Houston-Area Vet Says Wrongly Classified as Dead

A Houston-area veteran who served two tours in Iraq with the Marines has been trying to convince the Department of Veterans Affairs that he is not dead.

Joe Morris received a service-related disability check for seven years but in April there was an apparent computer problem, KPRC-TV reported Tuesday.

His parents received a condolence letter from the government and he wrongly was classified as deceased as of April 1, Morris said. He spoke to government officials on April 14 to set up direct deposit after his disability check seemed to have gotten lost.

"That's when they told me there was a computer glitch. The computer had automatically classified me as deceased. They don't know what happened, they just said it did it on its own," Morris said.

VA spokeswoman Jessica Jacobsen said in a statement to The Associated Press that the department wants to ensure all veterans that they will receive the benefits to which they're entitled. She said VA officials will contact Morris to correct the matter.

Morris also learned that the VA wrongly notified the Social Security Administration that he had died. That error showed up as Morris and his wife were in the process of buying a home.

Morris, who has relied on his wife's credit information toward purchase of the residence, is getting his government checks again but wants the problems corrected.

"I don't want this to happen to anybody else," Morris said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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