Social Security Mistake: Local woman wrongly declared dead - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Social Security Mistake: Local woman wrongly declared dead

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RANCHO PENASQUITOS (CBS 8) - A woman in Rancho Penasquitos was accidentally declared dead after someone at the Social Security Administration pushed the wrong button.

Now, Iris Williams has had to deal with a big mess after her credit, pension and health care have all been affected by the mistake. Over the past few weeks, she has been collecting a steady stream of letters informing her about her own death.

"At first we thought it was funny. So did all my friends, but not after awhile," she said.

Williams found out about the mistake in December when she could no longer be her disabled sister's representative payee because she had been accidentally declared deceased.

"They said 'you've been declared deceased because someone pushed a wrong button.' I said, 'well isn't there a way you can retract it,' or an undo button- she said no. Once they push it it sends it out - it's out'," she said.

Williams was able to fix the problem with the Social Security Administration, but the ripple effect their mistake caused has caused a huge burden. Her cards have been frozen, she's scrambling to clear up her credit and her health care was cancelled.

Williams said her problem with the situation is not only how easily the mistake was made, but that there has been no one to turn to.

"Maybe, it would be nice if they had a person who actually guided you through this, or have you phone numbers or helped you out," she said.

CBS News 8 reached out to the Social Security Administration to ask how Williams could have been declared dead and if there is any support they offer. As of this time, the administration has not commented.

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