Compassionate Allowance - Primary Progressive Aphasia

If you are diagnosed with a rare or serious disorder, it is often a time of confusion and fear. If it is a rare disorder that you’ve never heard of, you might be wondering how the disease will progress and in what specific ways it will affect your life as you know it. There are some disorders that are so severe you are unable to continue working and living as you always have. While you are unable to work, the bills can start to pile up. Fortunately, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) maybe able to provide some financial relief.

Generally, the disability application process can take anywhere from six months to two year. Some disabling conditions are so severe that they necessitate a quicker application process. In response to this, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has created a list of diseases, called Compassionate Allowances, that qualify for an expedited application process. The Compassionate Allowances are a list of rare and severe disorders that automatically qualify a person afflicted for disability benefits.

One of the conditions that qualify as a compassionate allowance is Primary Progressive Aphasia.

Primary Progressive Aphasia – Condition and Symptoms

Aphasia is the loss of ability to comprehend or express spoken language. Primary Progressive Aphasia is a rare type of dementia that normally presents itself before the age of 65 and becomes worse as time goes by. It is characterized by a slow decline of speech over a two-year period. Language and its meanings and intricacies are affected first and progressively deteriorate into a complete amnesia of the spoken word. It is not known what causes the disorder, though recent studies show sufferers have a specific combination of prion gene variants.

Patients with Primary Progressive Aphasia will be unable to follow simple instructions without visual cues, will be unable to formulate sentences and cannot produce one or two word phrases spontaneously. They will have difficulty naming objects and tend to misuse verb tenses, pronouns and mix up word endings. Some will find written language somewhat easier to understand and deal with than spoken language. As Primary Progressive Aphasia continues throughout life, the person may start to lose other mental capabilities. Depression often accompanies this disorder.

There is currently no cure or treatment to stop or slow the progression of Primary Progressive Aphasia. Many that are afflicted become completely mute within a decade of being diagnosed, and may eventually require help with day-to-day care.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Primary Progressive Aphasia

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia you can feel comforted knowing he or she will automatically qualify for disability benefits. This will assist you with financial issues and will ensure they receive the best supportive care possible. When you apply for benefits under the Compassionate Allowances act you will be able to go through an expedited process. This is of great importance for a disease that has a rapid progression; you can feel safe knowing there will be funds available for medical expenses.

When applying for benefits with Primary Progressive Aphasia there is certain medical documentation that needs to be submitted. This should include a medical history, neurological findings, neuro-imaging, and a speech/language assessment. A speech/language assessment can determine to what extent the aphasia has progressed. Specifically, results must show a Total Language standard score that is at least two and a half standard deviations below the average on an approved comprehensive language test, or an Aphasia Quotient in the “severe” range. If speech/language assessments are not readily available, a statement describing the symptoms and history may be permitted.

Your Primary Progressive Aphasia Social Security Disability Case

Even though you can rest assured that your loved one will receive disability benefits if he or she has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, it is still a good idea to contact a Social Security disability attorney. A disability lawyer is experienced in the disability application process and can help you make sure everything is in order with your claim. The outcome of a case can sometimes depend on having paperwork in the proper order and submitting the correct medical documentation. A Social Security disability lawyer can ensure your claim is not delayed or denied due to clerical errors.