System May Already Label Disability Applicants As “Dead”

All disability benefits applicants face long waits and a complex application process when they attempt to receive benefits. Some have it even worse than others; the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) may already consider them “dead.” According to news sources, the SSA reports incorrectly each month that 1,200 Americans have died despite their actually being alive.

One 45-year-old Texas man had a particularly trying time dealing with the SSA after he hurt his spine while working on a dump truck in 1999. Beginning in 2003, he spent two years trying to obtain disability benefits. Then, in 2005, the SSA added him to their death list, even though he was not actually dead. Everything went back to zero, with the man having to get a lawyer and start from scratch. At the time, he had no clue what was going on. Not until years later, sometime between 2008 and 2010, did the SSA fix the mistake. He received his first disability benefits in 2010. Information on disability benefits eligibility is available from a Tulsa Social Security Disability attorney.

The SSA’s “death master file” is publicly available and is a federal listing of deceased Americans. Its aim is to prevent benefits from being paid to those who are deceased. Other agencies and private companies also check the list to prevent fraud. A SSA spokesperson claims that one in every 200 entries in the file is incorrect due to typing errors. This results in the 1,200 errors each month regarding living people, which is in addition to the $40.3 million that the government paid out in disability benefits funds to deceased individuals in 2010.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers


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