HOUSTON - Every month for the past seven years, Joe Morris, a U.S. Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, has been receiving a service-connected disability check from the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Two months ago came the bizarre phone call that changed everything.
"My mom called me up and said, 'Hey, you're dead.' I said, 'No, I'm not,'" Morris said.
The V.A. had sent his parents a condolence letter. Morris said he was classified as deceased on April 1, even though he spoke to someone on the 14th to set up direct deposit after one of his disability checks seemed to have gotten lost.
"They told me there was a computer glitch that had automatically classified me as deceased. They said they don't know what happened it just did it on its own," Morris said.
He thought he'd straightened everything out but quickly discovered the issue was far from being resolved. Morris said the V.A. had notified the Social Security Administration of his passing, right as he and his wife were in the process of buying a new home.
"Now it's hard to get a loan for a home because none of the credit agencies have me as alive. They have me as deceased," Morris said.
Morris is getting his checks again but his wife is still getting condolence letters.
"I want it corrected. I want somebody to let the Social Security Administration know I'm still alive. I don't want this to happen to anybody else," Morris said.
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