Alzheimers & Parkinson’s Disease Information From Disability Lawyers
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. Millions of people across the world have been diagnosed with one of these conditions. Both of them have a significant impact on quality of life. Suffering from either Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease will generally prevent a person from being able to work and can also significantly impact their ability to perform their daily activities.
In many cases, individuals who suffer from either of these conditions may need to apply for Social Security disability benefits in order to financially support themselves. If you suffer from either of these diseases, it is important that you understand the application process and what you should expect every step of the way.
If you are unsure of how to apply for benefits or you would like further guidance, you can reach out to a Social Security disability lawyer from our team at Edelstein Martin & Nelson to discuss your case. We have decades of experience helping people apply for benefits after being diagnosed with either Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, and we can represent clients no matter where you live in the United States.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Over 5 million people in the United States over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Unfortunately, this number equates to approximately 10% of the senior population.
Some of the most common causes of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia include:
- Brain tumors
- TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Genetic and environmental factors
- Other head injuries
In addition, drug use, alcohol use, poor sleeping habits, and various other lifestyle choices can impact your potential for developing dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating condition that affects the brain and causes a progressive decline in memory, thinking, and other cognitive abilities. It is a type of dementia that usually develops in older adults, although it can also occur in younger people as well. People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease may experience an array of symptoms that make it hard for them to function every day. Some early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Disruptive memory loss
- Difficulties solving problems
- Confusion with time and places
- Problems understanding visual images
- Problems understanding spatial relationships
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty speaking or writing
- Misplacing things or being unable to retrace their steps
- Decreased judgment
- Withdrawal from social activities and work
- Mood changes in personality changes
- Difficulties completing tasks that they regularly do
Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s or early onset Alzheimer’s will likely be able to receive disability insurance benefits. In order to receive benefits, you must meet specific qualification criteria when filing your disability claim.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits for Alzheimer’s Disease
The Social Security Administration generally regards Alzheimer’s as a covered condition for disability compensation and benefits. People who suffer from this condition are usually able to receive benefits under their compensation allowance. This makes it possible for people who have been diagnosed with early-onset forms of Alzheimer’s to receive their benefits sooner.
When it comes to applying for benefits, federal law provides that applicants must meet the strict definition of disability in order to qualify for benefits. To meet these qualifications, the applicant:
- Cannot be able to perform the same work that they did before
- Does not have the ability to adjust to other types of work due to their medical conditions
- Must experience a disability that has or is expected to last for at least 12 months
The process of applying for Social Security benefits for Alzheimer’s disease can be incredibly overwhelming. However, having a thorough understanding of the steps that are required can help make the process easier.
The first thing that you will need to do is gather all of the necessary documents that support your claim. This can include your work history, medical records, and your financial information. Having this information on hand can help to ensure that you fill out the application accurately.
Next, you will want to choose the route in which you are going to apply for benefits. You can go in person to a local Social Security Administration office to turn in an application for benefits, or you can submit an application online. However, it is important to note that if you only qualify for SSI benefits, you have to apply for them in person as an online application is not available.
It’s essential to provide detailed information about your condition and how it affects your daily life activities. After submitting the application, expect a waiting period while SSA reviews your paperwork. You may receive requests for additional documentation or evaluations from doctors during this time.
Once approved for benefits, regularly report any changes in health status or income that could affect eligibility. The SSA conducts periodic reviews of beneficiaries’ cases to ensure they still meet requirements.
It is important to note that you may have to wait a period of six months from the date of your disability to receive benefits. The date of your disability should not be confused with the date of your application. The date of your disability is determined by the day that you were forced out of work as a result of your diagnosis. Working with a skilled legal team can provide you with the best chance of succeeding with your application process.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating and progressive disorder that impacts a person’s central nervous system. This condition can also impact various parts of the body that are controlled by the nerves.
Common Parkinson’s disease symptoms include:
- Tremors: Shaking or trembling in the legs, arms, hands, or jaw, which usually occurs at rest and decreases during voluntary movement.
- Rigidity: Stiffness or inflexibility of the limbs or trunk, which can make it difficult to move.
- Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement, which can make simple tasks such as getting dressed or brushing teeth take longer than usual.
- Postural instability: Difficulty maintaining balance and coordination, which can cause falls and injuries.
