In recent years, the Social Security Administration has taken great leaps towards recognizing the fact that some types of medical and mental conditions ought to qualify sufferers for disability benefits automatically, on account of the conditions being serious enough that those who have them fit the SSA definition of disabled.
Since 2008, the Compassionate Allowances program has allowed people with qualifying conditions to start receiving Social Security Disability benefits as early as three weeks after initially applying for disability.
This is a considerable improvement over the months-long (and sometimes years-long) process of applying, re-applying and appealing which most people have to go through before being approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
Currently, there are 88 listed conditions which can qualify you for a Compassionate Allowance. Most of them are rare cancers and other clearly debilitating diseases, and others are clearly debilitating (and medically verifiable) mental conditions such as schizophrenia and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are suffering with one of these conditions (or represent someone who is), you should know that the condition, once it has been verified, automatically qualifies you as disabled for SSA purposes, and enables you to begin receiving any Social Security Disability benefits to that you are entitled, including medical benefits.
Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease- Condition and Symptoms
Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease is defined as Alzheimer’s that strikes a person who isn’t 65 years old yet. This represents less than 10% of all Alzheimer’s cases.
Alzheimer’s disease (including the early-onset variety) is a brain disease that typically affects elderly people and is characterized by dementia, loss of memory, loss of cognitive abilities (i.e., one who suffers from Alzheimer’s finds themselves unable mentally to do things they had previously been able to do).
It typically causes a lack of sound judgment and impairs your ability to function independently. Those who suffer with Alzheimer’s typically require constant supervision.
Medical science continues to make significant gains in their understanding of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. At this moment, however, there is no cure or way to slow the progression of the disease and its effects.
Some of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are being treated with a variety of cholinesterase inhibitors, and there is some hope that future developments will bring better treatment options.
Most people with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease can expect to live between eight and ten years from the onset of the disease. They can also expect to need an increasing amount of care, either from loved ones or from a nursing home environment.
Because people who are diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease have already begun to lose some of their cognitive abilities, it is important that someone help them with all of their business affairs; including applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Otherwise, memory loss and other cognitive issues can make day to day life very difficult.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Qualifying for Social Security Disability with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is the easy part. As a condition with a listing for a Compassionate Allowance, those with a verified diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
To show the SSA that you do, indeed, have early onset Alzheimer’s disease, you will need clinical records showing that you have dementia and that it is progressive.
This documentation is critical, and should ideally come from either your primary care physician or a specialist; such as a neurologist or psychiatrist.
This documentation will include the results of standard tests and must fall within the tolerances accepted by the Social Security Administration.
You must also give special attention to the daily living report, which should be filled out by your caregiver or a relative. This report essentially shows how your condition has affected your day to day living.
Those with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease should not attempt to file for Social Security Disability on their own. While they do automatically qualify, the Social Security Disability system can be tricky to navigate, and someone with a degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s disease is not well equipped to deal with it. At the very least, they should have a loved one represent them. Ideally, they should also have a Social Security Disability lawyer working on their case.
Your Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Social Security Disability Case
When you have adequate representation by a Social Security Disability attorney, you are unlikely to have any problem with your early onset Alzheimer’s disease disability case. Because it qualifies for a compassionate allowance, the most important thing is making sure that all of the documentation is included and correct so as to avoid delays in the system.
For a free evaluation and review of your early onset Alzheimer’s disease Social Security Disability case, or to contact an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, simply complete the request for information form given.