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How Do I Prove I've Been Housebound for over Twenty Years?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Carrigon, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    The final stage of my mother's estate is about to be settled. If I can prove to the judge she was my caretaker and caregiver, I could get a small settlement. The problem is, I don't have any proof. Everything is gone. I moved too many times, any letters she ever wrote on my behalf are long gone. Everyone we knew and were close to over the years is dead. I have one friend who may or may not be willing to testify. My medical records from the time I was born up till about 2004 are all "missing". My current doctor is pretty new and never met my mother. The doctor I had when my mother was alive moved out of state and I have no clue what happened to her. My older doctors all died off.

    I do not know how to prove to a judge that I have no life from this disease. The problem is, the opposing side is accusing me of not having lived with her at the time of her death. They totally made it up. I lived with her my whole life till she died. I have proof I was paying the bills on the place we lived in and proof I was on disability at the time and even my bank statement from that time is the same address. I can prove I lived there, but I still can't prove I was housebound and she was taking care of me. I really have no way of proving the severity of this disease and what it's done to my life for over twenty years.

    I'm no longer a part of the world. People don't see me. Neighbors never saw me because I was always stuck inside sick. So it's not like I can get some neighbor to testify. And even alot of them are also dead. Like everyone is dead and I'm the only one left standing, and I don't stand so good with this disease. I'm even out of people to put down for an emergency. Any time I have to fill out papers on who to call for an emergency, I really don't have anyone anymore. I ran into the same problem with job references. Even if I got miraculously well tomorrow, I have no work history or job references. Everyone I ever worked with is long gone or dead. The places I worked at no longer exist. It's like I haven't been alive in over twenty years. Other than bad credit from losing everything due to this disease, I have no proof of anything really. No proof I've lived at all in over twenty years.

    I just don't know what to do. The lawyer said if I don't testify, I won't get anything. But I need proof, without proof that my mother was my caregiver, I could still lose. My mother had no one when she died other than me. She was barely socializing anymore. There's really no friends of hers I can ask. All I have is one friend who might not even want to say anything at all.

    I really don't know how to prove to anyone that I'm housebound. Even my current doctor doesn't realize the severity of this disease. She hasn't even known me that long and wouldn't be able to write much.

    How does someone who's been a ghost for twenty years prove they've been haunting the world? I really have no clue.
     
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Hi Carrigon,

    Sorry about the frustrating situation you find yourself in.
    Do you have any siblings? If not, then why is the estate contested. If you're the one remaining child it should all go to you. If you do have siblings then they should be able to testify that you lived with your mom. What about your previous doctor? Could you ask him to write you a letter? He could write about how severely affected you have been. I think the fact that you have been on disability, not working...should give them a picture of your health. Also if you have kept any type of diary, mentioning how you lived with your mother might help.

    Good luck with this,
     
    justy likes this.
  3. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    No, I don't have siblings. And I already said my previous doctor moved out of state many years back. There is no one.

    The estate being contested has to do with realestate and a mobile home we owned. We owned the home, but not the land. After she died, the landowners illegally sold our mobile home. They literally stole it and sold it. The lawyer can prove that, but in order for me to get my share, we have to prove I was living there with her when she died. I can prove that I was there, but it would really blow them out of the water if I can prove she was my caregiver and I couldn't have lived anywhere else because I was too sick.
     
  4. Nielk

    Nielk

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    You don't have any pictures of you there? Either inside or with it in the background? A picture is worth a thousand words.
    Another idea, if you have in your possession some mail that came addressed to you at that home?
     
  5. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    I have worried about this and I had something smaller happen like this. I worry about others on this forum. We are too vulnerable if we have no trusted helper/supporter or only one.

    For your disability application or annual review paperwork, didn't it go into the severity? I hope it's on file somewhere.

    Anytime you went to doc/hospital/office, they are supposed to request older history from previous docs/hospitals. Maybe they have something. Even if you didn't see a doc, and just had a test run, the docs reading the results need to see your history.

    Tracking her down may be the best bet. As long as she's practicing, it should be possible to find her.
     
  6. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    I was never able to find that doctor. She moved to South Carolina, I think it was. But she had kids and a husband and I think she stopped practicing.

    I do have plenty of mail and bills from that address, but the whole thing is it doesn't prove my mother was my caretaker. And the only other things I have are letters I have written to Social Security for my reviews that detail the severity of our illness. But once again, they don't prove my mother was my caretaker.

    I really have no proof of how I've spent the last twenty one years of my life. I am going to ask my friend, who was also a very close friend of my mother's, if she would be willing to testify. She visited us alot, she witnessed us living together. And she could say that my mother was my caretaker. All I can do is ask. If she says no, I really have nothing. Everything is gone. My mother and stepfather are dead, and letters they did write on my behalf over the years are gone. It's been too many years. And too many moves.

    And it's driving me crazy at the thought that they can just make this up and claim I wasn't living with her, when I was so incredibly ill that I hadn't been driving for three years prior to her death. I wasn't even doing my foodshopping anymore. She was doing it all. I wasn't well enough to even take a bag of garbage to the curb. I couldn't stand up for more than thirty seconds without feeling like I was going to faint. I was much, much worse than I am now. I still get POTS attacks, but I am more functional than I was back then. For someone to claim I wasn't there, it's beyond evil. I was trapped there, too sick to leave.
     
