According to statistics from the UsAgainstAlzheimer organization, approximately 5.7 million people in the U.S. currently have Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to triple to 16 million in the next 30 years.
Living with Alzheimer’s can be devastating, not only for the patient affected but for his or her family as well. In 2011, Alzheimer’s disease was added to the list of disabilities and diseases covered by social security disability benefits.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s is considered under the Compassionate Allowance Initiative of the Social Security Administration, which gives the same access for early-onset patients to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as traditional Alzheimer’s patients.
SSDI benefits are paid to Alzheimer’s patients and certain family members if the patient worked long enough and enough in Social Security taxes. SSDI is a significant benefit for those who suffer early-onset Alzheimer’s.
SSI benefits are not as substantial as SSDI and are based on the patient’s financial needs and are awarded to patients who are blind, disabled, or 65 years or older and did not pay enough in Social Security taxes to qualify for SSDI.
The Compassionate Allowance Initiative allows patients with an extremely fast-moving degenerative disease (such as Alzheimer’s) to be fast-tracked through the approval process.
There are specific guidelines meant to regulate the social security disability benefits application process for early-onset Alzheimer’s patients. Medical information needed to prove that you have been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s includes (but is not limited to):
· Names, addresses, and contact information for health care providers, including psychiatrists and neuropsychologists
· Medical records from all health care providers that prove a progressive decline in functions over a significant period of time
· An activity report filled out by a caregiver or relative
· Medication report including names and dosage information
Waiting to apply for SSDI until the Alzheimer’s had taken its full toll has, over the years, resulted in several qualified applicants missing years of benefits. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, those with early-onset Alzheimer’s (and other related dementias) are often initially denied SSDI. Many appeal the decision and are awarded benefits in court after the appeal.
According to a personal testimony published by the SSA, there are approximately 200,000 people under the age of 65 in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the Medicare system.
Let a Social Security Disability Attorney Help
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the most important step is to seek the counsel of an experienced social security disability attorney, like a social security disability lawyer in Richlands, Virginia. Call today to set up a confidential consultation to find out what the best legal steps are to take for your family’s situation.
Thank you to the experts at the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into disability law.