People can be struck with various types of dementia years before they plan to retire. A condition like early-onset Alzheimer’s can affect someone in their 40s and sometimes even those who are younger. The same is true for a number of other dementia conditions that aren’t as well known.
Recently, actor Bruce Willis’ family announced that he’d been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). While the Die Hard star is in his 60s, FTD is the “most common dementia for people under 60,” according to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
While research is ongoing, dementia conditions typically involve a gradual decline in cognitive and other abilities, with a grim prognosis. The current life expectancy for someone with FTD, for example, is 7 to 13 years.
SSDI’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program can help
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a Compassionate Allowances program that expedites the approval and payment of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for people with serious and irreversible medical conditions. This includes a number of dementia conditions. Besides early-onset Alzheimer’s and FTD, the program can be used for:
- Adult-onset Huntington disease
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
- Lewy body dementia
- Primary progressive aphasia (PPA)
- Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
This expedited approval can be crucial to a person’s (and their family’s) financial well-being when a dementia condition takes them out of the workplace long before they were prepared to retire.
However, even valid Compassionate Allowances applications can face delay and denial if they aren’t complete and convincing enough, with the appropriate evidentiary documentation. If a loved one’s application has been denied, or if you’d just like to help ensure that this doesn’t happen, it can be worthwhile to seek experienced legal guidance.