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Alzheimer's Foundation of America Applauds Social Security for Speeding Disability Benefits for Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease
Date:2/11/2010

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) today applauded the Social Security Administration for including early-onset Alzheimer's disease among the medical conditions that will be given automatic approval for disability benefits, rather than have individuals go through what could be a lengthy qualification process.

"Every minute counts for people with Alzheimer's disease," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and chief executive officer. "By fast-tracking the process to obtain benefits, the Social Security Administration is assisting countless younger individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their families whose quality of life depends on this type of support. The Compassionate Allowance will make an enormous difference in enabling affected individuals to move toward managing their diagnosis and planning for the future."

Early-onset Alzheimer's disease is a rarer form of the brain disorder in which symptoms appear prior to age 65, even occurring in individuals in their 30's and 40's. More commonly, Alzheimer's disease affects individuals 65 and older.

Last September, in a comment letter to the Social Security Administration, AFA had pressed for fast-tracking in light of the significant number of individuals with early-onset Alzheimer's disease as well as the additional issues they often face due to their younger age. For example, AFA had noted, they are less likely to be diagnosed because healthcare providers generally don't look for this brain disorder in younger people; and many who are still employed when symptoms emerge are forced to give up work and other responsibilities due to their declining cognitive function.

In its announcement today, the Social Security Administration said that it is adding 38 conditions, including early-onset Alzheimer's dise
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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