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Alzheimer's Association Applauds Social Security Administration for Adding Early-Onset Alzheimer's to Its Compassionate Allowances Initiative
Date:2/11/2010

itial denials, and multiple appeals.  Today's decision will simplify and streamline the SSDI/SSI application process and decrease the wait time for benefits, which for some has lasted as long as three years.  

There are currently an estimated 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease. Although the majority of Alzheimer cases are individuals age 65 and older, a significant number of people under age 65 are also affected by this fatal disease and have few financial options other than the Social Security disability program.

In addition to Alzheimer's disease, mixed-dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia were also added to the Compassionate Allowances Initiative under the SSA's recent decision. To determine which diseases and conditions to include, SSA has held several public outreach hearings throughout the country that have included testimony from medical and scientific experts, as well as those directly affected by these diseases and conditions. The July 2009 Compassionate Allowance Hearing on Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias, held in Chicago, included testimony from Johns, several of the nation's top Alzheimer researchers, and caregivers and individuals with early-onset Alzheimer's who discussed the challenges they faced during the disability application process. During the day-long hearing, SSA officials heard about the terminal nature of Alzheimer's, the disabilities that often prohibit work in even the earliest stages of the disease, and the lack of effective treatments to modify or halt the progression of Alzheimer's.

In addition to participation in the hearing, as many as 600 people with Alzheimer's and other dementias and their caregivers responded to the Association's request to submit written comments to SSA about their experiences applying for disability benefits. A sample of these comments are posted on SSA's Compassio
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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