Man diagnosed with mental illness granted SSDI benefits through his wife

Social Security Disability Benefits have proven to be a lifeline for many Americans who are unable to work due to a physical disability, serious condition or mental impairment. When workers develop a mental condition that makes it impossible for them to continue working, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Life changed dramatically for a 59-year-old man who was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, a condition that causes erratic behavior and dramatic personality changes in the affected individual. This early onset dementia can complicate an individual’s ability to work, posing a threat to the financial welfare of their family.

In this particular case, the applicant was unable to fill out an application for Social Security Disability benefits due to memory impairment and the inability to answer basic questions. The duty then fell on his wife to fill out the applications for him in an attempt to receive the much-needed financial assistance. In order to do this, the woman had to file for legal guardianship of her husband in probate court. Although the man’s SSDI application was approved, his wife still attends probate court once a year to maintain guardianship and the right to act on behalf of her husband.

People who have spent a portion of their lives working hard for their families may be given assistance from the Social Security Administration if the unexpected should occur. Having a durable medical power of attorney or guardian in place can help facilitate the process of applying for SSDI benefits. A knowledgeable attorney can help guide people through the process of applying for these essential government funds.

Source: Detroit Jewish News, “Stolen Years: Local family copes with early-onset dementia with fortitude & love,” Ruth Brodsky, May 8, 2014. 

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