Texas Woman, 73, Listed as Dead By Social Security Is Alive — and She Can't Get Medicine or Access Her Bank Account

An elderly Texas woman recently discovered that she was mistakenly listed by the Social Security Administration as deceased—which resulted in her not being able to access her medicine or bank account.

Sherry Ellis, 73, of Magnolia, found out that she had been declared legally dead when she arrived at the pharmacy to collect her medicine prescription, ABC-13 reported on Saturday. At the counter, she learned that her Medicare had been discontinued, thus rendering her insurance incapable of paying for her life-saving pills.

"As far as they're concerned, I am deceased," she told the news outlet, adding that the Social Security Administration made a mistake in linking her social security number with a death certificate.

Though a mistake, Ellis revealed that it has been challenging to get the death record corrected. She visited the Social Security Administration on Monday, but as of Saturday, she has still not been listed as alive.

"'You all used my social security number on a deceased person on their death certificate,'" Ellis remembered telling the agency. "And I said, 'I am not deceased.'"

Unfortunately, the administrative error has negatively impacted her ability to access her medicine, and even her bank account.

"I take this many. Plus, my vitamins I have to have," Ellis told the network, holding out nine and a half pills, not including the vitamins. The Magnolia resident revealed that without insurance, the pills, used for her heart condition and blood pressure, cost roughly $850 per month. "Forty-five days I cannot handle because I have to have my medications," she added.

Frustrated with her situation, Ellis paid the Social Securities Administration location in Conroe another visit on Thursday, hoping to speed up the process of getting re-listed as alive, according to the news outlet. The office provided her with a letter that said: "Our records incorrectly showed her as deceased. However, we have since found that she is alive." However, the pharmacy did not accept the document.

"They said, 'I'm sorry, that letter is no good to us. It has to be in the system because that's your insurance in the system,'" she said.

Unaffordable medicines and the high price of healthcare have become a growing problem in the U.S.

A group of Minnesota diabetics traveled to Canada by bus earlier this year from Twin Cities to Ontario to purchase $34 insulin that would cost $380 in America. The group of roughly one dozen Minnesotans made the trip to criticize and raise awareness about the fast-growing costs of medical care across the country.

"Here in the United States, people are having to choose between, 'Do I pay my rent or do I buy my insulin?'" Deb Souther, a member of the group told Fox 9.

Sherry Ellis
Sherry Ellis, 73, a Texas woman who was mistakenly listed dead by the Social Security Administration is actually alive, and she now can't access her medicine. ABC-13/Screenshot