October 19, 2021

Social Security Disability Stops Because of Death Mistakes

The “Death Master File” document of the Social Security department has been receiving a lot of flack recently as an 87 year old Washington native, Joyce Simpson, had her social security number and account closed after wrongfully being reported dead. The woman claimed that she was “scared to death” when she realized that she had stopped receiving all of her Social Security and pension checks outright, and was completely appalled after realizing that she had been declared dead in 1997.

The same list in question is regularly used by Medicare and Social Security to verify deserved benefits, and is also referred to when determining the eligibility of a bank loan or any line of credit, so it’s no wonder quite a few heads have been turned at the statement given by Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle, admitting that one in every 200 entries into their death master files are false due to “inadvertent keying errors.”

Joyce Simpson claims that the error did not take place through an unknown computing office at some distant location, but rather at her local bank branch. Simpson’s husband had just passed away, and she was visiting the bank to have his name removed from her accounts. Instead, the employee removed Joyce Simpson from the account, eventually landing her name in the Death Master File list a few years later.

Joyce Simpson claims that fixing this calamity has been an ongoing struggle that has lasted a number of years, and she’s certainly not alone. A reported 32,000 wrongfully added names were removed from the death list after similar cases brought light to this travesty of a mix-up.

Some of the troubles that victims of similar mistakes had to face were the cancellation of pensions, home mortgage issues, applying for student and credit loans, trouble finding employment, and plenty of other small or large problems that took years to fix.

“We make it clear that our death records are not perfect and may be incomplete or, rarely, include information about individuals who are alive” is the defense that Social Security spokesman gave in a conference, but quite a few citizens are still having trouble coping with the fact that they were pronounced dead wrongfully.

Seattle Times

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