No Mas, No Match

My sibling called.

Sib: Mom’s dead.
Me: silence
Sib: Still.
Me: Oh, it’s that social security thing?
Sib: Yup. The hospital, ambulance and nursing home are all on me to pay the bills that Medicare is refusing because Mom is dead.
Me: How is she?
Sib: She’s doing great. She is getting out of her room more, and the nurses said that she is interacting more with the other residents.

See, the Social Security Administration has randomly decided that Mom is dead. In fact, they have her pre-deceasing my dad by two weeks.

I say random, because they can’t say how they decided that Mom is dead. Except for this type of error happens all the time. They don’t have a death certificate (since she’s not dead, yet), or a call from anyone. She just appears dead in their records, and they can’t identify why.

This is the type of error that causes SSA to take money that you are entitled to–and in fact NEED–from your bank account. It is the type of error that doesn’t surface when you go to their offices in Roseville, Mich., to check on your widow’s benefits. When Mom and Sib were in the offices, about 5 weeks after they thought she was dead, nobody mentioned her demise.

Social Security requires an in person verification that you are still alive. They say you need to come to their offices. See, the burden of proof is on you. But since Mom was in the hospital, they generously agreed to comes see her to clear this up. Their representative seemed to recognize that she was still alive. Yet here we are, almost a month later, and she is still dead in some records.

This is the same Social Security Administration that we are asking to provide correct information to crack down on illegal immigrants working in the U.S. Do you think that they might get it wrong? That people working in this country legally will be fired or unnecessarily investigated–at a big cost to our economic engine–because the no-match info from Social Security is faulty?

Me: So do you need me to do anything with this Social Security mess?
Sib: No. But once they decide that Mom is alive, they will probably decide that she is illegal and have her sent to Mexico.

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