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Mom’s Social Security canceled after someone reported her dead

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 18:37:36-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The past month and a half has been a true struggle for Shirlene Dietz, a mom from Chester who relies on her social security check to pay all her bills.

Dietz, who has a disability, was blindsided when the check stopped coming in January. But she was mortified when she found out why.

“When I called social security the man said, yes it has been reported that you are deceased.

Dietz went to the social security office. That’s when she was told

“This happens all the time, because somebody else can have my social security number -- but one number off -- and it could be a glitch.”

Dietz said even her daughter’s disability check was suspended because of this.

No money meant they couldn’t buy medication, food or pay for their home.

Dietz would like to see the policy changed.

Dietz would like to see the policy changed.

“We’re just without anything,” Dietz said. “No money, no nothing.” “I need help, I’m running out of everything.”

Dietz says she still wants to know why Social Security would halt her benefits without verifying that she was deceased.

So she contacted the Problem Solvers for help to get answers, and and because it was taking a while to get her money back.

We contacted Social Security Administration to find out their policy on suspending benefits because of a person’s reported death.

“If a third-party report of death is received, social security suspends benefits until the report is verified. Social security policy requires that third-party reports of death be verified before benefits are terminated,” read the statement sent to CBS 6.

“If a death alert is determined erroneous, steps are taken to restore the record and the benefits.”

It’s a policy Dietz would like to see revised

“I don't think it's right or you can just call in, and then they will suspend you,” she said. “They didn't verify after cutting off your benefits -- I think they should change the policy.”