It is essential to plan legally and financially in case of dementia. Dementia is an “umbrella term” used to describe a range of symptoms from memory loss and confusion to difficulty telling time or completing familiar tasks. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of Dementia. Legal and financial planning should consider the individual’s current financial situation, their future care needs and the potential impact of the disease on their ability to manage their finances.
A recent article from Help, Dementia!, “Financial Costs and Planning for Dementia and Alzheimer’s,” looks at government financial assistance for Alzheimer’s.
Social Security doesn’t specifically cover costs for cognitive decline. However, individuals with dementia may be eligible for two Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI provides financial support to people who’ve worked and paid into the Social Security system and are now unable to work due to a disability, including dementia. To be eligible for SSDI, the individual must have a sufficient work history, and their condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. SSI provides financial support to individuals with limited income and assets who are aged, blind, or disabled. Individuals with dementia may be eligible for SSI, if they meet the income and asset limits set by the Social Security Administration. Eligibility for these benefits and the amount of the benefit can vary based on individual circumstances.
The Area Agency on Aging can provide information and resources on financial assistance for those with dementia and their families. However,the specific financial assistance available through the aging agency can vary depending on the location and the services offered by the agency. Some services that the aging agency may provide include:
- Information on government benefits: Medicaid may be available to individuals with dementia and their families to help cover the costs of care.
- Assistance with long-term care planning: These options can include assisted living facilities and in-home care and helping individuals with dementia and their families plan for their future care needs.
- Information on financial assistance programs: This can include grants and loans that may be available to individuals with dementia and their families to help cover the costs of care.
Elder law attorneys are familiar with legal issues affecting older adults, such as estate planning, government benefits and long-term care planning. They can provide guidance on legal documents, such as powers of attorney and trusts, and can help with navigating the legal system.
Help, Dementia! (February 12, 2023) “Financial Costs and Planning for Dementia and Alzheimer’s”