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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 12, 2011 / 10 Tamuz, 5771

Social Security's grave mistakes

By Dale McFeatters




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | To the living, being recorded as dead by the federal government is no laughing matter, more like a nightmare, and it happens with unsettling frequency.

Each month, the Social Security Administration falsely records that nearly 1,200 living Americans have died. That happened to Judy Rivers, 58, of Jasper, Ala. Before the mistake could be rectified, she had been denied home loans and college aid, turned down for job interviews, rejected 14 times for credit cards and questioned by police on suspicion of identity fraud.

Checks with Social Security's huge database reported that her Social Security number either could not be confirmed or had been deactivated because of her supposed death.

Others mistakenly listed on the agency's Death Master File have been refused medical disability payments and federal tax refunds, and had their credit cards cancelled and their bank accounts frozen.

Thomas Hargrove of Scripps Howard News Service obtained three years' worth of the federal death file and found that 31,931 Americans recorded as dead in 1998 and 2008 had been taken off the 2011 death list because the Social Security Administration discovered they were still living.

SSA blames the mistaken entries largely on "inadvertent keying errors" by federal employees. While these are a tiny fraction of the 2.7 million deaths reported annually, the Death Master File, created in 1981 to verify identities and combat fraud, is now a widely used resource for prospective employers, banks and credit card and insurance companies.

The Death Master File is widely available and easily accessed, too easily, according to Social Security's Office of the Inspector General. The erroneous death entries contain what the agency calls PII, personally identifiable information, including the subject's full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and the ZIP codes of last-known residences.

The inspector general recommended additional precautions to avoid errors and limit the amount of personal information available to the public on the death file. The inspector general said the agency disagreed with both recommendations. Thus it's still possible to go on living but be dead as far as Uncle Sam is concerned.

If you do turn up dead in the database, contact your local Social Security office, preferably in the flesh. And it might help to get a letter from your doctor attesting to your continued existence as one Arizona woman was forced to do.

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Previously:

07/08/11: Debt crisis need not be constitutional crisis

07/07/11: Startups entice new talent with kickball, treehouses

07/05/11: Stranded tourists get rare treat

06/30/11: The dollar Americans refuse to spend

06/27/11: The hangman doesn't cometh





© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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