The saying “dead man walking” didn’t cut the mustard in comparison to what Tremayne Gray had to experience. Mr. Gray’s plight is one that is similar to thousands of Americans who are mistakenly reported dead every year by the Social Security Administration or other federal agencies. Illinois reportedly has one of the highest rates of making such grave mistakes.

Gray who was 20 years old (now 35), was a dead man while searching for a job, filling out an application and being turned down. His prospective employer while conducting a background search found that Gray was dead. Nobody wants to hire a dead person.

Jeffrey Zych, a South Chicago Heights resident had a similar experience found it weird that you could stand there in front of someone and they would not take your word that you were alive–probably visions of identity theft in mind.

Zych had to get doctors, the VA and others to say that he was alive.

There are dozens of other live Southlanders who appear in the huge “Death Master File” database maintained by the Social Security Administration. To be precise, about 31,931 Americans were listed in error. The government makes approximately 14,000 errors every year because of inadvertent keying errors. This indicates that about 400,000 people have been falsely declared dead since 1980 when the Death Master File was created to reduce consumer fraud.

The government makes about 14,000 such errors every year — or about one for every 200 death reports — because of “inadvertent keying errors” by federal workers, according to SSA spokesman Mark Hinkle.

That would mean about 400,000 people have been falsely declared dead since 1980, when the Death Master File was created at the request of U.S. business interests who wanted records to reduce consumer fraud.

To read the entire article, click on Chicago Sun Times.

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1 Comment on False government death reports leave people in the lurch

  1. Ilona says:

    I have no doubt this is true and can only imagine what people go through, but do no what you mean by identity theft. There are way to many felons around these days. Gone are the days when people were able to accept a statement as the truth.

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