There are many ways to look for help. It is not that the government not trusting her. The rules are rigid for SS disability. She needs to retain an attorney. Please read on.
The social security disability help is one of the channels and is relatively narrow. It is for long-term disability which means the person has to be totally disabled and cannot work and has no earned income due to the illness for more than one year. Therefore, after one full year from the coming December, your niece may want to consider retain an attorney practicing in the area (they are on contingency payment) to re-apply.
In the meantime, she may qualify for social security supplemental income and he may qualify for Medicaid, etc. to help with his medical expenses.
"Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes): It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter."
She may want to start with her county's Medicaid's office, call her county's Department of Family Health Services. Find a social worker to consult. If she recently went to a hospital, hospitals have social workers on site and can help at least direct you to the right places to request for help.
Once she qualifies for Medicaid, food stamp, utility, and housing help can come, too. Be patient and continue to look for alternatives.
Below website links can help you start. The medicaid and long-term care services are both governmental websites and programs.
Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP