This is a story the same as my wifes. She worked for appox. 1.5 years after her rupture, and discovered she could not work.
It took 2 years for my wife to qualify for dissability. Her first application was denied after about 6 months, and it took over a year to have a hearing for the appeal, and final approval of her disability.
We found through the system that brain aneurysms are not on their standard list of dissabilites, and many of the case workers do not understand what they are. We also found the following issues that came up during her application and appeal. Don't be surprised if your friend is denied during the first round. We chose to try the first request without a lawyer, and after being denied hired a lawyer to handle the appeal. We live in Michigan. Based on the SSI law, the cost of the lawyer was paid for out of back pay that she received from social security. They only get paid if they win the case. This is the law. The lawyer can charge minimal fees for services. Our total out of pocket that was not covered just so you have an idea was $300.00. Each lawyer will be different. They get 25% or maximum of $6000.00 of the back pay.
Where he will be told he went wrong.
Going back to work before applying for dissability. He will be told he should have applied right away and not gone back to work. Quitting his job.
What will happen. Once the application is sent in, they will gather all the information on him from his doctors, and hospitals. They will also schedule an evaluation by a doctor of their choice. In my wife's case, she was sent to clinical physcologist who diagnosed her with depression, after a ten minute interview, and denied her claim saying she could work. He must go to all scheduled evaluations, or it is automatic denial. They are suppose to send him to the best qualified person. This may not be true.
While waiting for the hearing, the lawyer gathered the same information, researched the injury, and had the doctors write letters explaining the injury in detail. The lawyer went over the denial in detail, and discovered a hole in my wife's case. Our GP was recommending that she not work, they saw him as not qualified since he was not a neurologist, while the surgeon was saying she was fully recovered with no issues. He was referring to the surgical clipping, and not the residual after effects. My wife was sent to see a neurophysicologist for a complete evaluation of her abilities. It took seven hours to go through this test, and in the end, he was the one who by his evaluation was able to say she could not work. This was the key piece of information that was needed. Someone who they felt was qualified to make the recommendation. Unfortuantely if he has no insurance, I was told this test can run anywhere from $6000-8000. And of course, after doing all this he may still be denied. Our lawyer said that 60% of the applications are denied the first time, because only 10% of the people appeal. And each state has a different board making the decision for the Federal Government
Keep copies of all correspondence, applications, and such. It will be a thick and heavy file.