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How old is the senior? You can't get both Social Security Retirement and Social Security Disability Benefits.

The only exception is for the worker who took "early retirement" while Social Security was deciding their application for disability benefits. In that case, Social Security will make up the difference between the lower "early retirement" benefits and the worker's full disability benefit amount, if the early retiree is determined to be disabled.

If the person is above Normal Retirement Age (an age between 66 - 67 depending on when you were born) they can only receive Social Security Retirement.

If the person is below Normal Retirement Age, Social Security Disability has a list of diseases and medical conditions that obviously meet the disability standards. Among these diseases is Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Using a procedure called “Compassionate Allowances,” Social Security will quickly identify people who have EA Alzheimer’s and other diseases, and award their benefits. Compassionate Allowances allow the Social Security case worker who is making the disability decision to rely on "minimal objective medical information.”

Social Security employees have been instructed to promptly gather information about medical treatments and activities of daily living from the claimant or third parties. For Compassionate Allowance cases, there will not be a consultative examination by a Social Security doctor unless the exam is “absolutely necessary.” Steps for Processing Compassionate Allowance claims.

The Compassionate Allowance procedures eliminate waiting and uncertainty for people who have clear cases of disability.
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If you are younger & get a dementia & can qualify for SSDI , then you can get approved for Medicare earlier than waiting to turn 65; if you get SSI, you can qualify for Medicaid. Doing either can be a huge savings if your paying privately for health insurance; or your coverage isn't terrific. The medicaid part could quite important as they could get into a NH (or AL if your state diverts $ for AL) that takes medicaid if their dementia has progressed to the point of needing a facility.
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If you already get SS there will be no difference.
If not old enough for SS, maybe disability until
you reach SS age.
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If the person is already getting social security and past 67 yrs., then payments are called "retirement". With a disability that will not go away and you can provide a doctor's notes, then it is "disability" before 67 yrs.
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Disability provides a TAX advantage when filing your income taxes, not an increase in SS retirement benefits.
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Yes, you can. Mental impairment of most any sort will qualify. My husband had "mild cognitive impairment", now diagnosed as "medical onset dementia". Disability will be in effect until your loved one turns 65, when it turns into SS retirement. If you are filing on your own get all the medical proof you can. There are two forms of SS Disabilty. If you go into an office to file they are required to apply for both forms, though your loved one will not be eligible for one of them. I didn't apply online so I can't explain that process. Be prepared to receive a denial and then challenge it. Record any changes in your loved one from the time you submit your first claim. That way, if you need to challenge the denial you have further evidence of impairment. Questionnaires are sent to every person you list as a witness or professional. You will also get one. When you get the form the second time, list all the changes you have recorded since you filed the first time at the end where you can write a statement.
Some of the responders have mentioned Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare comes with SS Disability. Medicaid is based on low income. If you planned for retirement and have savings to live on, you will most likely not qualify. Check with a professional in your area. There are things you can do to change your situation. Good luck.
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One word "NO" I took care of my mom for 7 years, she just passed April 5th 2015 and I tried to get it for her and they said no Medicare and Medicaid would take care of it.
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Laurabutler, there is no tax advantage togetting Social Security Disability over Social Security Retirement. Are you referring to nontaxable Supplemental Security Insurance or possibly some other type of private disability insurance?
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My mom was diagnosed at age 59. I applied for SS Disability online for her. They did send me a questionnaire to fill out as well about her activities of daily living as well as a phone interview to clarify a few things . I was amazed how quickly they handled her application as I've heard horror stories about disability. On the other hand she worked as a teacher nearly 30yr and with those disability benefits we went round and round nearly a year!!! Best of luck and if it's difficult to take your senior in the local office due to your schedule I highly recommend online filing. Oh, also bc she had Alzheimer's she had to have a payee that handles her money, in my case my daddy. He also had to do a phone interview and sign some papers reguarding that part of thing.
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And it's not because she's under 62, it is because she's under 65, as that is the age for becoming Medicare eligible. You qualify earlier for Medicare if you have been disabled for two years.
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