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A Mesa woman was declared dead. She's 85 and very much alive

The Social Security Administration mistakenly declared 85-year-old Mary Tsukamoto dead on April 30, despite being very much alive.

MESA, Ariz. — Mary Tsukamoto celebrated her 85th Birthday on July 19 but little did she know, that she actually passed away months earlier on April 30, according to the Social Security Administration.

After Mary's oldest daughter Deborah Cristobal, who lives in California, received a bank statement regarding the estate of her "deceased mother," she's been fighting with Arizona facilities trying to prove that her mom is in fact, still alive.

"Social security demanded the money back, so the bank just yanked it out of the account, and then they sent us this letter afterward, saying, hey we just gave your money back, because you're dead, but she's not dead," Deborah explained. 

She's incredibly grateful to Noble Hospice for their assistance and continued care of her mother.

"I had our temporary caregiver fill out an informal statement, saying my mom is still alive," Deborah said. "I tried calling the Social Security office, it was hours on the phone, they'd hang up and so it was just frustration after frustration."

The frustration continued to build before finally, Deborah decided this issue wasn't going to be solved until she came into town.

"We've got to take care of this and what better proof than to show up at Social Security with my mother and say her she is, you declared her dead but here she is," Deborah said.

Not to mention the added headaches for Mary’s hospice care, which continued to care for Mary, despite the clerical error caused by a third party. 

Josh Buchanan with the care facility said they were happy to help with medical services for the 85-year-old, while Deborah assured them, she was working on getting the problem resolved.

"The second that Social Security marks a patient as deceased, Medicare updates the Medicare system, to say that the patient is deceased," he explained.

So, after visiting a Social Security office and providing "living proof" of the mistake, the family is happy paperwork is now back on track. 

Deborah said that the issue is being resolved by the Social Security Administration and whiles there's no timeframe on when everything will be back in place, Mary is thankful for her daughter's efforts.

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