TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Michele McKenney doesn’t know how much longer she can get by without social security benefits for herself and her son.
“My son, he’s only 13 years old, and he’s my world,” McKenney said. “And the fact that I can’t maybe buy food for him or keep a roof over his head scares me to death.”
She has been mistakenly declared deceased twice. When she thought she’d fixed the issue, it happened again.
“It makes me feel like there’s no hope for me because I’m caught in a system that has just forgotten about me,” she said.
McKenney says the mistake started when her bank, Bank of America, told her someone called in to report her death. She says she asked if any documentation was provided to prove she died, and was told no.
Her account was frozen and social security benefits were returned. The mistake was corrected, but happened again the next month.
“I’ve gone above and beyond to fix it, and I can’t, and I don’t know what to do anymore,” McKenney said. “I’m getting a point where I don’t have any options. I’m running out of options, and I’m running out of time.”
Now, her social security benefits have been suspended. And she says she was told another adult would need to start receiving her son’s benefits because she is “unstable.”
“This is ridiculous,” she said. “This is my son. I am the one who takes care of him and I am here.”
Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken reached out to the bank and the Social Security Administration and then both reached out to her and promised an escalated investigation. She says the bank said they would refund the money they took out of her account, pending the investigation.