The Social Security Administration Announced that it will add early-onset Alzheimer's disease, primary progressive Aphasia and mixed dementia to its Compassionate Allowance Initiative (CAI). The program identifies debilitating diseases and medical conditions that meet the SSA's disability standard for Social Security Disability Income (SSI). Inclusion in the program will result in faster payment of Social Security benefits to individuals with Alzheimer's Disease. The SSA thus understands that cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer's disease leaves individuals incapable of retaining gainful employment and deserving of an expedited disability determination. President of Alzheimer's Association, Harry Johns, remarked, "Now, individuals who are dealing with the enormous challenges of Alzheimer's won't also have to endure the financial and emotional toll of a long disability decision process."

Since 2003 the Alzheimer's Association has been advocating on behalf of individuals with early-onset Alzheimer's as numerous challenges result when applying for benefits including long decision processes, denials and multiple appeals. The latest decision by the SSI will simplify and streamline the application process and decrease the wait time for benefits, which in the past has been as long as three years. 

Currently, estimates that 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease.  Many of these are individuals age 65 and over, but a large number of people under 65 are affected by this disease and have few financial options other than Social Security. 

The 2009 July hearing of the CAI includes testimony from Johns, the country's top Alzheimer's researchers, caregivers and individuals with early-onset Alzheimer's. Officials heard about the disabilities that prohibit work and the lack of effective treatments to halt the progression of Alzheimer's.  At Apple Grove Assisted Living we understand the demands placed on families caring for loved ones suffering from dementia. We offer full time residential care, adult day care, available seven days a week, and respite stays. Our experience staff is available to assist our residents and participants with everything from their personal needs, wellness concerns, nutrition requirements, as well as offer well rounded social and spiritual programs. CARING IS THE VERY CORE OF WHAT WE DO!

Editors Note: Article submitted by Kim O'Donnell, Community Relations Director of Apple Grove.