Freaking out over 3 yr ssdi review!
Its been well over 3 years since I started receiving SSDI. My case originally, like many, went all the way to the Admin Law Judge phase. I had the help of a lawyer as part of my benefits program from the company I used to work with. That benefit is no longer available. About 6 months ago I received a several page form to fill out detailing my current status. My situation, while common, has me very very worried. I just receive a brief letter from the State of California stating that my SSDI was under further review and that I had to list Dr's and treatments I have received. That is where the problem is. More on this later. Why the State of California. I am a college graduate and have read this thing several times. I don't get the connection. Are the sub contracting out work to the States?
My disability stems from a lifetime of back injuries that led to a 2 level cervical fusion and a 3 level lumbar fusion. It has been a few year since I have seen my neurosurgeon but he said my entire back was riddled with DDD and Spinal Stenosis and that at some point a thoracic fusion would be needed. Right now I am able to remedy the pain with meds but there is no way I could work. I can't stand for more than 20 minutes and can't sit for more than 30. I spend most of my time in bed reading and watching TV. I can't drive most days and because of the ultra sedentary lifestyle I have gained 50lbs.
During the 1st 5 years of all of this I sought every type of doctor I could to find out what was wrong with me and if anything could be done. I ran the entire gamut of the medical system driving them crazy and came to the conclusion that I suffer from chronic pain, severe depressive disorder, PTSD and super low testosterone. The mental and testosterone components were not part of the original filing. Since I ran out of options I am in a kinda holding pattern with my GP. I see him every few months for prescription protocol and discuss any new symptoms I might have. I was getting botox injections in '09 but I found them ineffective for nerve pain.
It is my understanding that to discontinue my SSDI I must IMPROVE in health status. I have a letter from my Dr stating that I will never work again and that I am permanently disabled. I am hoping to get this letter updated to reflect all current problems and that it will suffice. I am wrong? Would a printout from my pharmacy help since I take Methadone, Hydrocodone, Ambien, Xanax and Celexa.
It is ironic that my "mental disorder" has to do with "security" due to a horrible childhood and a vow I made to myself to kick, scratch and punch my way through college and not live in a world where we could be homeless at anytime. I became very successful and was doing very well when the accidents happened. Now, with this "threat" to my SSDI, I am literally freaking out. If we loose my income we are homeless. The carper has been ripped out beneath us. My wife was in the same industry as I was, which collapsed, and she is now working a low paying retail job with no benefits. We live paycheck to paycheck yet make too much for any extra assistance. I guess that is partly due to the fact the when I got hurt we decided to hold off on having children because we didn't know if I would be able to take care of one. So much for being responsible.
Sorry for the long post. I am venting. I see my therapist tomorrow and then I am going to try and get into see my GP to get the letter updated. In case it helps understand my situation better, I am 43 years old, 6'4 and 305lbs.
2 Lumbar Lamies 93 (age 22); Cervical Fusion C4-C6 2004. Lumbar Fusion w/ hardware S1-L4 2007, DDD & stenosis entire spine. super low T. 30mg Methadone BID 10-20mg Norco 4 BT. 2mg Xanax PRN.