I was a student at Webster University and was selected to go to Ghana as part of an international business intern exchange program. When I applied for financial aid, in 2007, I got a letter back saying I had been denied -- because I had died.
I talked to someone at my university and said: `How could this be? I'm standing right here -- you can see me.' And I found out from Social Security that I had been reported dead to the credit bureaus in January.
Apparently, a mysterious phone call had been made on my behalf, saying that I had died, and that my attorney would be handling all of my assets.
Soon after I found out about this, my bank account was closed and my balance was sold to a third-party collections agency. My school wouldn't even let me graduate. They said I couldn't continue classes until I got this identity thing figured out.
I'm on disability benefits for a heart disease, so when Social Security listed me as dead, my disability payments stopped coming. They eventually resumed when I proved to them I was alive, but I'm still dead everywhere else.
My life is still a nightmare three years later, after correcting errors with the Social Security Administration. I am disabled with no health care insurance and could not purchase my heart and blood pressure medicine.
I can't open a bank account in my name, and I couldn't renew my driver's license until I had someone come into the police station and vouch for me. I can't even get a full-time job to bring in money because no one will hire me once they find out I'm dead.
When the Social Security Administration erroneously declares you dead, it can be a financial -- and psychological -- nightmare to revive yourself.
|Whole Foods bets big on urban Millennials May 24|
|Marissa Mayer's security cost Yahoo $500,000|
|Will Switzerland give every adult a basic income of $2,500 a month?|
|Can BuzzFeed News survive the shift to video?|
|Billionaire Wang Jianlin vows to crush Disney in China|