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Woman Fights to Prove She Is Alive after Government Declares Her Dead

Barbara Murphy, of Roy, Utah, is giving the phrase “walking dead” a whole new meaning. The 64-year-old woman is alive and in pretty good health, but, for some reason, the Social Security Administration believes she died on in July 2014 and is attempting to take back two years’ worth of Social Security payments and recuperate Medicare or Medicaid treatment costs.

Barbara first experienced the woes of being dead on paper despite otherwise perfectly alive two weeks ago, while out to dinner with her granddaughter. When it was time to pay the bill, the waitress returned with her credit card and told her it had been rejected. Her husband was able to pay for the bill, but when her granddaughter, who works at a bank, called the office to ask about the status of Barbara’s account, she learned that it had been frozen after the Social Security Administration issued notice of her death.

Barbara-Murphy

Photo: KSL video screengrab

After managing to unlock the account by showing up at the bank to prove she was still alive, Murphy got a call from the manager advising her to get in touch with social security and warning her that “this could be very serious.” Taking his advice to heart, the woman showed up at the agency’s office in Ogden the next day, but couldn’t even request a wait ticket because her social security number registered as invalid. She was eventually assigned a place in line and got to present her bizarre situation.

After meeting with a supervisor and answering a series of questions, the woman signed a letter saying that she contested being declared dead, and was promised that her status would be returned to active shortly. “It was a joke,” Murphy told KSL Utah. “Since that time, every facility I have ever visited, every doctor’s office I have ever visited, has received requests for every payment they have received be refunded to Social Security.” To make matters worse, her bank has been contacted by Social Security asking that two years’ worth of Social Security payments be pulled from the account Barbara shares with her husband.

walking-dead

Photo: The Walking Dead

So far, the bank has been very understanding and hasn’t complied with the agency’s request, but Murphy and her husband are worried about what is going to happen if the situation is not resolved by the time her next bills are due, or she needs to see a doctor, or get a prescription.

As of last Thursday, Barbara’s efforts to get some answers and have her death corrected have been unsuccessful. Pleas to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, have gone unanswered and attempts to pull considerable sums of money from her fixed income continued. All she has been able to do so far was send letters explaining the situation to every doctor’s office she has visited in the last two years. In them she wrote in capital letters “DO NOT PAY THEM.”

 

While she waits for her life to get back to normal, Barbara Murphy is determined to look at her stressful problem with humor, referring to her as a “walking dead” and inviting people into the “house of the living dead”.

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