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Submission + - Government records incorrectly kill off thousands (msn.com)

superbrose writes: "According to msnbc thousands of U.S. citizens have been declared dead wrongfully, due to an average of 35 data input errors per day, committed by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

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.

"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."
Apparently it is far easier to declare a person's death than it is to correct the mistake.

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.
It appears that up until mid-2006 death records were openly available, but now they are classified as top-secret."

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Government records incorrectly kill off thousands

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