People who have dementia experience several limitations. As the symptoms progress over time, many will experience a decreased ability to perform even minor daily tasks. Many people affected by dementia are diagnosed at an early stage and may be able to get medical professionals to confirm how the condition is disabling. These people can claim disability benefits so that they have financial and other support that allows them to continue living their lives without constant worry.
Where to apply for benefits?
Disability compensation claims from the Social Security Administration (SSA) under either the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program require a lot of paperwork and supporting documentation. You can review application and qualification information on government websites or call the SSA to obtain various information regarding benefits and claims forms.
You can also drive over to the local Social Security office, which will have leaflets and claim forms available for you. There is a vast array of confusing information and resources out there for you to sift through to obtain information on filing a disability application. Or you can hire an experienced disability benefits attorney to do all the work for you and answer your questions as they arise without the time and effort of conducting your own research.
How to qualify for benefits?
You must have sufficient relevant medical documentation that meets SSA’s disability criteria for your illness or medical condition in order to be eligible for benefits. Each condition has its own set of criteria, which you must follow closely and support with documentation. Failure to support your claim with medical documentation often results in a denial of the claim. Therefore, it is important to review qualification criteria carefully or get someone to explain the criteria for you so that you submit applicable records.
What benefits can you claim?
People who have dementia can claim several benefits that they may be entitled to (subject to eligibility requirements). If symptoms of dementia prevent you from working for 12 or more months, you may qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. You can apply for SSDI benefits if you are not currently receiving retirement benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, SSDI benefits automatically change to retirement benefits.
Where can you claim your benefits?
The disability determination process is conducted by Social Security field offices and state Disability Determination Services (DDS) to make initial disability determinations. Field offices implement step one of a multi-step process, and DDS offices are responsible for making medical determinations throughout the following steps. The specific criteria used by the DDS in its determinations are identified in a body of regulations that describe the basis for initial determinations and reconsiderations.
Outcomes of higher-level appeals, such as decisions of administrative law judges (ALJs), are based on the same criteria as DDS determinations, but appeals decisions are not made by DDS. This is a complicated process and is why so many folks turn to knowledgeable attorneys for assistance. The important thing to know is that disability for dementia is often decided based on the medical evidence you provide with your application, regardless of where it is decided or at what stage.
How to make a claim?
You can either complete the forms online, send them through the mail, or contact the SSA through the telephone. If you contact the SSA over the phone, the customer service representative on the other end will either help you fill out the form or obtain information to help complete the forms on your behalf. Many claims for disability benefits can be made by easily applying online.
It is helpful to apply after obtaining all your supporting records so that you have a greater chance of being approved for disability benefits. If insufficient or irrelevant documentation is submitted or if the application is missing information, you could be denied. Medical records form a vital part of an application, especially as evidence of a diagnosis and prognosis. They might also contain various tests that demonstrate the extent of dementia symptoms that you are suffering from. You may have to give other details such as your social security number and current employment information, or other sources of income. People with dementia may have trouble filling out the necessary forms or collecting all the required documents, which can be done by a qualified attorney after giving us a call.
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