By Deborah Banikowski
District Manager, Syracuse
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 its 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 www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances. To learn more about how Social Security disability insurance works, visit our disability page at www.ssa.gov/disability. Please share these resources with friends and family.
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 www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp.
Q: Why should I sign up for a My Social Security online account?
A: My Social Security gives you a personal online account you can securely use to check your Social Security information and do business with us. With a My Social Security account you can:
• Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year.
• Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working.
• Get a replacement Social Security card.
• Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them.
• Manage your benefits:
– Change your address or telephone number.
– Start or change your direct deposit.
– Get a replacement Medicare card.
– Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.
To find all of the services available and set up an account, go to www.ssa.gov/myaccount.