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Houston woman declared dead by mistake

HOUSTON – A 74-year-old woman is trying to understand how she was legally declared dead once she learned her Social Security benefit had been terminated.

“On Oct. 25, 2017, I went to my bank to make a deposit and after a long wait, they finally came back and told me I need to speak with a banker,” said Lucinda Holden. “He said, 'Well, we got a message from Social Security that you’re deceased.' I said, 'That’s interesting because here I am and I’m not deceased.'”

Holden said she went to the Social Security office and spent four hours trying to straighten everything out.

Then, her Social Security and Medicare checks stopped coming, and unexpected bills started to pile up.

"I had an account with a company and I paid every single month on time, never been late. They got information that I was deceased and they put it in collection,” said Holden. “I’m just hoping and praying that we can finally find out what caused this whole nightmare. Somebody had to notify Medicare that I was deceased for this to happen and that’s what I’m trying to find out is who did call Medicare.”

Holden's friends told her to search her name on Google. To her surprise, she found the obituary of a woman with a similar name.

McDuffie’s Mortuary confirmed that it buried a 72-year-old woman named Luecindy aka ‘Lucinda’ Goody Holden in October.

But that woman would have had a different Social Security number, so how the mix-up happened remains a mystery.

“I don’t like to say this, but it’s been hell. I don’t usually don’t curse, but it’s been a nightmare. I really has. One that I thought I would have never waken up from,” said Holden.

She said Social Security ironed everything out and her checks, which are her main sources of income, are arriving again. She said she just wants to know what went wrong and if someone has her information.

If you are incorrectly listed as a deceased person through Social Security records, contact the local Social Security office, and bring other forms of verification, such as a passport, driver’s license, military record, health insurance and other forms of ID.

To find a location, click here.