The Social Security Administration (SSA) is killing off thousands of Americans every year who are still very much alive, according to CNNMoney.
The erroneous deaths are incorrectly entered into a huge database on an average of about 38 times a day, accounting for nearly 14,000 false death reports every year, the website reported Wednesday. It cited a recent evaluation of the Social Security database by the agency’s Office of the Inspector General.
For the unfortunate who eventually find out that life as they know it has ended, it usually takes months of face to face meetings with Social Security officials for their names to be removed from the Death Master File. The file contains the last known personal identifying information for more than 87 million Americans who have really passed on.
The emotional and financial impact on those affected can be extremely hard, especially if the identifying information ends up in the wrong hands when sold or released by the agency to credit bureaus, banks, and various public entities, CNNMoney says.
“Erroneous death entries can lead to benefit termination, cause severe financial hardship and distress to affected individuals, and result in the publication of living individuals' personal identifying information in the Death Master File,” the inspector general wrote in a summary of the database investigation.
SSA spokesman Mark Hinkle told CNNMoney that the errors are usually “inadvertently caused because of a human typing error” and are corrected “as soon as possible.
The investigation found that 36,657 erroneous death entries had been made over nearly a three-year period from 2007 to 2010. Most of those errors were corrected
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