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Social Security disability and early-onset Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is a frightening disease that many New York residents unfortunately encounter, sometimes at a much younger age than expected. In fact, authorities note that 4 percent of the 5.4 million individuals in our country who suffer from the disease have early-onset Alzheimer's. Often it strikes when a person is still in their 40s or 50s. When that happens, it may be necessary to seek Social Security disability benefits for illness.

When a debilitating disease such as Alzheimer's affects an individual, it can become difficult to maintain employment. Unfortunately for some, when that happens, the worker may not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits due to their diagnosis.

Social Security disability benefits were designed, in part, to assist those who can no longer work due to illness, injury or other conditions. The monthly payments can be a significant help to families and individuals who cannot make ends meet due to their inability to work.

It may make sense for people in New York -- perhaps with the help of a family member or trusted adviser -- who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's to consider applying for Social Security disability benefits as soon as possible. Many personal documents, including medical and wage records, are required as a part of the application. The time that it takes to gather these documents and obtain approval can be weeks or even months, according to some sources. However, the relief some may feel once they begin to receive Social Security disability benefits for illness or injury may be worth the wait for many.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, "As Alzheimer's ravages father's mind, son takes off on cross-country journey in support," Jackie Valley, April 17, 2012

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