Feb 10, 2013

A Simple Typo

     From WFTV:
... [A] Lake County [FL] woman had her bank account cleaned out by Social Security after a government worker made a typo. ...

But losing thousands of dollars was just the beginning of Claire Kaplan's problems. "I'm trying to grieve my mother's death, and I can't because I'm having to deal with this," said Kaplan. 

In the middle of planning her mother's funeral, Kaplan said she was shocked to see three withdrawals from her bank account for more than $800 each. 

As it turns out, the Social Security office had garnished all of her mother's payments for the past year out of their joint account because of mistake concerning the year she died. Kaplan's ordeal started because of one little, but significant, number. The Social Security office wrote down a 2 for "2012," instead of a 3 for "2013." ... 

Kaplan said her rent was soon due and the doctors started calling and her mother's Medicaid reimbursements were also seized.


Anonymous said...

something about this story smells fishy.

at least in my neck of the woods, claimants go back to work, report that they've done so (well most don't report that they have but, nonetheless), continue to get paid SS benefits for YEARS before an overpayment process is initiated.

This lady's mom died in 2013 and SSA is already garnishing wages???

Anonymous said...

Not being garnished--Treasury is recovering the payments by reclamation from the account to which they had been deposited. Lesson is--do not have a joint account with a deceased person. They are basically voiding the previously-credited deposits of her mother's checks.

Anonymous said...

This is not unusual. When my Mother died, we quickly called SSA to report her death and the person who took the phone call entered the wrong month. SSA then took back funds. The state quickly and routinely transmits electronic death records and I was able to resolve the problem quickly (SSA admitted the error but said it would take weekd to correct) but only after getting very high level SSA intervention.

I learned that this was not unusual for SSA to make such mistakes and to take forever to correct their records. This can also create problems with getting Medicare payments made as SSA quickly sends reports of death to Medicare. Root of problem is underfunding of SSA administrative budget plus Astrue's obsession downgrading the 800 number quality and movement to the Internet.

Anonymous said...

Sad part is, there have been 3 warnings and reminders in my area this year alone that we should check the year being used on input.

And I thought that there was an edit you had to verify if the date of death being input was more than 6 months in the past

Anonymous said...

I was declared dead once by social security because an article lauding me for my volunteer work in my community was next to the day's obits.

Some clerk checking who died had her eyes stray and my recognition turned into that I had died for the records. It took 2 years to fix. I lost all Medicare and Medicaid. My state subsidies were stopped as were my food stamps.

In that time I had pneumonia and a brain blood clot I could not afford to treat. Those permanently reduced my lung function and left me deaf in one ear.

The hoops to prove I was still alive were amazing. I even had a baby in that time. Which Medicare covered and then took back the payment for.

On the phone soc sec admitted many times a dead person could not have a baby. But, that was not enough to get back on the alive rolls.

I finally did get called alive again. But there was no back payment or back coverage of medical care.
I am now more disabled than I ever was and much, much poorer.

Four years after that ordeal I now wish I had really died. They took my quality of life permanently and no cared then and no one cares now.

Anonymous said...

What a sad story, and yet she is healthy enough to pop out another child with little regard as to who will take care of it if she should die from her disability.. My sympathy, not.