Faster Processing of Disability Claims for People With Alzheimer’s Disease

by Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Currently, more than five million Americans suffer from 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 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 more than a decade, Social Security has included early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in our list of Compassionate Allowances program. The program identifies debilitating diseases and medical conditions so severe they meet our disability standards. Compassionate Allowances allow for faster processing of disability claims for individuals with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and several other neurodegenerative disorders.

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

Vonda Van Til is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at