If you are suffering from Lewy Body Dementia (also known as LBD), chances are that you had to see a number of doctors before being diagnosed with the condition. While it is not a very uncommon disease (it affects more than a million people in the United States alone) it is one of the most misunderstood and undiagnosed conditions of our time. Unfortunately, the people who are diagnosed with this disorder are usually unable to maintain full-time work activity. Fortunately, in many cases, Social Security Disability benefits can help offset some of the financial burden caused by this. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, the following information will help you understand the condition and how it qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.
Lewy Body Dementia Condition and Symptoms
Friedrich H. Lewy was a scientist in the early 1900’s that was responsible for finding abnormal levels of protein deposits located within the brain, which in turn disrupt its proper function. Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a disease that actually affects about 1.3 million people in the United States alone. Although this disease is quite common amongst families in the United States, there are not many physicians that are one-hundred percent familiar with the disorder. This particular disorder is hard to diagnose right from the start because it does mimic many of the same characteristics as other disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s.
LBD is considered to be an umbrella term for two different but related diagnoses. It directly correlates with Parkinson’s dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. The beginning symptoms of these two particular diseases differ, but the end results both change the human brain drastically. As time goes on, both tend to develop the same symptoms which include physical changes, sleep disorders, cognitive problems and behavioral issues. Although this particular condition is hard to diagnose, it is important to receive a proper diagnosis as soon as one is able too because this can greatly extend one’s life expectancy.
The conditions and symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia vary greatly on a case-by-case basis. It has also been reported that some people may not even show any signs during the beginning of this disorder. With any sort of dementia, there is memory impairment which tends to grow in severity over time. Other motor functions start to go such as cognitive response patterns, comprehension and overall alertness. Some people may experience hallucinations, which may seem very realistic to them because they are in such detail creating a seemingly real world around them.
Some other conditions that may come into effect are sleep disorders, fainting spells, unexplained loss of consciousness, psychiatric disturbances and autonomic dysfunction. As mentioned above, levels of dementia vary greatly from patient to patient, but most commonly a patient will show signs of two or more of these above-named symptoms as time goes on.
Causes of Lewy Body Dementia
The direct cause of Lewy Body Dementia is not one-hundred percent determined, but it said to be directly connected to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Lewy bodies contain the same protein that is found within people that have Parkinson’s and are often bound in the brains of people who have the condition or suffer from Parkinsonism dementia. People with Lewy bodies also have tangles and plagues located within their brain, which again correlates with Alzheimer’s. There are many scientists who are convinced that LBD is a different form of Alzheimer’s, but these two disorders have been found to coexist within the same patient.
It is known that LBD a progressive form of dementia and that it comes in second to that of Alzheimer’s in commonality. They both have very similar effects on the human brain, but those with Lewy bodies seem to experience vast fluctuations in their overall alertness, attention span, and consciousness. People with this form of dementia also seem to drift off into another hallucinogenic world more often than those with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Lew Body Dementia
It goes without saying that, eventually, people who suffer from Lewy Body Dementia will be unable to perform any type of work activity. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has recognized this fact and has included the disease in its list of Compassionate Allowances Listings. This means that people who suffer from this condition may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in a matter of weeks rather than having to wait months or years for benefits to begin.
When applying for disability Lewy Body Dementia, it is crucial that you include proper medical proof with your Social Security Disability claim forms. In the case of Lewy Body Dementia, the SSA will need to see a clinical description of your physician's findings, copies of operative reports and imaging results from MRI and X-ray tests.
In addition to sufficient medical evidence, you will also need to fill out the Social Security Disability claim forms properly and in their entirety. Be sure that you are as detailed as possible when answering the questions that are on these disability claim forms. The more information that you can provide to the Social Security Administration, the more likely you will be to qualify for benefits during the initial stage of the application process.
Lewy Body Dementia and Your Social Security Disability Case
Many of the people who suffer from a condition that is covered in the SSA's Compassionate Allowances Listings assume that their Social Security Disability claim will be automatically approved by the Social Security Administration. This is not necessarily the case. While the SSA does not often deny claims that are based on Lewy Body Dementia, it can happen if you do not fill out your claim forms properly or do not submit enough medical evidence.
If you want to increase your chances of obtaining a hassle-free approval of your Social Security Disability claim, you should consider retaining the services of a qualified disability lawyer or advocate. These professionals can help you with your disability claim paperwork and can help you gather the necessary medical evidence to submit with your disability claim and prove your case of Lewy Body Dementia.
To learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowances listings or to find out if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia, click here for a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.