Can Someone With Dementia Get Disability Benefits?


Dementia is characterized by a decline in your daily functioning, in which your memory, judgment, and language skills may be affected. Several medical conditions can result in dementia. The most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, and traumatic brain injuries. Even though dementia occurs mainly in older adults, the onset of dementia can occur at any age. Your doctor can provide you with a neuropsychological evaluation to determine whether you have dementia.

If the symptoms of dementia prevent you from working for at least 12 months, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You can apply for financial assistance if you are not obtaining retirement benefits. When you reach your full retirement age, your disability benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider you disabled when you meet the qualifications set forth in a disability listing of impairments. Meeting the requirements is one of the easiest ways to succeed on a disability benefits claim. To qualify, you will need to provide medical proof that demonstrates that your abilities have declined in one or more of the following functional areas:

  • Learning and memory
  • Planning
  • Understanding directions
  • Social judgment
  • Physical coordination

When your health record shows that you have a decline in at least one of the above areas, the SSA will determine whether this decline limits your ability to function. To qualify for Dementia Disability Benefits, you will need to prove that you have an extreme limitation in any one of the following sectors:

  • Understanding and using information
  • Concentrating 
  • Adapting to one’s environment

You should be able to provide medical proof to document that your symptoms meet the disability listing.


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