At least two Michigan women received the surprise of their lives this year when they found out they had been declared legally dead.
City officials wrongly declared Jena David dead in August after floods hit Detroit, and Michigan resident Carol Tilley found herself in a similar position earlier this year, WJBK-TV reported this week.
Roughly six months ago, after Tilley's husband, Nathan, passed away from cancer, Tilley said she received paperwork listing her as the deceased instead of her husband.
"Social Security, somewhere or another, they messed it up, and they had me down as being deceased instead of my husband," she said. "And it just trickled on down."
The Brownstown Township woman had enormous difficulty convincing various bureaucracies that she is still alive, while still grieving the loss of her husband. She said the government error affected her driver's license, her ability to vote, health and dental insurance and just her life in general.
"I didn't break it, why do I have to fix it?" she asked. "I don't understand that. I didn't do it, but I have to pick up the pieces and put them back together, and I don't think that's right."
"How they did all this without a death certificate, without proof that I was actually gone, I don't understand that either," she added.
Tilley said the Social Security Administration apologized for its error, and she believes the worst is behind her, but she is hesitant to say for sure.
More on Tilley's story via WJBK-TV: