Woman learns that being declared "dead" can be a hassle

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by Casshew, May 12, 2004.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    Alice DeHan drove her golf cart and waved to neighbors Tuesday in the Stuart mobile home park where she has led an active life for the past two years. The 67-year-old widow even made plans to go to the dog track with a group of friends today.

    Not bad for a dead woman.

    The Social Security Administration declared her dead on March 20, touching off a chain reaction of inconveniences that included canceled car and health insurance, the shut-off of her cellphone and an overdrawn bank account.

    "I've tried to laugh about it," she said. "I treated it like a joke until (Monday) when they canceled my HMO. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, because now I don't have health insurance until I don't know when."

    DeHan's first inkling that something was amiss came in mid-April, when she discovered that the Riverland mobile home park maintenance fee automatically withdrawn from her account each month had bounced back from the bank along with a notice stamped "Account Holder Deceased."

    She called Riverside National Bank and discovered her monthly Social Security check was not deposited and her account was overdrawn.

    Cingular shut off her cellphone and DeHan received notice that her car insurance was terminated. BellSouth also threatened to cut home-phone service, she said.

    "I called Social Security and told them I was alive, and there was dead silence on the phone," she said.

    "I think they got a supervisor. She kept asking me all sorts of questions -- like who was my mother. She told me they have me down as deceased."

    DeHan took her identification to the Social Security Administration office in Port St. Lucie, where they "finally declared me alive."

    Social Security officials gave her a letter saying her reported death was an error and noting she is "alive and well." But she said officials refused to tell her what prompted the mix-up.

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  3. lex

    lex Former Member

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    hope the marketing people don't get a hold of this. first it's the senior citizen discouts (15% off) and now the if your 'dead discount' everything you buy 'half off' !

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