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Do all types of dementia qualify for SSDI?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Social Security Disability

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5.8 million people live with dementia in the United States.

When first diagnosed, many wonder whether their condition qualifies them for Social Security Disability Insurance. Not all forms of dementia meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria and the qualification process can vary based on the condition’s severity.

Recognized dementia types

The SSA outlines specific dementia types they consider qualifying conditions for SSDI. Their list includes the following diseases:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal disorders
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Vascular dementia

Other related brain disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that result in dementia are also on the list.

SSA criteria

Having a recognized condition does not automatically qualify a person for SSDI. To qualify for SSDI due to dementia, the condition must hinder an individual’s ability to work. The person must be able to show limitations in daily activities, work-related tasks and social functioning.


It is necessary to present detailed medical documentation as part of an SSDI application. These records should detail the impact of the particular dementia type on daily life and employment. They should also document the length of time a person has experienced memory impairment.

Compassionate allowances

The SSA occasionally expedites the approval process for those with certain severe types of dementia, such as advanced-stage Alzheimer’s. By recognizing the urgent and debilitating nature of these illnesses, the SSA can swiftly process and approve disability benefits.

Accurate and detailed information improves the chances of an application’s approval. Unfortunately, completing the SSDI application is complicated. For someone experiencing cognitive decline, the process can become even more difficult.


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