SSDI 60th

Relief for Thousands Suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease

November 29, 2016 • By

Last Updated: November 29, 2016

woman and husband posing for a pictureToday, there are nearly 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. While most people associate the disease with old age, there are 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 living with it today. As with all forms of the disease, Early Onset Alzheimer’s is a progressive, terminal disease, which cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Since the onset can occur in people as early as their thirties and forties, it often strikes during an individual’s prime working years, and as the disease progresses it prevents gainful employment. As a result, individuals are coming to grips with a devastating diagnosis all while losing employment and the salary and benefits that come with being employed. These individuals and their caregivers then must figure out how they will pay for their care.

Thankfully, since 2010 Social Security has helped by adding Alzheimer’s disease to its Compassionate Allowances Initiative. The initiative identifies debilitating diseases and medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security’s disability standards. Compassionate Allowances allow for faster payment of Social Security benefits to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, mixed-dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia.

The inclusion of Alzheimer’s disease in Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances has had a profound impact on the Alzheimer’s community, helping thousands of families including Tom and Julie Allen. Tom was looking for a way to help manage the costs of Julie’s Alzheimer’s care, since his retirement and two part-time jobs were not enough to cover the large costs of Alzheimer’s disease. Through the Alzheimer’s Association and Social Security, he was able to apply for disability benefits for Julie.

Social Security benefits are very important to individuals with early-onset who are unable to work and have no other source of income. At the Alzheimer’s Association, we hear from family caregivers about the challenges they face paying for care. As was the case with Tom, the financial complications fall to the caregiver as well as finding the day-to-day care solutions. That is just one of the reasons why we celebrate November as National Family Caregiver Month and we take time to honor the 15 million caregivers for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

To learn more about how Social Security disability insurance works, visit Social Security’s disability page and visit Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances page ny to learn more about other medical conditions under the Compassionate Allowances Initiative. The Alzheimer’s Association is also here to help, visit (see external link disclaimer below) or call our 24/7 Call Center at 1-800-272-3900 for additional support.

You are exiting the Social Security Administration's website. SSA cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by such websites. If we provide a link to such a website, this does not constitute an endorsement by SSA or any of its employees of the information or products presented on the non-SSA website. Also, such websites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy, security or accessibility policies. Once you visit such a website you are subject to the policies of that site.

About Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association, Chief Public Policy Officer

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  1. Ashley Jennings

    Appreciated. Sure. My 81 year old grandmother thanks me for every thing I help her with, I moved in over a year ago and the decline in her ability to function is rapid. There should benefits for those willing to slave over the needs of the ones they love as they forget to eat get lost going to the bathroom and even forget who it is that you are or why you’re there. She tells me ” I don’t know how much you’re making but you deserve more” I’m making nothing. And yes I sure as hell do but I just can’t find any resources. There should be funding some where for those willing to do what I am doing. It’s tragic and difficult work with an awful looming outcome.

  2. Bellamy

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  3. Bryan Miranda


  4. K.McLellan

    This is all very nice, but my husband is now 74, I am 73, he is now going to day care 2xweek, can not afford to send him more days. I am paying for everything, all the chores he was doing I now have to pay someone. I don’t know how long I can keep this up, he has FLD (frontal lobe dementia) dx in 2006-7, I did go to SS office and was told he is already receiving SS and can not change it to disability. K.McLellan

  5. Anthony James Lewis

    I don’t have a Home; I don’t have real family. All I know is I’m supposed to possess a unique Native American Heritage. So unique that numerous attempts have been made on my life. And some other associates lives have been ruined. That is why I request an appointment but I need to involve an FBI field agent in charge DC regarding Chain of Custody of Documents/ Data.

  6. AH Summerlin

    Can Alzheimers be associated with Epilepsy or any other neurological diseases?

  7. Mary

    My husband has this terrible disease& we have nursing home insurance I took care of him at home for 8 yrs till the Dr told me I had to put him in the nursing home not knowing I had to pay first 100 days called my med ins co talked to 8 reps who told me BCBS wolf pay the 100 days now they sre telling me they won’t that’s $26,000 so I am putting in a grievance as I also have to pay difference between what nursing home ins pays and what they charge we have been paying medical ins for over 60 years I can’t believe they aren’t going to pay this

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