) goal. The EN, if they accept the ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment.
Tickets to Work Website

If you need further assistance or have additional questions you can contact Legal Services of Northern Virginia or the HIV Resources Specialist at e-mail.

The Workplace and HIV/AIDS

Contains a wealth of information regarding the legal rights of PWAs.  Also contains information regarding employers and their responsibilities to create a workplace that has the resources to respond to HIV/AIDS at work as well as to assess their existing policies and programs regarding HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
The Body Website

Business Respond to AIDS/Labor Responds to AIDS (Business and Labor Resource Services fo the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
877-242-9760 (M,T,W,Th,F 9 am - 6 pm ET)
TTY/TDD 240-514-2780

More people are living and working with HIV than ever before.  Does your workplace have policies in place to handle discrimination, return-to-work, or employee morale issues?  CDC's Business/Labor Responds to AIDS (BRTA/LRTA) program is a resource to these and many other questions.
HIV At Work Website

Mid-Atlantic Disability & Business ADA Information Center
Voice/TTY  800-949-4323
301-217-0124 (M,T,W,Th,F 8:30 am - 5 pm ET)

"An individual is considered to have a "disability" if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.  Person with HIV disease, both symptomatic and symptomatic, have physical impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities and are, therefore, protected by the law." (ADA website).
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Website

Job Accomodation Network
(800)526-7234 in the United States
(800)ADA-WORK [(800)232-9675] in the United States
(877)781-9403 (TTY) in the United States
(304)293-7186 locally and outside the United States
Job Accommodation Network Email

Job Accomodation Network (JAN) is a service provided by the Department of Labor.  JAN's mission is to facilitate the employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing employers, employment providers, people with disabilities, and their family members with information on job accommodations, and other related subjects. JAN supports people with disabilities. In 1991 JAN expanded to provide information on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
JAN Website