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Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and SSD benefits

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that results in a progressive decline of the patient’s cognitive abilities. At the onset, the disease is characterized by a short-term memory loss that becomes more severe as the disease progresses. While Alzheimer’s disease is typically common among older people, it is estimated that about 5% of patients exhibit symptoms in earlier life. 

If you develop Alzheimer’s disease before turning 65 years of age, your condition will be described as early-onset Alzheimer’s. Should this happen, you might want to find out if you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Can you file for SSD with an early-onset diagnosis?

Social Security uses the listing for neurocognitive disorders to evaluate the severity of your condition and determine your eligibility for compensation. To meet the eligibility requirement for this disability listing, you must prove that your ability has significantly declined in one or more of the following areas:

  • Language use – improper of words or inability to recall certain words
  • Learning and remembering, especially short-term memory
  • Judgment and planning
  • Focusing on tasks or listening to others
  • Physical coordination

It is important that you carefully document your Alzheimer’s diagnosis when applying for SSD benefits. Be sure to provide up-to-date clinical records about your condition. Generally speaking, if you have received a recent diagnosis, your doctors should have enough documentation to help with your claim. 

An early-onset Alzheimer’s disease may make it impossible for you to work and support your family. Fortunately, with the right diagnosis and proper documentation, you will likely receive the SSD benefits you need to secure some stability for the future.