What do you do if the Social Security Administration has listed you as dead?
Contact your local Social Security office immediately. Do not assume the error will be corrected automatically.
Experts warn that the longer the error remains on the Death Master File, the greater the risk of having serious problems with credit agencies, banks or one of the many hundreds of institutions that use this record.
"How bad can it get? It can get to the point that you become homeless," warns Jay Foley, executive director of the San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center.
He said he helped an Arizona woman who was refused an apartment after she was listed on the Death Master File. "We had to get a doctor's letter confirming that she was alive, believe it or not," he said.
The Social Security Administration will also provide proof-of-life documentation if an error has occurred.
You can contact the SSA at 800-772-1213 or find the Social Security office nearest you by going to their website at www.ssa.gov and selecting the option "Find a Social Security office."