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Being wrongly placed on deceased list can be a problem.

The Social Security Administration mistakenly places the names of living people on the deceased list, according to an NPR report “Social Security Data Errors Can Turn People Into The Living Dead.”

When a person passes away his or her name, birth date and Social Security number are also listed in a public file known as the Master Death List. That list is used by banks, doctors’ offices, credit agencies, health insurers and many more to know when their customers have passed away and to prevent fraudsters from using a deceased person’s information in identity theft schemes.

Every month approximately 500 living people are falsely declared dead by the agency. That is actually down from a few years ago when it was about 1,000 people a month.

There is no malicious intent in the agency’s actions. The false information is almost always the result of human error and someone accidentally entering the wrong information into the system.

A total of 500 a month is also not a huge number relative to the millions of people tracked by Social Security, but it is a big headache for those who are wrongly reported to be deceased.

An elder law attorney can guide you on how to be removed from the list should the Social Security Administration wrongly report your death.

Reference: NPR (Aug. 10, 2016) “Social Security Data Errors Can Turn People Into The Living Dead.”

For more information on elder law and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.