Posted: 4:46 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2013

Social Security withdraws hundreds from woman's bank account over typo

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

Channel 9 has learned a Lake County woman had her bank account cleaned out by Social Security after a government worker made a typo.

But losing thousands of dollars was just the beginning of Claire Kaplan's problems.

"I'm trying to grieve my mother's death, and I can't because I'm having to deal with this," said Kaplan.

In the middle of planning her mother's funeral, Kaplan said she was shocked to see three withdrawals from her bank account for more than $800 each.

As it turns out, the Social Security office had garnished all of her mother's payments for the past year out of their joint account because of mistake concerning the year she died.

Kaplan's ordeal started because of one little, but significant, number. The Social Security office wrote down a 2 for "2012," instead of a 3 for "2013."

"I understand that billions of people all over the world make that mistake every day, so I was pretty calm about it," said Kaplan. "But I had to lose a day of work and drive a half-hour away, wait behind 20 to 30 people in line to fix this."

But Kaplan said that wasn't what made her made over the whole ordeal.

"I was upset a couple of weeks later when I still didn't have my money," she said. "I couldn't get a return call from a supervisor, and no one knew what was happening."

Kaplan said her rent was soon due and the doctors started calling and her mother's Medicaid reimbursements were also seized.

"I have a bill here for $700 from the anesthesiologist," said Kaplan. "And I've received a call from the medical equipment people, the ambulance people, and I'm sure there will be more."

Kaplan did finally get her money back this week, nearly a month later.

"It took them three days to take the money out of my account, it should have taken them three days to put it back," she said.

Kaplan hopes by speaking out someone else won't have to experience what she did.

Channel 9 has spoken with the Social Security office and they assured they will help Kaplan resolve all of the issues surrounding the mix-up.

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