According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.8 million Americans over the age of 65 were living with Alzheimer's in 2020. While most cases became apparent after this age point, a minority (approximately 10%) start manifesting symptoms while they are much younger.
This condition, known as early onset Alzheimer’s, is characterized by gradual loss of cognitive abilities and ability to function. The person has difficulties remembering things, speaking, exercising sound judgment, and even caring for themselves.
If you are diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, you may automatically qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Compassionate Allowance list, which is structured to help you receive the financial resources you need much sooner.
Qualifying for a Compassionate Allowance with Early Onset Alzheimer’s?
The SSA Compassionate Allowance list recognizes over 200 conditions that warrant an expedited application consideration and approval. This means that you could start receiving benefits within weeks instead of months.
Many people with early onset Alzheimer’s start experiencing symptoms when they are still young enough to be in the workforce. Over time, the disease causes a loss or decline in their ability to carry work-related duties. They may also experience depression, agitation, personality changes, and withdrawal, making it impossible to stay employed.
To medically for a compassionate allowance for early onset Alzheimer’s, your treating physicians must provide clinical information that documents the onset and progress. Other requested evidence includes a daily living report, completed by a relative or other caregiver, that documents your day-to-day activities and the impact Alzheimer’s has had on them.
Documentation of your dementia condition using a standardized testing system like the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale (score of 1) or MMSE (score of 24) is recommended but not required.
When your application for benefits reaches the SSA, the system will flag it as a compassionate allowance condition. Most disability applicants have to wait months or potentially a year before they receive a decision, whereas those with early onset Alzheimer’s can receive a decision and benefits in under a month.
Get Help With Your Claim
Having a condition that qualifies for a compassionate allowance can result in a faster decision, but there is always the risk of your application being denied or delayed due to inaccurate or incomplete information. You then have to locate and submit the missing details, which adds time and frustration when you may already be struggling financially.
Working with a Social Security Disability attorney may give your application the best chance of success. They can advise you on what information the SSA needs to make an informed decision and, if your application is denied for any reason, represent you at an appeal.
Having experienced legal guidance will also give you and your family peace of mind during an emotionally as well as financially challenging time. To connect with participating, independent SSD attorneys who subscribe to our website, complete the Free Case Evaluation form today.