Texas Woman Learns She’s Been Declared Dead While Still Alive


Sherry Ellis had a run with death this week, but not in a way you’d expect. The  73-year-old Texas woman told CNN on Saturday that she has been declared dead by the Social Security Administration.

While shopping at Walgreens, her card was declined trying to pick up her prescriptions. She called her bank and other agencies, but nothing could be done- she was considered dead.

“With my bank card declined everywhere, I can’t get gas, I can’t get money for food, I can’t do anything,” she said. “I don’t know how long I’d been dead before I found out.”

She realized she would have to contact the Social Security Administration. 

“The Medicare office told me it might take up to 45 days to resurrect me,” Ellis said. “I think in this day and time, if SSA finds out that they’ve made a mistake and they accidentally used someone’s social security on a death certificate, if it only took the click of a key to pronounce somebody dead, why can’t it take 30 minutes to make them alive? Why can’t they reverse it just as quick?”

The Office of the Inspector General said that there are less than 1,000 cases of mistaken death declarations a month back in 2016. “You’re dead to the world, but you’re not dead,” Ellis said. “It’s a lonely feeling.”



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