SSN Problem Leads To Nash Woman's Fight For Life
Posted August 24, 2004 6:53 a.m. EDT
NASH COUNTY, N.C. — A Nash County woman is trying to prove to others that she is still alive after a mistake by the Social Security Administration.
Once a month, E.J. Webb's trip to the mailbox is her lifeline. She relies on her Social Security check. Last month, her bank called to say the check was no good.
This month, instead of a check, she got a letter addressed to the estate of E.J. Webb. The Social Security Administration believed she was dead.
"I'm not dead," Webb said. "I'm very much alive."
Because of the mistake, Webb also lost Medicare and prescription drug card benefits.
Webb has a list of health problems and needs 13 different kinds of medicine. She worked the phone to find out what happened, and Webb said she was bounced from one office to another.
"It's been very, you know, frustrating," she said. "I've been on that phone constantly. People say they can't get me. Well, I can understand why."
Webb traced her problem to a Social Security office in Youngstown, Ohio. She said a clerk there was entering names and Social Security numbers of people who died in June. One of her entries was one number off, and Webb ended up on the list by mistake.
The Social Security Administration sent a letter acknowledging its mistake. To fix it, Webb had to bring her birth certificate and five other documents to the local Social Security office to prove who she was.
"I think it can be corrected without the procedures and problems that I've had to go through to get it straight," she said.
Webb said she is grateful most of her benefits are now back on track. She said she is still working out problems with her prescription drug discount card. She expects to correct that by the end of the week.