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Alzheimer's disease and Social Security Disability benefits

Alzheimer's disease is typically associated with the elderly -- or at least with people who are in their senior years. However, many thousands of people who have the been diagnosed with the disease are under 65.

What's known as early-onset Alzheimer's can strike people in their 30s and 40s. Those are typically the years when people are hitting their stride in their career. As the disease progresses, they're no longer able to work.

People whose early-onset Alzheimer's or related forms of dementia prevent them from working any longer can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) under Social Security's Compassionate Allowances (CAL) Initiative.

The purpose of the CAL program is for people with certain severely disabling conditions, including Alzheimer's, to have their application for benefits expedited. This can help those who need to support themselves and potentially have to pay for in-home care because they can no longer live completely independently begin to get the money they need as quickly as possible.

People who have been in the workforce for at least a decade may qualify for SSDI, which is paid based on their history of payments to the Social Security system during their years of employment. Those without enough work history to qualify for SSDI may be able to qualify for SSI if they meet the financial needs criteria.

Just because Alzheimer's disease is covered under CAL, that doesn't mean that you're assured of getting SSDI or other Social Security benefits if you apply. If your application has not been approved or if you're having difficulty getting the benefits you're entitled to, and experienced attorney who understands the system can provide assistance.

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