Are you dead? No? Well, the Social Security Administration might think so, considering that every year thousands of people are incorrectly entered into its Death Master File.
Yes – the Social Security Administration has something called a Death Master File. And according to CNN Money, of the 2.8 million death reports that SSA receives every year, around 14,000 are incorrectly entered. That’s 38 clerical murders a day.
While the errors may seem harmless, they can cause serious problems for those considered dead. Some people have had their benefits terminated, and one woman interviewed by CNN said she was told that she couldn’t reopen her account until she proved she was alive. Apparently a phone call wasn’t enough. She was owed $1,000 in disability payments and had fees of $300 to $400 due to bounced checks.
So what can you do if you find yourself erroneously declared dead? According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, first, learn who reported you dead. Then, as creepy as it sounds, get a copy of your death certificate from either the county clerk’s or recorder’s office where the death was reported. You can then make an appointment at your local Social Security office. And bring your death certificate.