An elderly Wichita woman is doing her best to fight the system... The same system that doesn't even recognize that she's alive. The grave error has caused her family a tremendous hardship over the last few months.
87 year-old Ethel Floyd is very much alive and well, but due to an error at the Social Security Administration, she's dead. You can't imagine what kind of trouble she's been through trying to get this mistake fixed.
"Someone, somewhere declared my mom dead," explained Judy Harris as she explained the story.
But Ethel Floyd is definitely alive. The hassle to correct the error has been a huge burden on her daughter.
"With Social Security not paying, Medicare's not being paid," Floyd said. "Her Blue Cross is still coming out because I had that on auto pay. Her medicines are being denied. She's has approximately $200 every month medicines."
Harris realized the mistake back in October when trying to pick up Floyd's medications. She was rejected for insurance coverage and called the Social Security office immediately. She even took her indigent mother to the office in person.
"The lady came back out and said 'OK, everything is alright. This is Friday. By Monday you'll be alive again.' Well guess what? She's not."
Meanwhile, Harris has paid thousands of dollars out of her own pocket to buy her mother's prescriptions and everything else she needs to be comfortable.
"She's without any income right now whatsoever," Harris said. "I can't even get her on Medicaid welfare because she's dead!"
"If it wasn't for her, I'd be out on the street hungry, I guess," Floyd said.
Although not speaking directly about a specific case, we asked a Social Security representative in Kansas City if taking six months is acceptable in getting an error like this corrected. The response was "Six days is not acceptable. Anytime this happens, we try to correct the record as quickly as possible. We do make mistakes and we apologize for them."
"I don't care who's responsible. I just want it fixed so that she can have her dignity back," Harris said.
We passed along Harris' phone number to the Social Security representative. He said he would call her immediately to resolve the situation.