Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Social Security Adds Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease To Compassionate Allowance List

Posted by John Kuhnlein | May 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

A program at Social Security called Compassionate Allowance (CAL) allows them to expedite the approval of certain applicants. For CAL to apply, the claimant must have a severe medical problem that obviously meets Social Security's definition of disability.  Social Security maintains a list of all the impairments that can qualify for CAL.  Many of these conditions are what you would expect to find on such list: terminal cancers and catastrophic neurological disorders, for example.

Proving Dementia Could Be Difficult

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So Many Thing To Go Wrong

But now Social Security will also look at early-onset dementia for making a compassionate allowance.  As with all other severe impairments, Social Security is still going to demand medical proof.  

This could

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To Come So Far With No Trail Left Behind . . .

prove tricky. Many people who have dementia show only subtle signs of their condition at the outset. Social Security is going to want to see clinical data showing that the applicant has declining ability to think, understand, remember, and make sound judgments.  I suspect that many people who have dementia at a younger age will not seek medical attention for it until the symptoms begin to actually interfere with their lives. For this reason, long-term data on mental functioning could be hard to come by.  It must be rare for someone who is a little forgetful (as we all are) to go to her doctor and have a mental evaluation.  

Alternatively, Social Security will look at images of an applicant's brain for evidence of dementia. But, once again, it is unlikely that anyone is going to have a series of CT scans or MRI's that would show a progression of dementia. There is also some controversy in the medical profession about what changes in the brain actually mean for cognitive health.

No Guarantee Of Approval

So, while Social Security has added early-onset Alzheimer's disease to CAL, it is far from certain that this will mean applicants getting approved at all, let alone in an expedited manner.  Still, it is worth exploring this should you or a loved one need to apply for Social Security disability benefits on the basis of dementia. 

If you have been through this process, let me know how it went. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.

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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 20 years.

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