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Woman with early onset Alzheimer's awarded SSI benefits

People who suffer from a long-term disabling condition generally experience significant levels of anxiety and fear about their future. They often wonder how they will pay their bills, stay in their home and access medical care if they are so disabled that they are unable to work. 

Under these circumstances, it can be very reassuring to know that there are financial resources available to support people in Atlanta with a disability that prevents them from working. Even if a person may not qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits because he or she has not worked long enough or contributed enough to the system, it is still possible to receive Supplement Security Income. This support provided a sense of relief to one couple who has been struggling since one of them was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.

The woman and her partner have been together for 15 years. Just a couple years ago, however, the woman started forgetting things. It started out minor at first; the 49-year-old woman forgot to deposit checks and stopped showing any interest in planning trips the couple enjoyed taking. Her symptoms got progressively worse and her partner soon noticed that she seemed to have forgotten how to write out an email. 

They visited the doctor where they learned that the woman was suffering from dementia. The doctor explained that there was no cure for her condition, but her symptoms could be slowed down with medication. Sadly, the average life expectancy of Alzheimer's patients is about eight years after diagnosis. 

As devastating as her diagnosis was, the couple tried to stay focused on living life to the fullest. They got married and reached out for support to help them retain some financial security in light of the woman's condition which prevents her from working. They pursued, and were awarded, SSI benefits and have also applied for full disability retirement. With the support they are receiving, the couple can focus less on how they will pay for medication, bills, and medical treatments and more on their future and their lives together.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Future in turmoil after diagnosis of onset Alzheimer's," Anita Creamer, March 20, 2014

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