I Don’t Want To Be One Of The Living Dead…!

Each year, thousands of folks join the ranks of the living dead.  At least for a few horrific months.

These folks are very much alive.  But bureaucratically, they are dead. And becoming undead is their nightmare.

Every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) declares thousands of folks “dead” even though they are breathing.  No, SSA isn’t trying to reduce Social Security costs.  The “death” of thousands of living folks is simply a matter of clerical error.

That’s right, a typo in a Social Security number similar to yours is all that’s needed for the government to turn you into one of the living dead.  Which is absurd… What happened to checks and balances?

I enter information into a database at work.  Many projects are different by only one number.  Some local governments have multiple projects, each with their own database record.  We avoid mistakes by comparing both local government name and project number before entering data. Apparently, SSA uses only Social Security numbers and doesn’t bother with checking whether the name matches to that number.

I presume it’s possible that there are two (or more) folks named Bob Jones with Social Security numbers one digit different.  So even if they checked names against numbers, there’d be some errors.  But 14,000 a year?  (Fortunately, my last name is so unique, partially due to the efforts of Herr Hitler, that the only other folks in Florida with the same last name as mine are my relatives.)

And should an SSA clerical error decease you before your time, don’t think it will be easy correcting the record.  Walking into an SSA office with ID is not sufficient.  Heck, anyone can get a fake ID.  Especially, if it’s so they can continue to collect your Social Security after you’re dead.  Haven’t you heard those stories about folks keeping a dead spouse in a freezer for years to continue collecting their Social Security? (Hey..there’s another reason to retire out of the country!)

Bringing a “friend” to vouch that you’re alive won’t work either.  That “friend” is probably in on the scam!

While it takes less than one second for SSA to declare you dead, it’ll take a lot longer for you to be revived.  Often, it will be a matter of months.  In fact, the stress of trying to come back from the administrative dead might kill you!

Here’s more info.

Some stories from those declared dead.  (Not for the faint of heart.)

Wondering whether you, relatives or friends might be “dead?” Find out here.

You’ve been warned….


3 responses to “I Don’t Want To Be One Of The Living Dead…!

  1. I loved the story from the woman who said she couldn’t get a job because no one will hire her “once they find out I’m dead”. And as far as I can tell, you have to pay money to find out if you’re dead. I guess you just have to wait until it becomes obvious 🙂 This reminds me of when my Aunt Ruby applied for Social Security and had to have a birth certificate. When she contacted the state of Arkansas to get a copy, she found out she didn’t exist. It turns out that when Ruby was born, my grandmother was apparently depressed and confused because her husband had died while she was pregnant. They had been hoping for a boy and had a name all picked out: Ralph Victor Nelson. Which is what was on Aunt Ruby’s birth certificate.

  2. So how did Aunt Ruby straighten that out?

  3. I have been considered the “Living Dead” by many people over the years. One must remember that if the government is involved that more than likely it will get screwed up in some fashion.

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