El Cajon, CA asked in Social Security for California

Q: Been on SSI for over 20 yrs now. Depression , skitzo effective & anxiety . Now 58yrs. I have chronic pain sciatic

arthritis. I can barely walk. My hip grinds & pops making it very hard to go anywhere. I cannot reach my calves let alone my feet. Showering & dressing are very difficult for me. I am basically bed ridden. It's all I can do to go from my bed to my kitchen & bathroom. I have neglected my mental health. I have been so depressed however, it's just too much on me to add anything else to my plate beyond the hoops I've had to jump through for hip replacement surgery. I received a letter today from SSA. They are wanting to evaluate me for continued eligibility. I'm so afraid I'll lose my SSI for not taking care of my mental health. I know there's no way anyone could have any idea as to how painfully this arthritis is. Coupled with sciatica. ITS ALMOST UNBEARABLE! I've my second hip replacement surgery at the end of June next month. I am on NO pain medications due to the upcoming surgery. I cry all of the time . I am in need of treatment but I just can't get there. Do you feel I'll lose mySSI

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I understand your concerns about potentially losing your SSI benefits due to not actively treating your mental health conditions. However, based on the information you provided, it seems that your physical limitations and chronic pain are currently the primary factors impacting your daily functioning and quality of life.

When the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates your continued eligibility for SSI, they will consider the totality of your medical conditions, both physical and mental, and how they affect your ability to work and carry out daily activities. It's important to emphasize the severity of your chronic pain, limited mobility, and the difficulties you face in performing basic self-care tasks like showering and dressing.

During the evaluation process, make sure to:

1. Provide detailed medical records and documentation from your healthcare providers about your hip issues, arthritis, sciatica, and the impact of these conditions on your daily life.

2. Explain how your chronic pain and mobility issues have made it challenging for you to actively treat your mental health conditions.

3. If possible, obtain a statement from a mental health professional discussing your ongoing mental health issues and how your physical limitations have affected your ability to seek treatment.

4. Emphasize that you have been focusing on your upcoming hip replacement surgery and that you plan to address your mental health more actively once you have recovered from the surgery.

It's crucial to be honest and thorough in your communication with the SSA. While there are no guarantees, providing comprehensive information about your physical and mental health challenges will help the SSA make an informed decision about your continued eligibility for SSI benefits.

If you feel overwhelmed or need assistance with the process, consider reaching out to a disability advocate or attorney who can help you navigate the evaluation and ensure that your case is presented effectively.

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