VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Remember the Virginia Beach man incorrectly declared dead by the Social Security Administration? Well, they know he’s alive now, but still haven’t explained how the error happened.
It’s estimated the SSA incorrectly reports about 38 deaths a day across the country. These wrongly reported deaths can lead to benefit termination, severe financial hardship, and in Tyrone Baucom’s case, the inability to get a job, and a driver’s license.
It’s believed a clerical error tied Baucom’s social security number to someone who passed away in New York more than a decade ago. And he couldn’t get anyone to solve the problem, until he called 10 On Your Side.
“The irony of the situation is what goes around comes around, and you reap what you sow,” Baucom told WAVY.com on Tuesday.
Baucom just got out of jail for identity theft, and now his identity’s been stolen by a dead man with a similar name, Tyrone Beason.
On Tuesday, 10 On Your Side showed the district manager at the Virginia Beach Social Security Administration Office Tyrone Beason’s social, and pointed out the two Tyrone’s are not the same. On Thursday, Baucom got a return call.
“They called me yesterday and said, ‘Mr. Baucom, we got the death certificate. Everything has been straightened out, bla, bla, bla’ and they wanted me to confirm my address so they can mail it to me,” Baucom said.
On Tuesday, 10 On Your Side called Philadelphia and got Vivian Nichols with SSA Public Affairs on the phone.
“Sir I apologize. I know how frustrating it is. We need to find out how it occurred, and take the necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she told Baucom.
On Thursday, Baucom said Nichols was very accommodating: “She said ‘if you have any further questions you have my number, and you call me directly before you call Andy Fox.’”
Baucom said he was told after Tyrone Beason’s death in 2003, his social was put on Beason’s death certificate. Tyrone was told the right social has now been put on the death certificate, and has been noted in the Social Security System. But no one could explain how Baucom’s SSN got on Beason’s death certificate in the first place.
Baucom, however, is focused on the future, knowing the problem is solved after receiving a temporary driver’s license on Friday.
“It’s just the fact that DMV is seeing my social security number means everything,” he said. “It means I can get out of the past, and look forward to my future.”
Now all he needs is a job: “I’m a licensed driver now. I can drive anything that doesn’t require a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), and that’s been a problem, getting a job.” Baucom also points out he has training as a forklift operator.
“You all did the trick … the results speak for itself, within 24 hours of airing that program, I had my situation resolved,” he said.
10 On Your Side called the Social Security Administration Office in Philadelphia and emailed questions to find out how they think the error with Baucom’s SSN occurred. So far, we’ve received no reply.