November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a time to help spread the word about a disease that affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans.
Is Alzheimer’s a Normal Part of Aging?
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) notes that this disease is NOT a normal part of the aging process. It is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder that slowly erodes memory and thinking skills.
While it is true that the majority of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are 65 years of age or older, there are also about 200,000 Americans under 65 have been diagnosed with the disease.
If you or a loved one is under the age of 65 and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the disease will likely be classified in the early-onset stage.
Social Security recently added early-onset Alzheimer’s to the list of Compassionate Allowance conditions. This list of conditions qualifies for fast track processing of the person’s disability application.
The Houston disability attorneys at The Law Offices Of M. Stanley Whitehead can help those with an early-onset diagnosis to get qualified for Social Security benefits.
Early-Onset Stage of Alzheimer’s
The national Alzheimer’s Association has published 10 early warning signs and symptoms that are related to the disease.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time and place
- Trouble understanding visual images
- New problems with words in speaking and writing
- Misplacing things
- Poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work and social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
Before the age of 65, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s will be considered early-onset. Those over 65 are usually eligible for either Social Security or SSI benefits. This distinction is important to note for those under 65 needing to apply for disability
How Can I Apply?
The Social Security Administration website – ssa.gov – is the online location for an Alzheimer’s disability application. All local SSA offices can assist as well. When filling out the application for a friend or family member, you will be prompted to make note of how severely the symptoms of Alzheimer’s has affected daily life. Some of these examples include:
- Ability to take care of daily hygiene
- Providing for one’s own daily food and nutritional needs
- Communication with friends and family
- Social interaction
- Severity of confusion
- Disruption of daily routine
What If My Application Is Denied?
If your application is denied, the Houston Social Security disability attorneys at The Law Offices Of M. Stanley Whitehead can help you fight for your benefit rights. We can review your submission for roadblocks and red flags that can lead to delayed or denied claims.
One in three seniors dies of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Having full benefits coverage is vital to quality of life and medical treatment. If your claim has been denied, contact us today for a consultation.