For many with disabling conditions which make holding a job impossible, Social Security disability benefits are a lifeline that helps them to maintain some degree of dignity by providing financial support. Unfortunately, though, qualifying for Social Security disability benefits often takes a long time. Eighteen months is about average, and several years is not uncommon.
It takes three to six months to be approved for Social Security disability benefits under the traditional program even if there is no question whatsoever that you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. When you’re disabled and unable to continue working due to a medical condition or medically verifiable psychological condition, waiting that long to obtain benefits can put you in a very difficult situation.
The bad news is that the system won’t be changing anytime soon for most applicants. Because the standard used to determine whether you are completely disabled is so narrow, and because the caseload before the SSA is so great in proportion to the number of adjudicators working on the cases, there’s no getting around the fact that it takes time to verify people’s disabilities.
For those who have the kinds of disabling conditions which, by their very nature, are automatically considered to be disabling, however, the SSA has developed a way to streamline the process, allowing those who are qualified to begin receiving Social Security disability benefits in less than a month rather than the standards three to eighteen months.
The set of Compassionate Allowance Listings was first released in 2008, and has been expanded since then. As of this writing, there are 88 conditions listed which are deemed to be automatically disabling and therefore qualified for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA continues to hold periodic hearings to consider other medical conditions which should be included on the Compassionate Allowance Listing.
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) - Condition and Symptoms
One of the conditions which qualifies for a compassionate allowance is Adult Type A Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), also known as Picks Disease. If you have been diagnosed with FTD, contact the SSA field office nearest you and set up a protected filing date. Then, contact a Social Security disability lawyer to help you with your claim.
Pick’s disease (FTD) causes a shrinking of parts of the front and rear brain lobes, creating abnormalities in the brain cells. The first signs are often a marked change in behavior or language problems. Typical changes in behavior include either uninhibited or apathetic behavior, inappropriate public or social behavior, lack of empathy and tact, being easily distracted, significant changes in food tastes, blunted emotions, agitation, significant increase in libido, neglecting cleanliness and hygiene, decrease in motivation, decrease in energy, and generally compulsive behavior. Some of these potential changes can seem contradictory, and a person with FTD may have any combination of behavioral changes.
Those who have language issues typically begin to have problems speaking or understanding speech. This sometimes shows together with behavioral symptoms. In either case, neither memory nor spatial skills are lost.
Frontotemporal Dementia is genetic and sometimes runs in families. Family history is often important in making a diagnosis.
As of today, there is no cure or treatment which can slow down the progression of FTD. In many cases, psychological behavior modification techniques have been used to help redirect some of the dangerous or socially unacceptable behavioral symptoms.
Medical intervention is limited to treating the symptoms of FTD. This is often done using a variety of tranquilizers and/or antidepressants. Most people afflicted with FTD will eventually need round the clock care and supervision, often requiring some degree of institutionalization.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
Even though Picks disease does automatically qualify you for Social Security disability benefits under the compassionate allowances program, those with the condition should not attempt to represent themselves with the Social Security system. The very disease which qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits also makes dealing with the SSA nearly impossible.
Instead, at the very least, you should appoint a trusted family member as a representative. Most people find it even better to secure the help of an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.
Whomever you have help you with your case, you will want to make sure that all of the forms are filled out completely and correctly, and that all of the necessary medical documentation is included with your application for benefits. If everything is in order, the SSA will automatically flag your claim for a compassionate allowance and you will begin receiving benefits within a month.
Medical documentation which is required to confirm that you have Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) includes the results of your MRI or CT scan showing shrinkage of the brain lobes, SPEC or PET test results relating to brain activity, and any family history of the disease.
Your Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)Social Security Disability Case
Winning approval for your disability case is not difficult as long as all of the documentation is in order. The best way to make absolutely sure everything is as it should be is to have a Social Security lawyer review your claim before you file it. Regardless of what point in the claims or appeals process you are currently in, however, a Social Security disability attorney can still be of assistance to you.