An Orlando widow declared dead by the Social Security Administration in January has been receiving partial benefit payments because she cashed her husband’s check after he passed away.
Janet Roush called News 6 when she discovered the office had mistakenly listed both her and her husband as deceased.
She turned to her local church and a GoFundMe account to supplement the money she had been depending on to pay her rent and other bills after her husband, Larry Roush, died Jan. 28.
“It’s almost been, excuse my expression, hell on Earth,” she said. “I’m living, my husband is gone, not me. It’s bad enough I have to think about being without him.”
The couple had celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary before the 82-year-old retired steel worker lost his long battle with cancer.
News 6 was able to work with the Social Security Administration regional office in Atlanta to reverse the mistake on her deceased status but the red tape involving bank accounts and checks has been slow.
Roush said she will be getting her first full benefits check in September and credits News 6 for helping her change her Social Security files.
Roush was told she wouldn’t be able to meet with a Social Security representative for several months until News 6 got involved.
Her status was changed in less than 24 hours.
“You definitely got results overnight, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she said. "You should get all the credit.”
Almost three million deaths are reported to the Social Security office each year; a spokesperson said the records are “highly accurate.”
If you find a mistake in your Social Security check or have any question about your benefits got to your local Social Security office.
Many Social Security questions can be answered here.
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