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Social Security Administration hosts younger-onset hearing

Social Security Administration hosts younger-onset hearing
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July 26, 2009
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Social Security Administration hosts younger-onset hearing

On Wednesday, July 29, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will hold a hearing examining whether people with younger-onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (under age 65) should be included in SSA's Compassionate Allowances Initiative for Social Security benefits.

The Compassionate Allowances Initiative is an effort to improve and expedite the Social Security disability (SSDI) determination process for a recognized class of medical conditions and diseases that are severely debilitating and/or life threatening that prevent individuals from being able to work for at least 12 months.

The hearing will feature testimony from five panels, including experts in the field as well as those directly affected by Alzheimer's and related dementias. Alzheimer's Association panelists include Harry Johns, president and CEO; Jay Jones, early-stage advisor, Southeast Florida Chapter; Laura Jones, Southeast Florida Chapter; and Joyce Simons, early-stage advisor, New York City Chapter.

SSA is broadcasting a live webcast on July 29 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Central. You can view the webcast at

For people under age 65 with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, their diminished cognitive impairment can quickly reach a point where they can no longer maintain gainful employment. Currently, many people with younger-onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementias face multiple challenges when applying for SSDI, including a lengthy decision process and multiple appeals.

If SSA decides to include younger-onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementias on the list of Compassionate Allowances, it would simplify and streamline the SSDI application process, decrease the wait time for benefits and help people access the assistance they need. The hearing will provide SSA with an opportunity to be briefed and introduced to the broad range of issues concerning those with younger-onset Alzheimer's and other dementias.

An official Alzheimer's Association statement will be posted on July 29. The hearing recording and written testimony will be available on July 30.

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The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit

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