Woman Puzzled After Showing Up Dead In State's System - WSPA.com

Woman Puzzled After Showing Up "Dead" In State's System

Posted: Updated:
BELTON, S.C. -

Most people don't need a written statement to prove that they're alive. Brenda Fricks of Belton does.

"Brenda LeAnn Fricks is not deceased and has never shown up on our records as being deceased," said Brenda, while reading a letter from the Social Security Administration.      

Brenda says she first had to pick up one of these letters three years ago, when she was applying for Medicaid.

"The first time, I was sitting there looking at them right there in front of their face. And they're sitting there telling me I'm deceased," said Brenda. "I was kind of shocked, you know, at first."

But Brenda said it kept happening, at places like the bank.

"They told me I was showing up as deceased," said Brenda.

It also happened at her local SC Department of Social Services office, when she went in to recertify her food stamps.

"About every three months, something like that, they'll come up and tell me I'm dead," said Brenda. "I had in my head that someone stole my identity or something."

Turns out, that's not the case.

DSS told us the problem stemmed from the state's death records through the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. Brenda's social security number was actually listed on a death certificate to someone of a different race and gender.

We asked SC DHEC spokesperson Lindsey Evans how this could have happened.

"A funeral home submitted incorrect social security information to us. DHEC had no way of knowing at the time if the information was correct," said Evans. "But the error was brought to the attention of DHEC's bio-statistics director and it was corrected within 24 hours."

And Brenda is back to being, well, alive again, and can finally toss out her written proof.

DHEC says this sort of thing does happen occasionally but that it has a computer system in place that catches most errors.

DHEC wouldn't say the name of the funeral home that made the error or when it actually first happened.

Brenda tells us, she hasn't had any more problems.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Aid Group: 2nd US Worker With Ebola Released

    Aid Group: 2nd US Worker With Ebola Released

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:22:14 GMT
    The Atlanta hospital where two American aid workers were brought after getting infected with the Ebola virus will hold a news conference to discuss their discharge.The Atlanta hospital where two American aid workers were brought after getting infected with the Ebola virus will hold a news conference to discuss their discharge.
    An aid group says a second American aid worker has been released after she was treated at an Atlanta hospital for the Ebola virus.
    An aid group says a second American aid worker has been released after she was treated at an Atlanta hospital for the Ebola virus. A news conference was planned for 11 a.m. Thursday at Emory to discuss the discharge of Nancy Writebol and another aid worker, Dr. Kent Brantly.
  • Summer Heat Returns To Upstate, Western NC Thursday

    Summer Heat Returns To Upstate, Western NC Thursday

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:54 AM EDT2014-08-21 14:54:02 GMT
    Thursday's highs are expected to be ten degrees warmer than what we've seen on average this summer.Thursday's highs are expected to be ten degrees warmer than what we've seen on average this summer.
    Hot weather is returning for a three-day stretch in the Upstate and western North Carolina starting Thursday. The highs are expected to be ten degrees warmer than what we've seen on average this summer.
    Hot weather is returning for a three-day stretch in the Upstate and western North Carolina starting Thursday. The highs are expected to be ten degrees warmer than what we've seen on average this summer.
  • Justice Dept. Announces $17B Settlement With BofA

    Justice Dept. Announces $17B Settlement With BofA

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-08-21 14:10:26 GMT
    Bank of America says its cash payouts will total $9.65 billion.Bank of America says its cash payouts will total $9.65 billion.
    The Justice Department has announced a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.The deal announced Thursday calls for the bank, the second-largest in the U.S., to pay a $5 billion cash penalty and provide billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners.
    The Justice Department has announced a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.The deal announced Thursday calls for the bank, the second-largest in the U.S., to pay a $5 billion cash penalty and provide billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.