- Gait disturbances: Difficulty walking, having a shuffling gait, or freezing in place.
- Reduced sense of smell: The loss of the ability to detect or distinguish certain odors.
- Sleep disorders or disturbances: Difficulty falling or staying asleep, acting out dreams, or excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Depression: Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or loss of interest in activities.
- Anxiety: Excessive worry or fear.
- Cognitive changes: Difficulty with memory, attention, or problem-solving.
In many cases, Parkinson’s disease develops from a combination of both environmental and genetic factors. Parkinson’s disease can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, maintain employment, and earn a livable income.
Getting Social Security Benefits For Parkinson’s Disease
Applying for Social Security benefits is no doubt challenging. This is particularly true if you’re dealing with the challenges of Parkinson’s disease on top of trying to file your application by yourself. In order to qualify for benefits, you must first gather all of your medical records and documentation to support your claim. You can begin the application process online or by visiting your local Social Security office.
One important thing to note is that not everyone with Parkinson’s will automatically qualify for Social Security benefits. Your diagnosis must meet specific criteria set by the Social Security Administration in order to be eligible. This criteria includes having an official diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and demonstrating severe symptoms that prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity.
When filling out your application, make sure to provide as much detail as possible about how Parkinson’s affects your daily life, including physical limitations, medication side effects, and other symptoms that impact your ability to work. After submitting your application, it may take several months before you receive a decision from the SSA.
It is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a disability lawyer to either initially file your claim or, if you were denied, file an appeal.
Types of Benefits that Are Available
For people who suffer from Alzheimer’s, low body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, mixed dementia, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or another cognitive impairment should apply for benefits through the Social Security Administration if financial assistance is sought. In general, there are two types of benefits that people can qualify for. These include:
- Social Security Disability Compensation: Social Security disability insurance benefits, or SSDI benefits, are available for people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and who have worked long enough to earn credits. If approved, Social Security disability insurance benefits provide a monthly payment to help cover living expenses. Your benefit amount is based on your average lifetime earnings before becoming disabled. These payments can continue as long as you remain disabled and unable to work.
- Supplemental Security Income Benefits: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available for people with limited income and resources who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. These benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. These benefits are generally available for people who do not have an adequate history of employment that meets the qualifications for SSDI benefits.
It is important that you have medical evidence to support your claim. Working with a disability lawyer can help you prove your case for benefits. In some situations, other benefits may be available.
Qualifying for Benefits Through the Veterans Affairs
Due to the fact that a significant number of people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease have a history of military service, they have the option to file for Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits in addition to Social Security.
To receive these benefits, you must be able to show that your condition is service-connected and that you have been given a disability rating for this condition. Those who qualify for VA disability benefits are able to get special monthly compensation.
The process of filing for VA disability compensation can be time-consuming and confusing. For this reason, it is in your best interest to have a skilled legal team in your corner.
Help with Appealing a Denial of Benefits
The unfortunate truth is that it is incredibly common for people who apply for disability benefits to have their initial claim denied. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
If your application for disability benefits is denied by the Social Security Administration, you must appeal the decision within a specific time. After the appeal is filed, you will be required to provide further documents in support of your claim. At this time, the Social Security office may schedule a hearing that you must attend. The date of the hearing can be several months from the date of your application.
At the hearing, you will have to present evidence to support why your condition prevents you from working. The judge will question you regarding your condition and may consider whether you are qualified to perform another job instead of what you previously did.
For this reason, it is crucial that you have a disability lawyer by your side throughout the application process. Our dedicated legal team at Edelstein Martin & Nelson can help you apply for benefits. If necessary, we can also guide you through the appeal process to ensure you are able to receive the disability insurance benefits that you truly deserve.
Let Our Disability Law Firm Help You
Suffering from dementia symptoms and neurodegenerative disorders is challenging, to say the least. People who experience the common symptoms related to irreversible degeneration often struggle with their everyday life. They may not be able to take care of their personal hygiene needs, and they may have problems performing other tasks. It is important that these applicants are able to get the benefits that they need during this very difficult time.
Without a doubt, getting disability benefits for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s is not an easy process. However, with the right team and resources, you can succeed. Edelstein Martin & Nelson’s Social Security Disability lawyers have decades of experience helping people who suffer from disabling conditions get the compensation and benefits they deserve.