With the largest generation now aging into their retirement years, Alzheimer’s has become the “defining disease of baby boomers,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association, impacting “the long-awaited retirement years of the one out of eight baby boomers who will develop it.”
But, this disease is also impacting younger people who are not even close to retirement age. Five to 10 percent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are people in their 40s, 50s or early 60s. This devastating disease is robbing them of their productive working years and their ability to earn income.
Taking care of a loved one with early-onset Alzheimer’s can put a strain on finances, but there is someone who can help ease some of the financial burden that comes with that responsibility. It is the very person who needs your care.
If your loved one has a work history, has paid into Social Security, and has worked five years within the last 10 years, they can access their retirement benefit as a Social Security disability benefit (SSDI) without going through the arduous approval process. That’s because SSA has listed early-onset Alzheimer’s as a qualifying disease for Compassionate Allowance, which is a process that fast tracks claims through the approval system.
It is very difficult to prove disability for conditions that are not specifically listed as disabilities or illnesses by the SSA. In fact, according to the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) “only one-third of Social Security disability claims are approved at the initial level,” and, once denied, it can take years to win a claim.
Don’t delay in helping your loved get the disability benefits they are entitled to. Use this SSDI checklist from the Alzheimer’s Association as a guide.