Days after the death of an 89-year-old Chicago woman named Dorothy Carlberg, the Social Security Administration promptly withdrew large payments from her bank account.
Tim Carlberg, the woman's son, expected the government agency to withdraw one month of benefits, but what he didn't expect was for the agency to withdraw $7,028 more than was owed, WBBM-TV reported.
Dorothy Carlberg died Aug. 21, but someone at the SSA entered the date as March 21.
Nearly four months after her death, Tim Carlberg is still battling the SSA to get the money back.
What's the story?
Days after Dorothy Carlberg's death, her son noticed five electronic withdrawals from her bank account that occurred over a three-day period.
Tim Carlberg quickly contacted the agency to find out what had happened and that's when an employee acknowledged that her date of death was recorded incorrectly.
"You feel like no one's fighting for you," Tim Carlberg told WBBM.
After the call, Tim Carlberg was confident the problem had been resolved and the money would be returned to his mother's account.
"I thought everything was taken care of the first time I talked to somebody, but here we are three months later," he said.
Tim Carlberg told WBBM that he has spent seemingly endless hours making phone calls and submitting forms to get the situation straightened out but to no avail.
"We can't get any answers. That's the biggest frustration. Nobody seems to know, and then they don't let you talk to anybody to get the answers. And then it changes," Carlberg said.
What did the SSA say?
Following a call to SSA from WBBM, Carlberg received a request from an employee at the agency.
He was asked to provide birth certificates for his entire family but he wasn't given any expectation on when the money would be refunded.
"It's a double standard. Definitely," Carlberg said.
A spokesperson at the SSA told WBBM that he couldn't comment about specific cases and would only say, hypothetically, that the agency is working as quickly as possible to remedy the problem.