Are Disability Benefits Available For Memory Care?

by | Published on Jun 15, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Disability benefits may be available for memory care because the Social Security Administration (SSA) acknowledges memory impairment as a disability. This condition is included in SSA’s Blue Book under Neurocognitive Disorders, Section 12.02. Evaluation of memory loss is based on its severity and the degree to which it restricts a claimant’s ability to work. Attorneys handling such disability claims find the service of a medical record review company very useful. Since the medical records relevant to a memory loss-related disability claim are voluminous, the important review process becomes simpler with the support of a professional review team.

Dementia and the Role of Medical Records Analysis

Memory loss may be a primary condition. It could also be a symptom of some other chronic or serious medical condition. A brain injury or a stroke can lead to severe memory loss. Conditions like Parkinson’s disease, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and so on can also cause memory loss. Memory loss manifests in many forms such as short-term, long-term, amnesia, dementia, or permanent/semi-permanent cognitive impairments.

Dementia progresses in three stages, namely, early stage, middle stage, and late stage. In the early stage, the symptoms are not very obvious, and the progression of memory loss is gradual. In the middle stage, the symptoms become more obvious and restricting. In the late stage, the patient experiences serious problems with memory and the symptoms and physical signs become very obvious.

To qualify for disability benefits for dementia and memory care, a patient has to produce medical evidence that shows how his/her abilities have declined significantly. The medical record review should reveal the patient’s impairment in one or more of the following:

  • Remembering and learning
  • Using language
  • Judgment and planning
  • Proper social behavior
  • Focusing on tasks or listening to others
  • Physical coordination

Further Medical Evidence

Once the SSA is convinced that the claimant indeed has significant impairment in one of the above-listed areas, they will next consider whether the claimant’s functioning is severely restricted by this disability.

To be precise, the claimant must have either an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a noticeable limitation in two of these areas.

  • Focusing on tasks and being able to complete tasks at a reasonable speed
  • Comprehending, remembering, or using information
  • Ability to adapt or manage oneself in all situations
  • Interacting with others

Medical records related to psychological testing, neuropsychological testing, intelligence testing, hospitalizations, and recurring medical visits with clinical testing may also be required. Here, medical record organization and analysis becomes a key service attorneys may want to utilize to save valuable time, costs, and effort.

A professional medical review team would look for the documentation of the diagnosis and the presence of a mental impairment that is physical in nature and has caused functional abnormalities such as deterioration in mental capacity, or the inability to utilize skills and abilities that had been previously acquired or mastered. The medical evidence required to establish memory loss include the following:

  • A complete medical chart that shows all diagnostic tests and physical exams
  • Physician evaluations that prove the claimant is not capable of performing even simple activities, or jobs that need short or long-term memory
  • Medical proof that available treatments including medications and therapy have not succeeded in improving the claimant’s condition or improving it to the extent that the claimant is able to carry out job duties in even unskilled positions.
  • A detailed, signed account from the claimant’s treating physician that clearly documents the symptoms, condition, and the exact manner in which the claimant’s memory is affected.

Qualifying for Benefits Is Easier with Accurate Medical Records

Drafting an effective SSD application and collecting all the appropriate medical documentation is challenging. A medical record review company can assist disability attorneys in compiling the medical evidence from the medical records that include lab tests, brain scans, cognitive test records, neuropsychological test records, occupational therapy records, psychiatric evaluation notes and so on. With expert assistance, attorneys can ensure they have a complete medical chart and the evidence extracted is comprehensive. This in turn would help with more efficient processing of the disability claim and more chances of having the claim granted.

Discover our medical record review solutions and partner with us for your next case.

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