  7. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yeah really terrible of them. I think burden of proof should be on them. But you said it's not :(

    I hope that friend helps!

    I don't know about your finances or what you stand to gain. I would hire a private investigator to find the doc if enough was at stake. Or to find medical records less than 7 years old. Newer records could have copies of older (over 7 year old) records.
     
  8. Tito

    Tito Senior Member

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    It might be possible to show that you were dependent on her by default. If your bank and credit card statements indicate that you never withrew money at a cashpoint and never used your credit card in stores, restaurants, etc. ( but only online) it then means that you were entirely housebound, which necessary implies that you would need a carer at the very least to buy your food. What is important to explain to the judge is what you say in your post, ie. that you cannot prove things you did not do (such as having an active life). Regarding your doctor, isn't there a professional body in the US where every doctor is listed? You can ask them what is the last address she gave them.
    Good luck
     
    Nielk likes this.
  9. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    My friend agreed to testify. So let's hope that helps. She used to visit us, so she saw me living there with my mother. And she knows my mother was my caregiver. I think that alone will strengthen the case. She will backup what I'm going to say.

    But it really is a problem when you have literally not been in society for like twenty years. You have no way of proving anything. I no longer have the friends I had. When you're chronically ill, no one visits anymore. Time for us just stops. And your life becomes this empty void when you try to explain to people that you can't go out, and spent years barely ever going anywhere.
     
  10. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yeah. The "living dead" :(

    I liked Tito's suggestions.
     
  11. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

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    Did she claim you as a dependent on her tax returns?
     
    Nielk likes this.
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Im so glad to hear that the friend is willing to support you in court.

    If you have old diaries or even old posts which are dated online written in the past which make it clear that your mother was helping you etc .. you could maybe use those too as evidence.
     
  13. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    I'm waiting to hear from the lawyer if it's okay for my friend to testify.

    I really have no pics of me at the place, I only ever had pics of the place. And those are gone.

    And I don't remember if my mother was taking me off her taxes.

    It is really hard to prove anything when you have had no life for over twenty years. All I have is a box full of mail/old bills dating back to 2003 that do show that was my home address and my billing address. It should be enough for a judge to believe I was living there. My mother died in 2007. So I can prove my home address was the same prior to her death, during her death and afterward. I didn't move out till March of 2008. I hope that will be enough.

    The hardest thing I will have to do is tell an entire courtroom how disabled I am, all the while not looking sick or disabled. And tell them how I have had no life in twenty one years, and all the things I've lost in my life due to this disease. And like I said, I get to do that while not looking sick or disabled. So they can look at me like I'm nuts.
     
  14. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

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    If she was claiming you as a dependent on her tax returns, your problem is solved. I don't know how you would go about finding them, but I would certainly talk to your lawyer about it. They're on file somewhere.
     
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Can your lawyer just go to court for you , he may be able to just represent you so you dont even have to go? eg on the grounds of your health and hence not put you throu all that
     
    Nielk likes this.
  16. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yeah see if you can be absent. Or I would try and get one without an audience or jury. Sometimes the judge can hear it in private chambers.
     
  17. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    "nutsy" people actually do get disability due to their disease, so you should get it either way?;)

    GG
     
  18. hurtingallthetimet

    hurtingallthetimet Senior Member

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    hello carrigon it sounds like a very stressful sitiuation...as someone may have mentioned..maybe get all mail together..possibly go on the website that puts all your informaiton out there for anyone and everyone to see...i was victim of a stalker had to move etc...i was so upset finding out websites listed my address, my neighbours, my family inculding my kids nams for the last 20 years..they were suppose to remove the info but so many sites and some never removed..

    it would be worth a try to find any past doctors also..or maybe if you have a new doctor have them to write a letter to support that you are ill and from what they can see you are honest and have been ill for sometime...maybe contact insurance and see if they cant send print outs of old prescriptions etc...or if someone in old neighbourhood could tell that they knew your situation then...

    did you mother have any friends you could contact? sorry if these things have been suggested im just trying to think of things...maybe old letters or cards from you and your mother? its sad that you are so ill and have to go through all this...its crazy you have to prove anything..if you are her only daughter anything should be yours anyways..at least thats what i always thought..

    maybe also your doctor or you could print out info from website letting the judge or whoever know how debilitating these illness are..seems like most are housebound from these illness..
     
  19. hurtingallthetimet

    hurtingallthetimet Senior Member

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    hello again carrigon, just saw this post and it does seem very unfair that have to prove that you are ill...its sad how people with these illness are treated...let someone else with an illness that isnt even as debilitating as these illness do anything such as cook, shopping, clean house whatever and its like they are cheered on and complimented and given sympathy for doing something..

    while people with these illness are treated cold and put down for doing someting..its like if you can do something your ok...not sick...becuase you dont look sick..people are alot of time treated like they are nuts like you said and its very unfair...

    hopefully you wont have to go through all that trying to prove how sick you are....i have to take pain and anxiety medications on top of other medicines every single day just to bare living one day to the next {and i know alot are like me and have to take medications to bear living also} its not normal to do something that use to be simple such as bath..get grocerys etc..and have to take pain medicaitons before and after and the terrible crashs that come after doing anything....hopefully you will get someone who is knowledeable and understands your illness and will speak on behalf of you so you dont have to go through sitting in a court room...
     

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