Proving your alive is pretty easy right? You talk to friends and family, you go grocery shopping each week.
Well one Utah woman found out proving you are still here can be pretty difficult once you’re put on the dead list.
“I don’t know I can’t remember dying,” 90 year-old Lillian Torrey tells KSL-TV.
Lillian was informed her social security payments had been topped, her insurance company was discontinuing coverage and her Medicare benefits had vanished. In the eyes of the Social Security Administration, Lillian was dead and being reborn was going to be no easy task.
“We spent two days on the telephone, and that’s not kidding, trying to get someone to talk to us,” says Lillian.
Here’s where it gets interesting; Lillian found out that her ex-husbands wife had died on January 24th. What makes this weird? That’s the day social security had pronounced Lillian dead as well. No one at Social Security or the mortuary that handled the case will admit that made a mistake.
This is actually more common than people think. The Social Security Administration admits more than 14,000 Americans are mistakenly pronounced dead every single year. Most of these names end up on the “Death Master File,” an online list of Social Security numbers that belong to the deceased.
The agency is required to publish the file so that banks and lenders know when a specific number is no longer valid.
As for Lillian, still no word on who declared her dead but after the local TV station got involved, Social Security got in touch with her and decided she was indeed, alive.
After I called someone from the social security department finally paid Lillian a visit and confirmed she is very much alive and breathing.