Any diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating for the person who is diagnosed and for their family. While most of those who receive this diagnosis are already retired and receiving Social Security retirement benefits, that’s not always the case.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s (sometimes known as younger-onset) generally strikes those in their 40s and 50s – and occasionally even younger. There are other types of related dementias that can strike people in these years. They include:
- Lewy body dementia
- Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
- Primary progressive aphasia (PPA)
- ALS Parkinsonism Dementia Complex
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
- Adult-onset Huntington disease
If a person is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, they’re likely already experiencing symptoms that can interfere with their ability to work. Since dementia is progressive, they’ll likely have to stop working at some point – potentially in the near future.
The Compassionate Allowances Initiative
Because of the impact of these conditions on a person’s life and ability to continue to earn a living, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) includes early-onset Alzheimer’s and related dementias under its Compassionate Allowances (CAL) initiative. That allows people with these conditions to go through an expedited approval process for SSDI benefits.
Of course, we’re still talking about a federal government program, so “expedited” doesn’t mean that you’ll start getting your benefits quickly and with no hiccups in the process. If you or a loved one is having difficulty obtaining needed SSDI benefits through the CAL program, it may be wise to seek legal guidance to help the process go more smoothly.