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Jeri Fields: Faster processing of disability claims for people with Alzheimer’s disease

Today, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Since the onset of Alzheimer’s can occur in people before they retire, it may strike during an individual’s working years; preventing gainful employment as the disease progresses.

As a result, people must come to grips with a devastating diagnosis while losing their salary and benefits. People with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers must figure out how they’ll pay for care. Our benefits and services are vital to people with early-onset Alzheimer’s who are unable to work and have no other source of income.

For over a decade, Social Security has included Alzheimer’s disease in our Compassionate Allowances program. The program identifies debilitating diseases and medical conditions so severe they meet our disability standards. The program allows for faster processing of disability claims for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, mixed-dementia, and Primary Progressive Aphasia.

You can read more about our Compassionate Allowances program at www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances. To learn more about how Social Security disability insurance works, visit our disability page at www.ssa.gov/disability.

Jeri Fields is the manager of the district Social Security office in Ironton.