Have you tried calling the IRS directly? I've called them about issues I've had with taxes & retirement plans in the past and have found out that often employers are giving out the wrong information. They cite IRS regulations that are either misinterpreted, no longer exist, or never did exist (at least not as far as the IRS is concerned, maybe according to some other regulatory body). The people there are super nice. Most help they will give to anybody for free. Some services you can't make more than 200% of the povery level (I'm sure you'd qualify; I know I did). It's worth a shot, especially if somehow your annuity company is wrong about being able to take money out. Also, you could call the Division of Insurance in your state. They should have a free consumer hotline service. They won't actually answer most questions over the phone, but they do provide free advocacy to U.S. citizens in their state as long as you can send them a clearly-worded letter & supporting documentation (they will tell you what they need you to send during the phone call).
Anyways, I'll be crossing my fingers & saying a prayer that you find some way to access your money. My g-ma had an issue accessing her annuity. She filed a complaint with the insurance division where she lives & they were able to mediate a solution with the insurance company.