TSGS Cruiser Blog

Monday, July 11, 2011

"WALKING DEAD - Social Security Important Note to Genealogists"

"Some agencies that report death to SS only submit month and year
so SS uses the first or fifteenth which could cause problems for
- Don Counts

Evansville Courier & Press 07/10/2011, Page A01

Death report harm is not exaggerated

By Thomas Hargrove Scripps Howard News Service WASHINGTON

The Social Security Administration each month reports incorrectly that nearly 1,200 living Americans have died.These clerical errors, found in a federal database ominously titled the “Death Master File,” might be darkly humorous evoking Mark Twain’s famous quip that death reports can be greatly exaggerated were not the consequences so severe.“It has just been one thing right after another since I found out that I was dead,” said an unsmiling Judy C. Rivers, 58, of Jasper, Ala. “Right now, I am still looking for a job . I hate to give out my Social Security number because I know exactly what is going to happen.” Dozens of times, Rivers has been told that her Social Security number is inactive because she’s deceased. Police detained her for several hours last year under suspicion of identity fraud when she tried to use her debit card at a local Walmart. She’s been denied college aid and home-refinance loans, been refused job interviews because of irregularities in her file and been rejected 14 times for credit cards.“All of them said basically the same thing: ‘The Social Security number cannot be confirmed’ or ‘Social Security number deactivated due to death,’” Rivers said.

The Social Security Administration has denied that it was the source of the error in Rivers’ records.

- Submitted by TSGS President Donald R. Counts

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