Being Declared Dead By The Social Security Administration Is Very Inconvenient

NOT_DEADBeing dead is very inconvenient, but having the government believe that you’re dead when you aren’t is even more inconvenient. Yet the Social Security Administration accidentally declares about 9,000 people living in the United States dead every year. Yet when this happens to someone, they struggle to find help and to get anyone to believe them so they can be brought back to life financially.

Errors happen everywhere, it’s true, and the Social Security Administration processes 2.8 million actual deaths per year. That relatively low error rate isn’t comforting when you’re the one locked out of your own bank accounts and not receiving your Social Security checks. CBS Sacramento’s Kurtis Ming followed the case of a 78-year-old woman who had exactly this happen.

She learned that she was dead when she received a letter from her bank. The bank expressed its corporate condolences, and locked her out of her account. The Social Security Administration also stopped her retirement checks, and her health insurance also stopped. That’s fine if you’re dead, but not if you are still alive and in need of your prescriptions.

Social Security maintains the Death Master File, which is very useful if you’re performing genealogy research on someone who died in the last eight decades or so, but may be less useful when it uses many sources of data to report deaths. Hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, families, and banks all The 78-year-old aspiring zombie in California learned that a mortuary had accidentally reported her dead. Why? Nobody knows. She can’t get a copy of her own death certificate for privacy reasons.

Call Kurtis Investigates: Social Security Erroneously Declares 9,000 Dead a Year [CBS Sacramento]