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Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease and Social Security Disability

Any disability can be overwhelming and challenging to live with. An inability to work can wreak financial havoc on an individual and their family. Some disabilities, however, are more severe than others. In the past, the Social Security Administration treated all disability claims equally. Applicants had to wait months, if not years, before receiving an approval for Social Security Disability benefits.

For some applicants, however, waiting months before receiving an approval was just not feasible. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration recognized this fact and in 2008 implemented the Compassionate Allowances program.

There are 88 different conditions that qualify for expedited consideration under the Compassionate Allowances program. Applicants who have a disability that falls under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines can receive an approval for Social Security Disability benefits in just a few weeks, rather than having to wait months or even years before benefits can begin.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the disabling conditions that qualifies for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease and you are wondering how the Social Security Administration processes claims based on a diagnosis of this particular condition, the following information will help you understand the disability application process, and how to ensure a hassle-free approval of your disability benefits.

Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease – Condition and Symptoms

Alzheimer’s Disease is a complicated and frustrating disability. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that affects an individual's memory, behavior, and thinking patterns. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for about 50 to 70 percent of all dementia cases. The disease attacks the brain, and symptoms worsen progressively over time.

When an individual suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, certain types of nerve cells in different areas of the brain are destroyed. This results in a gradual decline in judgment, reasoning ability, verbal communication and cognitive skills. The exact symptoms and effects of Alzheimer's Disease vary from individual to individual, but common symptoms include a loss of memory, disorientation, communication issues, reasoning problems, poor judgment, decision-making difficulties, and personality changes such as depression, mood swings, and distrust in others.

In most cases, Alzheimer's Disease is diagnosed in individuals who are over the age of 65. When an individual begins presenting symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease before age 65, they are diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. At least 200,000 individuals have been reported as having early-onset Alzheimer's. While the condition has been known to develop between the ages of thirty and forty, it is most commonly seen in individuals who are at least fifty years of age. Many cases of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease are linked to genetics. Those who develop the condition at a younger age often have a family history of early-onset Alzheimer's. The majority of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease is linked to three specific genes.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, although medications and other treatments can be used to temporarily improve the symptoms of the condition. It is crucial that people with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease build a strong support network consisting of family, friends, and medical professionals. There is currently research being conducted to develop treatments that will prevent Alzheimer's Disease or slow the progression of the disorder.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Early-Onset Alzheimer's

When filing a claim for Social Security Disability due to a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease, you need to include as much medical documentation as possible with your Social Security Disability claim. Medical records, documents, and written statements from your doctors supporting your diagnosis will be crucial to the success of your Social Security Disability claim.

Even though early-onset Alzheimer's is one of the 88 conditions that qualify an individual for Social Security Disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines, you will need to submit your application properly and with sufficient medical proof in order to obtain an approval of your Social Security Disability application.

Your Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease Social Security Disability Case

Many Social Security applicants who qualify for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines assume that their applications for disability benefits will be automatically approved by the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you do not submit your application properly, or fail to provide the Social Security Administration with the necessary medical evidence, your claim for benefits may be denied. In order to reduce the chances of such an occurrence, you may wish to consider retaining the services of a qualified disability advocate or attorney.

A Social Security attorney or disability advocate can help you prepare your application, ensuring the necessary medical documentation is provided and that your application is submitted properly to the Social Security Administration. This will give you the best possible chance of receiving a hassle-free approval of your Social Security Disability application and ensure that your claim is processed according to the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.