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I am very sorry to hear about this situation. Per the CalPERS, one's payment option election and lifetime beneficiary(ies) designation is irrevocable unless you request a change within 30 days of the issuance of your first benefit check or you have a future qualifying event.
If you feel that you have had a qualifying event but CalPERS is denying the change, you can then force them to do so by filing a Writ of Mandamus in court (since CalPERS is a state agency). You would need a litigation attorney. May I recommend the CA Bar referral program - HERE. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
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