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Social Security: Faster processing of disability claims for people with Alzheimer’s disease

Social Security: Faster processing of disability claims for people with Alzheimer’s disease

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Faster processing of disability claims for people with Alzheimer’s disease

Today, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Since the onset of Alzheimer’s can occur in people before they retire, it may strike during an individual’s working years, preventing gainful employment as the disease progresses.

As a result, people must come to grips with a devastating diagnosis while losing their salary and benefits. People with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers must figure out how they’ll pay for care. Our benefits and services are vital to people with early-onset Alzheimer’s who are unable to work and have no other source of income.

For over a decade, Social Security has included Alzheimer’s disease in our Compassionate Allowances program. The Compassionate Allowances program identifies debilitating diseases and medical conditions so severe they obviously meet our disability standards. Compassionate Allowances allow for faster processing of disability claims for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, mixed-dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia.

You can read more about our Compassionate Allowances program at To learn more about how Social Security disability insurance works, visit our disability page at Please share these resources with friends and family.


Q: Are Social Security numbers reassigned after a person dies?

A: No. We do not reassign Social Security numbers. In all, we have assigned more than 500 million Social Security numbers. Each year we assign about 5.5 million new numbers. There are over one billion combinations of the nine-digit Social Security number. As a result, the current system has enough new numbers to last for several more generations. For more information about Social Security, visit our website at

Q: Is it true I can save about $5,000 per year if I qualify for Social Security’s Extra Help with the Medicare prescription drug program?

A: Yes. If your income and resources meet the requirements, you can save nearly $4,900 in prescription costs each year. Resource limits for 2021 are $14,610 (or $29,160 if you are married and living with your spouse). Income limits are $19,140 (or $25,860 if you are married and living with your spouse). If your income or resources are just a bit higher, you might be eligible for some help with prescription drug costs. To learn more, visit

Q: I applied for Medicare benefits last week. How can I check the status of my application?

A: You can check the application status online with your personal my Social Security account at, but you must wait five days from the date you originally filed. If you are unable to check your status online, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit


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