Social Security Marks Dallas Teen Dead

social security
Social security cards for people in the United States. | Image by Lane V. Erickson/Shutterstock

A North Texas mother is fighting to have the taxpayer-funded benefits associated with her autistic son restored after the Social Security Administration mistakenly marked him as deceased.

Dallas resident Shena Craine has been dealing with the issue for over six months. Craine suffers from multiple sclerosis, and like her 18-year-old son Elijah, she is cared for by her mother, Brenda Craine, according to Fox 4 KDFW.

Brenda told the news outlet she was “shocked” when she received a message from Social Security in February expressing condolences that the very much still alive Elijah had passed away on September 15 of last year. Multiple organizations, including Elijah’s school, received similar notifications that the teenager was dead.

The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General reported that the agency makes roughly 6,000 mistakes annually pertaining to logging citizens as deceased, according to CNBC.

Since receiving the letter, the family has been struggling to get the Social Security Administration to recognize that the teenager is alive so that his benefits may be restored.

“It baffles me, that it is taking so long, it took you probably 5 seconds to mess it up,” said Brenda, according to Fox 4.

Shena said that she had been calling the agency every Monday and Friday to no avail.

The Social Security Office in Dallas has since given a statement in response to the ongoing issue.

“We will reach out to Ms. Craine right away to provide assistance … Of these millions of death reports we receive each year, less than one-third of 1 percent are subsequently corrected,” said Sarah Schultz-Lackey, regional communications director for the Social Security office in Dallas in an email to Fox 4. 

The office has since invited the family to the regional office. Despite the Craines having already visited the office seven times before, they hope this visit will lead to a resolution.

“We’re trying to get this person, right here, who’s rocking, back to life,” said Brenda, per Fox 4.

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