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Can mild cognitive impairment be a disability?

Many people in the Houston area are diagnosed with what doctors call mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. MCI can in fact be the precursor to Alzheimer's Disease, a progressive and ultimately fatal neurological condition that causes profound memory loss and other issues.

A doctor will diagnose a person with MCI if the person shows memory loss above and beyond what one would typically experience from age alone. A Texan may, after all, experience some short-term memory loss as they get older, as this is part of the aging process. MCI, on the other hand, can also affect the long-term memory, that is, the ability to recall people, places and events from more than a few minutes ago.

MCI does not just affect Texas workers who are approaching or who have reached retirement age. Indeed, in some cases, a person with many years left in her career may get diagnosed with this condition.

If Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia follows MCI, a person may wind up unable to work. However, depending on his career path, even the diagnosis of an MCI can mean a person has to leave the workforce much earlier than he expected. For instance, someone who is a medical professional, an engineer, or working in another profession could find it impossible to continue to perform his job duties.

In such cases, the victim of memory loss may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions. This extra source of income can help a Houston resident meet expenses so she can focus on her health. The process of securing these benefits isn't always easy, though, given that certain federal requirements must be met. Therefore, it is a good idea for those who are affected by MCI to discuss the matter with an attorney who is experienced in disability law.

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