Social Security Disability for Dementia

Facts About Social Security Disability For Dementia

Dementia will affect all parts of your life if you or a loved one suffers from this. While dementia is more likely in the elderly, early-onset dementia can occur at any age. If you have been diagnosed by your doctor, you may qualify for social security disability.


Are You Eligible?

Many people assume that being diagnosed with dementia by a doctor will automatically make you eligible for social security disability. This is not the case and you need to show that the symptoms of dementia have stopped you from working for at least 12 months or more. You will be able to claim supplemental security income benefits if you are not currently receiving retirement benefits.

Qualifying For Disability

While you might be eligible for disability benefits, you need to determine if you qualify. You will need to meet the requirements on the official disability listing for this condition. The listing that you will need to focus on will be 12.02 which is the neurocognitive disorders. In order to meet these requirements, you will need to have medical evidence that shows a significant decline in your abilities.

This decline will need to take place in one or more of the areas looked at by social security. These areas including planning and judgment, learning and remembering as well as the use of language. Social judgment such as the ability to know proper social behavior and physical coordination will also be considered.

If you have medical records that show this decline, social security will check if the decline as severely limited your functioning. In most cases, you will need to have an extreme limitation in one area or a moderate limitation in at least two areas. The areas for this assessment will include understanding, remembering and using information, interacting with others, concentrating on tasks and managing yourself.

Your Residual Functional Capacity

If your overall mental condition does not meet the disability listing, your residual functional capacity will be assessed. This is done based on the evidence you have supplied to the social security office. This capacity is the limit of what you can mentally and physicals accomplish in a 40-hour workweek.

Once the RFC has been evaluated, it will be used to determine if you can work. The first step in this will be to determine if you can perform your past work. If you cannot, social security will use your education level, age, and RFC to see if there are any jobs in the national economy that you can complete. This is determined using the Medical-Vocational Guidelines which is a grid system. If you are over the age of 50, it is more likely that a job will not be found and your claim may be approved.

Not all dementia sufferers can claim disability benefits. You will need to provide evidence that your symptoms have disrupted your ability to work for the last 12 months at least. Medical evidence will also need to provided to back your claim and will be used to assess your RFC if you are not eligible.

Need Help Getting Your Disability Claim Approved?

If you or a loved one need help getting your disability claim approved, contact a GAR Disability Advocate today for a free consultation.

Are You Eligible For Benefits?