Vietnam Veteran declared dead by Social Security says, “I’m alive!”

It’s a common problem the department says happens to 9,000 Americans annually.
Updated: Feb. 10, 2021 at 2:59 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - 74-year-old Jack Storey might as well write his own obituary. Storey is a Vietnam veteran who survived the war, only to be declared dead by the government he served 50 years later.

“So you’re dead,” CBS46′s Better Call Harry said to retired veteran. “Yeah, legally,” he said with a laugh. “So how’s that feel?” Harry replied. “It feels pretty crappy.”

In December, the Social Security Administration made the error. A spokesman for the agency confirms the mistake happens to more than 9,000 Americans annually.

Reversing the error isn’t always easy. It requires an in person appointment, but Storey says he couldn’t get on the schedule and couldn’t get anyone to return his calls.

The declaration of death creates a host of other issues. Social Security froze his bank accounts, stopped his social security payments, his disability and his Medicare benefits, making it impossible to refill his medications.

“It’s really the worst time to be killed by social security because of the pandemic,” Storey said.

With nowhere to turn, Storey emailed Better Call Harry and within an hour he received a call from the Social Security office in Norcross, a suburb of Atlanta.

The next morning, Mr. Storey was legally revived.

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