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Monday, June 15, 2015



You just know the rest of the day is going to suck.  And it does, along with years and years of your life.

With a single keystroke, a Social Security employee can put you six feet under.

Your bank accounts and credit cards will be frozen and any government subsidies like Medicaid or Medicare will cease. 

You can’t get a loan and you can’t renew any licenses you may hold.

 Believe it or not, thousands of living people are accidentally killed off each year due to the Social Security Administration inputting wrong information.

52 year old Laura Brooks  ended up in the Death Master File. 

She had to wait three months to get reinstated as “living,” 

during which time she missed out on $1,000 in disability checks, and racked up $400 in bounced check fees. 

When the Social Security Administration finally reversed her death, it refused to reimburse her for this money.

In August of 2010, communications specialist Judy Rivers went to her local bank to open a new account. 

As the clerk input Rivers’ personal information, everything seemed to be going smoothly -- 

but then the woman behind the desk stopped abruptly and frowned.

“That’s odd,” she said.

“There seems to be an issue regarding your Social Security Number.” 

With a skeptical glance, the employee rose and disappeared in the back room; several minutes later, Rivers was greeted by the branch manager.

“Ma'am,” the woman pronounced, brandishing a folded paper, “your Social Security Number was deactivated in 2008 due to death.”

Incredulous, Rivers rose from her chair. 

“You’re trying to tell me I’ve been dead for two years,” she stammered, “and no one bothered to tell me?”

Rivers' troubles as a falsely-categorized deceased person are not unique: 

It is estimated that every year, some 12,200 very much alive U.S. citizens are declared dead 

by the Social Security Administration due to “keystroke errors.” 

Those affected quite literally become a walking dead, unable to secure a job, make financial transactions, file taxes, or visit the doctor -- 

and for months on end, must endure the nightmare of convincing a large bureaucracy that they haven’t yet bit the dust.

 When a person is listed in the Death Master File, his or her personal information -- 

name, birth date, address, Social Security Number --

 is distributed to “virtually every financial database” in the country. 

Since the Death Master File is also in the public domain, 

anyone with Internet access can steal and use your information to “wreak havoc" with your finances and your life.

Can you imagine becoming a "Credit Zombie" and find yourself liable for charges of tax fraud and lapsing a loan for a home you did not try to buy?

 In a piece that aired on 60 Minutes in March, one woman described how she ended up losing her house and living in a car for six months 

despite having $80,000 in her bank account after being wrongfully declared dead.



  1. Replies
    1. Yes, imagine being fired like that woman because your job believes you stole your own identity! And then having to live in your car homeless for 6 months! And S.S. will not reimburse you the bank fees, the loan penalities, and all the rest of the expense of being a credit Zombie!! Yes, scary indeed!

  2. This is the kind of story that is scarier than any science fiction piece. Only someone who is deeply in debt and wants to start a new life might welcome the hell of this situation.

    1. That is the true horror of it -- without a SS # to prove you exist, you cannot get a job, open a bank account, buy a car, renew your driver's license, rent a place to live, etc!!

  3. I am getting a bit of a Monty Python feeling "I am not yet dead . . ." But sometimes we're just numbers as far as the functional part of the world is concerned :/

    1. It is truly scary -- the SS Department cam erase you from existence, making you truly vulnerable to ID thieves who then make you liable for fines, arrest, and steep legal fees which you cannot even begin to pay!! Ouch!

  4. Yep. Scary. And hear I thought it was bad enough that checks go out (and are cashed) long after a person's death.

    1. Now, the SS Department can make it impossible for us to cash our legitamite checks and to get a job once we are fired for not existing!!