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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Air Force Vet Loses His Benefits As Hospital Declared Him Dead

Death can be a troublesome thing to handle especially if you are not dead – and just misdeclared as dead.

Ironically, that is what Robert Mckenzie, a 72-year-old Air Force veteran discovered when he was declared dead by a Dallas Hospital in a coding error.

Mackenzie was diagnosed in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with prostate cancer but was in no way dead or even near it.

But a code error in his paperwork as he was being discharged from the hospital declared him dead and started a chain reaction that resulted in him losing his Medicare, his Social Security benefits and his Supplemental Security Income or SSI.

You can’t really blame the Social Security Administration (SSA); you don’t need these things if you are dead.

Mckenzie’s wife even received a certificate in memory of his husband’s service to the military.

But Mckenzie was not dead, and he and his wife struggled to cope with his prostate cancer with what they have.

When the Presbyterian Hospital discovered the error, they quickly fixed it on their part and even gave $5,000 to Mckenzie to cover some of their expenses but the damage has been done.

Even if Mckenzie will be receiving his $700 Social Security benefits again this December, and his SSI has been reinstated so he is eligible to receive it again this January. However, there is no news if he will still get his money from the months he did not receive benefits.

The SSA said that they are still sorting out Mr. Mckenzie’s files and may finish after the holidays.

Mackenzie should also consider hiring a social security attorney to help him in securing the lost benefits he is entitled to if not for the mix up.

He should also consider filing a negligence lawsuit against the Presbyterian Hospital for causing significant monetary losses, not to mention the grief and suffering he and his wife experienced during this ordeal.

Although, the error was not intentional there is definite negligence on their part that led to the circumstances being experienced by the Mckenzies.

Instead of helping Mr. Mckenzie with his sickness, they inadvertently made the whole thing worse.