Many other agencies rely on the data provided by the SSA, such as the IRS. People who have been wrongfully declared dead face many problems, such as rejection of tax returns, cancellation of health insurance, closure of bank accounts etc.
Apparently it is far easier to declare a person's death than it is to correct the mistake."The accuracy of death information is critical to SSA and its beneficiaries, as well as other federal, state and local government agencies," it said in a 2006 report. "Input of an erroneous death entry can lead to benefit termination and result in financial hardship for a beneficiary."
It appears that up until mid-2006 death records were openly available, but now they are classified as top-secret."Social Security says an erroneous death record can be removed only when it is presented with proof that the original record was entered in error. The original error must be documented, and the deletion must be approved by a supervisor after "pertinent facts supporting reinstatement" are available in the system.
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