LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Rodney Mesriani | Sep 20, 2011

How to “Resurrect” Yourself When SSA “Kills” You

Death by Social Security Administration – no pun intended. There are almost endless reasons for death: accidents, disease, natural calamities, and the list go one. Dying because of SSA may seem an odd and unlikely idea; however it happens in real life, not literally of course. According to the Office of the Inspector General, at least 14,000 “fatalities" are unintentionally and mistakenly “killed" by the SSA. The audit of the Inspector General estimates that in 2.8 million death reports the SSA receives, 14,000 deaths are incorrectly entered into its Death Master File. In simplest explanation, SSA erroneously labels thousands of living Americans as dead. Why worry? Many people may care less about the issue; however, they should be anxious regarding such glitch for one particular reason: inconvenience, a series of it. Take the case of a J.C. Penney worker for 22 years. According to an online report by MSN Money, Peggy Blevins, a 65-year-old woman who is about to retire had much difficulty when she learned that the SSA declared her dead. The report added that when the woman went to the bank to withdraw money, the teller told her that she cannot do so because all of her accounts had been cancelled. Now, that is one good reason why people should not care less about the issue. Another reason why you should be vigilant about SSA’s Death Master List errors is that when a person has been declared dead, his Social Security benefits payments will also be cancelled. Such concern is bad news to people who has been mistakenly “killed" by SSA’s records. Tips on how to “resurrect" yourself Of course you are not really dead and as any logical person would do, you need to correct the mistake in order to avoid forfeiting your Social Security benefits. The following are recommended steps if ever you were mistakenly declared dead by SSA: Contact SSA – the first step you should do is to go to your local SSA field office to report the situation. It is advisable to bring with you an ID with a picture of you. The SSA will conduct an investigation upon receiving your concern. Go to Department of Public Health office – after filing your report with SSA, the next step is to file an amended death certificate with your county’s public health office. This step will require you to complete an affidavit and to submit it with the county registrar.

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