Wednesday, March 18, 2009

paranoia and the Social Security saga

The Social Security Administration sent me a letter that makes no sense. In it, they informed me that I was not disabled for certain months in 2006 and 2007, because I worked part time and, according to them, made too much money for me to have been disabled. Now, however, they do consider me to be disabled, not because I work less (I don't), but because I make less money per hour. They informed me, in this letter, that I was to repay them $3,200 by April 10th, and they included a nice little payment stub where you can give them a credit card number to pay this amount. I do not have a credit card. I also do not know anybody who is disabled yet has $3,000 laying around somewhere.

I make $8.43 per hour at my current job. I cannot pay my rent, car insurance, electricity, and cable bills without my disability check. Yet the Administration has stated in this letter that they plan to take the $3,200 right out of my check, unless I send them the money myself by April 10th. Of course, I am going to appeal this nonsense. I have an appointment with a legal aid program person next week, and I hope that they can help me. But in the meantime, the stress of this situation has sent me head-long into more psychotic symptoms which, technically speaking, I shouldn't be having since I am getting injections and taking all the other meds I'm on religiously.

Last night I was sure my therapist and the other woman in my two-person therapy group were controlling my mind and reading my thoughts and sending me hand signals that are part of government mind-control again. I frequently have this feeling in the group (*and also, in any other group I go to, such as in hospitals), but normally I don't believe it as strongly as I did last night. I am even afraid to write about this here right now, because a part of me still believes it is really happening. I told my therapist, and the other group member, that I was afraid they worked for the government, etc., and they told me that of course they don't. My therapist always makes a joke about how she would never be an employee of the Republican party, but that won't work now that the Republicans are not in charge of things. My therapist said that my paranoid thoughts were happening more last night than she expected them to be happening, but once I explained the Social Security nightmare, and how I associate the Social Security Administration with the Nazi SS military in my mind, she understood. She said what I am going through would make me feel persecuted and it was understandable that this would bring back the old thoughts of the Nazis controlling the world, etc. I don't believe that is happening right now, but I did believe it with most of my being last night. I could barely speak when I was sitting in the therapist's office, and I whispered the part about how they were working for the government.

I think some people assume that you cannot have such symptoms and know you have them. And I know some people who know me and assume I have no such symptoms anymore, ever. Some people think that if you're being treated with medication, all these symptoms go away, but that has not been the case for me. I have had a lot of times where the medications were not as effective as they supposedly should be, and now is one of those times. I know when it happens too. It happens when I am more stressed, more tired, more hungry, or all of the above - and my brain just doesn't work well under those conditions. I worked nine hours on Monday. I worked six hours on Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon, I was hearing voices and thinking callers at my job were government agents. By Tuesday night, I was having a lot of delusional, paranoid thoughts (according to what someone who is not actually experiencing them would call delusional and paranoid).

This is why I can't do things like walk around Disney World, go to the beach all day, shop a lot at malls, or anything else that wears me out, and also why I take naps sometimes, and eat three or four times a day.


  1. Jen,

    I've been going through some psychotic symptoms lately too and I still think that it is possible to pull through the added symptoms due to stress by doing just what you are doing, staying vigilant and bravely honest. Yes, it's bad now, but don't fall into believing that it will just get worse. For lack of a better word, you need to have some faith that there are just as many forces working to help you as to undermine you. You are a fighter and you will succeed. I know it's hard to trust people right now, but keep trying. Don't you let the paranoia rule your life. When the voices say--stay quiet, then you talk and keep on talking. I'm proud of your ability to speak out on matters that are important to you, despite the psychosis. You take care of yourself, take those naps when you need them and eat a lot of small meals through out the day and get a full night's sleep and treat yourself to small pleasures whenever you can. I care about you Jen. Keep going.

  2. Jen,

    Thank you for allowing me to understand what it is like for you to deal with schizophrenia, even after you have accepted things and are on medicine. It sounds like stress seems to cause symptoms to flare up. I explain this to people when they don't understand why someone with mental illness can't have a high stress job. People seem to equate this to having a weakness. I'm sorry, but you have to be very strong to deal with this illness. You are an inspiration to others. The fact that you are expressing yourself on this blog is very commendable. Keep up the fight. I will keep my fingers crossed that they drop the ridiculous social security charge:)

  3. Greetings
    This is Brian Therrien From

    I just stumbled upon your blog … nice stuff and
    have some info on how to get your benefits back

    When SSA charges a claimant an overpayment, the claimant has 2 options. The first option is to file a reconsideration disputing the overpayment. They would do this if they disagree that they even owe any money back to SSA or disagree with the amount they are charging. For example, if they never received the funds allegedly overpaid .

    The second option is to file a waiver of overpayment. This means they do not feel they should be responsible for repayment, primarily because of financial inability to repay. SSA would ask the claimant to provide a financial statement. A waiver is also appropriate if SSA was at fault in making the overpayment and the claimant reasonably had no knowledge they were being overpaid. If they fail to report they are working, for example, SSA would find the claimant at fault and deny the waiver.
     To avoid this stay under the SGA. She has not seen a case where
     workers are under SGA
     The corporation strategy is a solid protection solution to max write off's.

    If you should have had benefits discontinued and SSA is still sending you
    check don’t cash or deposit in an isolated bank account.

     Over payment commonly happens to those that are
    A. In the ticket to work program and there is a miscommunication of information.
    B. Those that go back to work and tell SSA that they are going back to work and SSA still pays.. and SSA recipient cashes checks.
    Where to get legal help:
    A. Centers for independent living
    B. National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives


I welcome comments from all readers and encourage you to leave them! Please do. However, due to spam, I review each comment before it can be posted, so it may take 24-48 hours before your comment appears on the blog. Please be patient. I post comments that are not spam.Note: my definition of "spam" includes ALL links to sites claiming to cure or provide "the solution" for incurable diseases such as Schizoaffective Disorder and Schizophrenia. Vulnerable people come to my blog, and I will not let them be preyed upon, but people who post snake oil remedies on the internets. Take your garbage and peddle it elsewhere. Since Blogger doesn't weed all that garbage out, I've been doing it myself for years.