Re: Intracranial Hypertension & Disability
It is generally always much easier to go on private disability through an employer than to try and get SSDI benefits. The reason? The criteria to qualify is different. Most private short term disability will be paid with a completed form from a treating physician who says you cannot work. Most policies require only that the recipient be unable to perform the duties of their current position. Social security disability requires that you be unable to perform any work that exists in the national economy in reasonable numbers. This is a big difference.
If a person is out on private disability insurance for any amount of time, a long term policy may take over at some point (often at 6 months.) It is then that the insurance company may start asking questions or may require you to obtain an independent medical examination. Things begin to get a bit more difficult. Many private long term disability plans require that the beneficiary apply for SSDI benefits. If awarded, the private disability amount is offset by any government benefits you receive.
Even knowing a diagnosis, it's really impossible to guess if a person will be awarded SSDI benefits. SS is not so much worried about what is wrong with you and what you can no longer do. They are more concerned with what you are still able to do despite your disabling condition(s). The process is long and difficult, sometimes taking 2-3 years.
Having "been there, done that", I would suggest applying for SSDI benefits and going out on short term disability if your sister is to the point where she is unable to work. She would therefore be receiving her private insurance benefits while she pursues SSDI. If she's able to return to full time work at some point, SSDI will simply deny her claim.