Do You Have Any Advice For Me?

Feb 14 2020 - 10:34am

Hi Larry, I’m unfamiliar with your service - but I’m so glad to have stumbled onto this article.
I previously was receiving SSI benefits when I lived in NC. At the time - I had been struggling with bipolar disorder w/ psychotic features ( hearing voices)
I had been in a LTR for 14 yrs - but when the illness became severe - he left. I had a very weak moment and did self harm. I was hospitalized at a psychiatric facility and stayed until my symptoms were stabilized.
With nowhere to go - my older sister became involved. We weren’t particularly close - but I had little options. She became my medical POA. She talked me into entering an assistant living facility - which was a mistake. I was miserable. I was only in my late 40’s- and most of the patients were decades older.
I was there voluntarily- and months later, I packed my few belongings and left.
My sister found an apt complex that had studio rentals - so much could afford the rent and with my food stamps- I lived very frugally - but it was a far cry better living situation than a old folks home.
But now I lived Just across town from my sister. Little by little - she became more controlling- she degraded and chastised me relentlessly. She had co-signed for my apt and had her own key and would show up unannounced all hours of the day. I had another serious episode of deep depression and was having suicidal thoughts. I asked her to take me to the hospital- but told me to just deal with it. To condense this story - I’ll just say, Eventually, I genuinely became fearful of her. I found out she had taken a disproportionately large life insurance policy on me. ( 200,000) I didn’t have a problem with her doing so. It’s just that I only found out because she left the paperwork out on her table - and I caught my name. So I read it. I asked her why so much? She said because if something ever happened to me - she didn’t want to go I’m debt dealing with a costly funeral. I just took her explanation at face value. Again I’m condensing this inquiry. The verbal and emotional abuse escalated. I never knew when she would blow up. She insisted that I take a phone from her even though I already had an inexpensive one the govt had issued with a low income program.
Finally - I felt like something bad would happen. I called my twin brother who lived in Georgia - and basically begged him to help me. He said she he knew a woman who was in a similar situation. And needed a roommate. In Texas. I did not change my address with SS. I did call the EBT card that is issued to have my benefits deposited. Anyway - that was fall 2012. The lady was moving in with her son - once more I had no where to go. I called a casual friend and asked if I could stay temporarily- he traveled for his job a lot - and said we’d give it a go. We became close companions - however we were not in any physical relationship. I’m January of 2013., my SSI did not deposit. I called and the lady said they hadn’t got the paperwork back that they sent. To my old NC address. I was quite upset - but my companion said just hold off on it a bit. He’d help me with my meds cost.
And up until April 2016, the arrangement was fine. I was able to house sit when he was gone —and take care of mundane chores. But I’m that month of April - everything changed. I thought I had a bad case of bronchitis- and finally - in the middle of the night I woke up unable to breath. An ambulance came and took me to ER. I ended up staying in intensive care for 26 days - 9 oh those I was in a medically induced coma. They were draining over 2 quarts of fluid from my lungs. I than was transferred to a rehab hospital for physical therapy. 4 weeks. I have COPD and I am on oxygen 24/7. I also was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis- I am extremely limited physically. I rarely leave the house. And must use a wheelchair and portable oxygen tank when I do. At home I have a concentrator. I can lift only things like a loaf of bread. Very light things. I’ve had a primary care physician that makes monthly visits since coming home from rehabilitation. My companion had to stop working due to a cancer scare. He can no longer help with any of my medical needs. We’re struggling to keep food in the house and the lights on.
My mother told me my sister no longer had POA in me or the big insurance policy. We do not speak.
I am in dire need to have my benefits reinstated and I’m also applying for food stamps. I worry every day that they will come get my medical equipment because the bill hadn’t been paid in almost a year. I’m sorry this is such a long inquiry. But I just want to stress - I left a volatile situation - and I had managed to live for a while without my benefits. I have memory recall problems. IF you have any advice or can be of service I’d be so appreciative. My Dr will fill out any forms or medical records needed. Thank you so much

Hi Feleicia,

I'm very sorry to hear about your health issues and all of the problems you've experienced. Unfortunately, though, my expertise is limited to Social Security benefits, and I'm not sure from reading your question what your status is in that regard. If you were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and those benefits have stopped, then you may need to reapply in order to get your benefits resumed. You can do that by phone or in person at a Social Security office, and you can make an appointment by calling 800-772-1213.

Best, Jerry