Brooklyn woman mistakenly declared dead tries to prove she's alive

Josh Einiger Image
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Woman mistakenly dead tries to prove she's alive
Josh Einiger spoke exclusively with a Brooklyn woman mistakenly declared dead.

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A 46-year-old woman is alive and well and living in Brooklyn, despite the fact that the federal government declared her dead last fall.

Bustling and full of life, the Polish enclave of Greenpoint is for many people a little slice of heaven.

"I'm a little bit upset at the fact that I'm completely deceased," said Marzena Pogorzelska, who is in a bureaucratic hell, purgatory of sorts.

"They told me unfortunately you're deceased, you have to go prove... but I said no I'm not, here I am," said Marzena. "And she started to laugh and say 'you look pretty good for a dead person' and I said well thank you."

It started when Pogorzelska, who owns a driving school, was turned down for a loan. Then her health insurance and credit cards were cut off, and then she found out why.

On her credit report, 'Subject', it says, 'is deceased."

"They gave me no explanation, the only thing they said was it happens all the time," said Marzena. "And they said they will send me a letter when I come back to life, so I said why didn't you send me a letter when I died? The woman said we don't send letters out to people who are deceased."

At least that makes sense, even though nothing else here does.

It turns out the federal government somehow thinks it has a death certificate on file for Pogorzelska.

When we called the government, a spokesman responded but got her name wrong, saying: "The Social Security Administration regrets any inconvenience this has caused to Ms Pogorzelski. I would like to thank WABC for bringing the matter to my attention this afternoon. I have assured Ms Pogorzelski that we are working to correct her record as quickly as possible."

They could start by getting her name right.

And then there's this: "He said this has to go through a resurrection stage," said Marzena.

You heard that right. They actually call it a resurrection.

Easter is around the corner.


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