Can you qualify for disability benefits if you have dementia?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Social Security Disability Claims

Most people associate dementia with old age. However, this is not entirely the case. Dementia is actually an umbrella term that describes disorders and conditions characterized by loss of central nervous function.

Dementia is one of the leading causes of cognitive impairments. And while it’s primarily common among the elderly, it’s not uncommon for individuals in their 30s, 40s and 50s to exhibit early signs of dementia. If you are diagnosed with dementia, you may lose your ability to work and care for yourself and your dependents as your disease progresses.

Dementia and SSD benefits

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are designed to provide financial support for qualified individuals who cannot work due to a disabling condition. To qualify for disability benefits, your disabling condition must meet the following criteria:

  • Your condition must prevent you from engaging in any substantially gainful activity
  • Your condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months or be terminal
  • Your condition should be listed in the Blue Book. You may, however, qualify for disability benefits even if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book under certain circumstances

What qualifies dementia for disability benefits?

To approve your disability benefits claim, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must be convinced that your condition meets the criteria above. And this is where evidence comes in. Your doctor’s report must indicate that your dementia is affecting your day-to-day abilities in some or all of the following ways:

  • Poor memory (short, mid and long-term)
  • Deteriorated linguistic abilities
  • Difficulty learning, comprehending or paying attention
  • Diminished judgment and organization skills
  • Lack of physical coordination

Protecting your rights

Dementia can greatly impact your ability to work and care for yourself. If you are struggling with this degenerative condition, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Learning more about the SSA criteria for qualifying a disability can help you safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing SSD benefits following the onset of dementia with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.