Dementia is not a single illness or condition. Instead, it is a blanket term that refers to a wide range of disorders that affect memory and cognition. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but dementia can also be caused by strokes, brain disorders, cancer, illness, alcohol abuse, and various other medical conditions.
Before you can apply for dementia-related disability benefits, your illness must have prevented you from working for at least 12 months. You should have evidence in your medical records that documents one or more of the symptoms below:
- Short-term memory problems
- Trouble understanding and recalling information
- Difficulty making decisions
- Deteriorated language skills, including the ability to remember words and use them correctly
- Trouble paying attention to everyday activities or listening to what others have to say
- Inability to behave appropriately in social settings, including understanding and implementing social behaviors in various situations
- Loss of physical balance or coordination
Psychological, neuropsychological, and cognitive tests can be used as evidence to prove deficits in these areas. To qualify for benefits, you will also need to show records documenting doctor’s visits, clinical testing, and any hospitalization.
The Social Security Administration will review all of the paperwork you submit before it approves disability benefits for dementia. This helps to ensure that only those who are genuinely disabled can obtain benefits.
You may have a general understanding of the process, but an experienced attorney will have a unique perspective on how to apply for benefits. Hiring an experienced disability lawyer can be beneficial for applicants because they have extensive experience handling claims similar to yours.