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Air Force Vet Loses Benefits after Being Declared Dead

December 18, 2009

Dallas, Texas – An Air Force veteran is currently struggling to get back his social security benefits after a coding error in a Texas hospital declared him dead.

Robert Mckenzie, 72, said he currently has no income coming in as the error resulted in him losing his Medicare, Social Security benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The error happened after he was discharged from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas where he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

While processing his paperwork for discharge, a simple code error listed him dead.

As a result, all the benefits he was entitled to receive was cut-off.

His wife, Dorothy Mackenzie, even received a certificate in memory of his military service from President Obama.

When the Presbyterian Hospital realized the mistake, they fixed the coding error and gave Mckenzie $5,000 to cover some of his medical bills.

However, correcting the error with Social Security Administration proved to be even more difficult.

Although Mckenzie has received his $700 Social Security benefits again this December and is about to receive his SSI again this January, he has not received any benefits from July to November.

He is not sure if he will be given the retroactive payment for the months that he did not receive his benefits.

One problem he discovered is that the $5,000 given to him by the hospital to temporarily cover his expenses may be deducted from his SSI.

The Social Security Administration said it is still currently working on Mckenzie’s file and won’t be finished until after the holidays.

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