Long Term Disability Benefits and Alzheimer’s Disease

You don’t have to be a long term disability lawyer in a city like Philadelphia to know that Alzheimer’s disease can derail the best-laid plans for your future. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be terrifying for many reasons, and it may have you wondering where to turn for help. Are you able to keep working? How will you pay your bills if you can’t?

Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you understand your diagnosis and how it may impact your ability to work. Here’s what you need to know about Alzheimer’s disease:

What is Alzheimer’s?

Your doctor may have already explained what Alzheimer’s is and how it will impact your life. If they didn’t, though, then it’s essential to understand what it is and what your life may look like in the future.

Alzheimer’s disease can be thought of as a condition where nerve cells in your brain die faster than they can be replenished. This state can result in symptoms like forgetting recent events, getting confused by simple tasks that didn’t pose a problem before, personality changes, mood swings, and more. Due to the wide range of symptoms that can develop as a result of Alzheimer’s, a person who has been diagnosed often requires assistance in managing the everyday tasks they need to perform every day.

Most often, Alzheimer’s is seen in people who are beyond retirement age, in which case they’re eligible for Social Security benefits related to their disability. However, what if you don’t qualify for those benefits?

Would My Alzheimer’s Qualify Me for Long Term Disability?

Long term disability insurance is a policy that you can buy through your employer, which will often provide you with a fraction of your income in the event of a physical or mental disability. Depending on your policy, it could cover you if your Alzheimer’s diagnosis makes it impossible for you to work.

However, there are some barriers to getting these benefits. In many cases, your long term disability insurer will only grant you benefits if your condition prevents you from doing any job, not just the one your employer hired you to do. As a result of this, many people get denied. However, it’s still possible to reverse that decision through an appeal.

Are There Limits to My Long Term Disability Coverage?

Most limits to your long term disability coverage will be outlined in your policy. However, insurance companies also try to limit the benefits you’re entitled to as someone with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis by categorizing it as a mental disorder, rather than a physical disease.

The reason for this characterization is that under a mental disorder designation, they can terminate your benefits after a year or two. However, you can challenge this designation in court to ensure that the insurance company cannot cut you off after your disease progresses even further.

Beyond this potential barrier, your long term disability benefits should last until you return to work, reach the age of 65, or reach retirement age.

To find out more about what long term disability benefits exist for patients with Alzheimer’s, or to schedule a consultation with our long term disability claim lawyers in Philadelphia, PA, call us today!


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