My name is***** and I just wrote and 18 page letter I intend to mail today. I worked for three government agencies to get 26 years of services. My daughters became heroin addicts and my employment ended in 2009 when I went on vacation, and without being able to think properly, announced upon return, to everyone's suprize I was retiring with only 4 years left for 75% of my salary. In the same year, I had a severe nervous break down, and was admitted to the hospital I worked in for 30 days.
My letter describes how I have been told repeatedly to file for disability, however, I started working when I was 14, ending up with 20 social security credits by the time I was 18. Then I began employment with the State of Colorado and when I had earned 26 years of service lost my chance at disability. I even understand the rules and time constraints as I needed to file in 2006 due to poor leadership by a chief probation officer, who lost her position and was demoted.
However, I made the best out of a bad situation and went to work for the State Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado even though I lost 400/per month in the process. I knew my pension was going off my 3 highest years of salary. However, both daughters turned into heroin addicts and my job was particularly stressful so after a vacation, to the suprise of everyone, with only 4 years left for 75 % of my income retired. Within the same year, I was admitted to the State Hospital due to a severe nervous breakdown.
As a result after 26 years of services ended up with 50% percent of my income due to the nervous breakdown. My therapist kept telling me to file for disability; however pera rules only have a short window to do that, which was impossible at the time for me to discern. I am finally getting better; real nervous breakdowns are not easily recovered from. I told my therapist I only had 20 credits with social security and in fact, it was the state who needed to provide me with that opportunity. As indicated, with a nervous breakdown in process I could not process everyhing properly. I set a presitent with my intentions to retire with 30 years of service. But due to nervous breakdown could not think clear enough to go on short term disability
. I spoke to my Psychiatrist, whom I have seen through my recovery and he as well as my therapist will testify I was in no way capable of making a correct decision. All I am asking for is the disability program have a clause for folks experiencing nervous breakdowns and that this be revisited with the State as I cannot file with social security. My entire career was with three state agencies and I have 26 years of service which lost me $700.00 per month in retirement. I would return to finish if I could; however, daily I am not consistent enough to do that.
I feel the disability policy needs revised to allow for people having nervous break downs, at least I would be earning 66% of my income instead of 50%. I wrote an 18 page (one sided) letter expressing my concerns. The state,in my opinion, should offer me the opportunity to apply for disability as I clearly set a presitent regarding my intent to retire. Please understand, I am not lazy and have never relied on my government for anything. Yet I do not have enough money to live on and when I retired, my Psychiatrist is willing to testify, I was not in my right mind to make a good decision. But i truly tried, I grew up in poverty and was the only one to make it out. I made every attempt to be self reliant; however mental illness culminating in a nervous breakdown, followed by an admission to the very hospital I was a unit clerk in did not let me do this.. In addition, I was hospitalized at least four more times, without insurance causing a huge debt, when my Credit has been very important to me. I make just enough to live, but not qualify for any government help like leap or help with food or insurance. I believe the State's policy needs to be revised to include folks like me who are incapable of making correct decisions as was evident by my Hospitalization within the same year I retired. My mind would not allow me to even consider the time limitations regarding disability. It's required many years for me to even be healthy enough to see how wrong it all is. I clearly made every effort to retire with my full pension. I am not even requesting that, only that the disability requirement be made to include folks like me who clearly wanted to retire with full benifits. As I stated, my psychiatrist is willing to testify I was in no way in a position to consider the time constraints regarding disability. Thank you for reading this and considering my question. No other lawyers are willing to take on the State, but I was working for the Prison when Ramos lawsuit was filed for double bunking. Thank you for considering my request. (###) ###-####Norma Hughes