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Changes in Independence & Developing Healthy Habits

Employment & Disability

Difficulty with paying attention, learning new things, and solving complex problems can all be symptoms of HD and often occur during the early stages of the disease. 

Later, physical changes may make it harder to get around and be easily understood. 

At any point, people with HD may find their moods and behavior change in unexpected ways.  

All of this can lead to needing to switch jobs or stop working altogether. When you’re planning for this change or needing to make a change, here are some important things to consider. The following are some of the insurance issues to think about: 

Social Security Disability Insurance is available through the Federal Government to provide income and health insurance to people who are unable to work because of a long-term disability. You must apply for these programs and the process can be tricky. HDSA has a lot of great resources to help with this process: 

Health Insurance helps cover the cost of medical expenses. You may have insurance through your employer, a private policy, or you can apply for a federal health insurance policy like Medicare. Medicare is available to disabled adults who are receiving Social Security Disability. You can start learning about Medicare here. Approved applicants under the age of 65 are required to wait two years before receiving access to Medicare. 

Medicaid is another government insurance program, but it is run through your state government. Each state has different rules for who can qualify and what they’ll receive. You can learn more about your state at: 

Anyone currently employed can look into short-term and long-term disability policies. These can help offset costs while awaiting disability and sometimes will continue through disability approval. 

There are many ways to find private insurance. To look into the government option (Obamacare), check out

Finding the right coverage that changes as your needs change takes time and planning. Contact HD Reach to get help with sorting through your options and applying.  

Check out this conversation from our HD Education Conference for Families. Lisa Grafstein speaks with HDSA's disability expert, Allison Bartlett.