Disabled man mistakenly reported dead, cut off social security benefits

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Disabled man accidentally reported dead, Tracy Clemons reports. (KTRK)

A Santa Fe man was mistakenly reported dead and now he's lost his social security benefits.

Bob and Dorothy Fine tell Eyewitness News they've been to the Social Security Administration office at least six times since Bob's benefits were cut last month.

They say nobody there has been able to tell them how someone else across the country was able to report him dead.

"I don't believe that. Government knows everything. They can tell you what size panties you wear," Dorothy Fine said.

Her husband, Bob, is disabled. His sole source of income is social security. He's lost that and his medicare.

"Evidently somebody, November 18, according to Social Security reported me dead in New Jersey," Bob Fine said.

The feds paid his benefits out for December and January. But took those payments back last month, leaving him in the red.

"I looked at my bank account, it was $4350 in the hole," he tells us.

Bob says he went to the SSA office in League City to straighten the confusion out.

"I said how long do I have to wait to get myself reinstated because I like to get my bills paid on time and everything. She says well it's gonna take 5-10 days," he said.

That 5-10 days is over and done. They're still in the hole.

"I know patience is a virtue. I'm a very patient person, but it's up to here now...patience is over. We need our life back," Dorothy said.

She tells us she's been sent burial and widow's benefits.

"I got a check for $2,174 that I can't keep," she said.

The letters say how sorry the government is for her loss.

"Some day, he's going to die. I know this because of his health and all. But I don't want them to push it up before it's time," she added.

A rep from the Social Security Administration told Eyewitness News the agency is working hard to get his records back where they're supposed to be. Mrs. Fine says she wants their money and an apology.

The feds have cut the Fines two checks for $999, but there's a ways to go. That rep we spoke with says things happen sometimes, not through any mistake of the agency. The SSA is using a special process outside of the normal payment time to make the fines whole.

Related Topics:
social securitySanta Fe
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