The 73-year-old from Magnolia, Texas, took his prescription from Walgreens when his bank card declined. He said he knew something incredible since the card was three months old.
"With my bank card declining anywhere, I can't get gas, I can't get money for food, I can't do anything," he said. "I don't know how long I was dead before I found out."
The OIG also stated that the wrongful death could lead to a wrongful termination of the benefit and "cause great financial hardship and distress" for people like Ellis. He told CNN Saturday of a social security check, his Medicare and secondary insurance held. She takes 10 different medications for blood pressure, a stomach condition and heart issues that can cost up to $ 1,400 without insurance.
"Medicare says they can't do anything until I live with SSA," he said.
After receiving news of his death, Ellis traveled an hour outside to the nearest SSA office to correct the problem. It has been a slow process.
"The Medicare office told me it could take up to 45 days for me to live," he said, adding that he was in limbo next week. He was given a letter that basically said he was alive, but his doctor and pharmacist missed it because he was still classified as dead in their systems.
"You are dead in the world, but you are not dead," he said. "It's a sad feeling."
Ellis' husband, Brian Ellis, told CNN he and his wife of 10 years live "paycheck to paycheck."
"This is a struggle … We don't have a lot of money, we depend on our salaries."
"I think in this day and time, if the SSA found out they were in error and accidentally used someone's security on a death certificate, if it only took a click of a key to announce a dead person, why can't it take 30 minutes for them to survive? " "Why can't they reverse it?