The Resurrection Form

For those who continue to doubt the exalted power of the federal government, consider this: the Social Security Administration can resurrect you, and it has the form to prove it.

Many people discover their untimely death only when their Social Security checks abruptly stop. In fact, this happens to more than 1,000 living Americans every month. When SSA receives information that someone is dead, it enters the name onto a “death master file,” known as the Social Security Death Index, that is used by agencies all over the country. The information is shared with banks and credit agencies. Unfortunately, there is a wealth of personal information on a person’s death entry – social security number, name, birth date, death date, zip code and last known residence.

Once a person is entered in the death master file, the impact snowballs – Medicare stops paying, credit cards and bank accounts are frozen, tax returns are rejected.

The legal burden then falls on the dead to prove to their government that they are [still] alive. How do you do that?

Get a copy of your death certificate from the county clerk’s office to find out who reported your death, and contact that person. Fill out a form to amend the certificate. Make an appointment with your local Social Security Office, and show up in person. Bring lots of identification: a photo ID, a passport, your birth certificate, pay stubs, and a certified copy of the amended death certificate. Check your credit report to make sure that you haven’t been victimized by an identity theft. Make personal visits to your bank and send letters to the credit agencies and your creditors assuring them that you are alive.

And yes, the correction form that the SSA uses is titled “Resurrection Form.”

Hammerle Finley’s Law Firm- give us a call- we can help.