Being HIV positive often prevents people from working, which can lead to stress related to their inability to support themselves and pay their bills on time. Luckily, there are several programs available to people living with HIV that can help provide financial assistance. Your local AIDS organization may be able to refer you to appropriate programs, but it's important to understand the available options.
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Talk to a social worker or case manager at your local AIDS organization about available financial assistance programs for people who are HIV positive. You will be required to apply to these programs, and you should expect to wait for several weeks before seeing results. When submitting your applications for these programs, you will be required to provide information about your financial status, work experience and medical history.
Seek out benefits programs to help cover the expenses of your HIV medications. The United States government runs the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, referred to as ADAP, which provides free HIV medications to people living with HIV. You must apply and qualify for this and other drug-assistance programs located throughout the country, but generally the income restrictions are less strict than other financial assistance programs.
Apply for the federal-welfare program, also known as Supplement Security Income. Through this program, people who either have extremely low incomes or suffer from long-term disabilities are given monthly stipends. Being HIV positive fits the criteria of a disability or disease that will last at least 1 year or cause death.
Expect that the size of your welfare check will be determined by the state you live in and your work history. United States citizens who work contribute to Social Security with each paycheck, so this amount is used to determine the amount of money you will receive each month.
Visit your local public-assistance office to apply for programs like food stamps, which provides a certain amount of money each month to purchase groceries at participating stores. Medicare coverage is also available through this office, and it is designed for people over the age of 65 and those with disabilities, including HIV. Medicare can be extremely helpful when paying for large portions of your medical and prescription costs.
Tips and warnings
- Seek financial assistance before you get yourself into a situation in which you are desperate for money. It's most important to be able to cover your medical-care expenses. However, you must also take care of the other areas of your life, such as housing and bills.