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Dementia: How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

Dementia is the loss of mental functions such as thinking, memory, and reasoning that is severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily functioning. Dementia is not a disease itself, but rather a group of symptoms that are caused by various diseases or conditions. While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia: memory, communication, and language, ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, and visual perception. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but there are as many as 50 other known causes. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an impairments listing manual (called the blue book) which includes medical listings for conditions that cause dementia. Some of the conditions that involve dementia in the Blue Book include: Picks Disease (Type A), Parkinsonian syndrome, Early-onset Alzheimer’s, Creutz-Jakob Disease, Primary Progressive Aphasia, and Lewy Body Dementia.

In addition to the Blue Book, SSA evaluates the above dementia conditions under the Compassionate Allowance Initiative. Under this initiative, SSA can find individuals with certain diseases/conditions eligible for benefits by the nature of the disease.  While applicants still have to meet other SSDI criteria and/or SSI criteria, when it comes to the disability criteria, they are considered eligible by virtue of the disease and fast-tracked for a favorable decision about their eligibility for SSDI and SSI benefits.

Premier Disability Services, LLC has extensive experience assisting claimants who suffer from Dementia obtain Social Security Disability benefits.  If you suffer from Dementia and you are unable to work, please contact our office for a free evaluation.