Living with a disability can be devastating. The long-term loss of quality of life is difficult to handle when living with a disability, and the fact that many people who suffer from a disability are unable to work makes it even more overwhelming to handle living with a serious medical condition. Fortunately, people who have a disability that is expected to last at least a year may be eligible for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.
SSDI benefits are paid to people who have worked in the past. Since SSDI is a type of insurance policy managed by the federal government, people who receive these benefits have earned them.
What is Dementia?
Dementia refers to a decline in cognitive function. While the term is often used to describe a specific condition, it is actually a characteristic of many types of cognitive disorders. One common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. This degenerative disease results in a rapid decline in neurological function. People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease experience memory problems, trouble remembering new information, significant changes in mood, change in personality, disorientation and difficulty interacting with others. Advanced stages of the condition often leave a person unable to recognize loved ones, complete basic hygiene tasks or recall information about their past. Alzheimer’s is ultimately a fatal condition.
Some people experience another type of dementia with Alzheimer’s disease. An example of mixed dementia is Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Loss of memory is just one symptom of mixed dementia. People who have vascular dementia may experience a loss of motor skills that cannot be recovered over time.
Getting Social Security Disability Benefits for Dementia
Whether a person is eligible for SSDI benefits when suffering from dementia depends on whether the individual meets the requirements of a listing maintained by the Social Security Administration (SSA). People who have Alzheimer’s will need to prove that they are experiencing frequent memory loss, disorientation or changes in behavior. The severity of these issues must be such that the individual has trouble doing daily tasks, interacting with others or focusing on tasks.
If a person has another type of dementia, the applicant is tasked with proving that it interferes with attention, memory, decision-making abilities or ability to use spoken or written language. Since people who have dementia may rapidly lose cognitive function, it is important for them to seek medical attention in order to be properly diagnosed.
Medical records are used to determine whether a person is eligible for SSDI benefits. The date of diagnosis will be noted when an application is being considered. Most types of dementia cannot be effectively treated, and all types of dementia are degenerative in nature. Since the complications cannot be stopped, it is considered to be a permanent disability.
Getting Help From an Attorney
Over half of first-time applications for SSDI benefits are denied by the SSA. The most common reason for an application to be rejected is a lack of adequate medical evidence of disability. Since dementia is degenerative and affects cognitive ability, people who suffer from any type need a representative on their side when filing for SSDI benefits. SSDI lawyers are able to apply for benefits on behalf of their clients. These experienced professionals understand the requirements associated with filing for benefits and will work to gather evidence and fill out paperwork. When SSDI benefits are needed to pay for basic necessities, it is essential to consult with an SSDI attorney.
To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call (215) 464-7200 or contact our attorneys using the form below.
The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.