© 2022 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WOSU TV is experiencing intermittent issues on Spectrum Cable. Watch the live stream on the free PBS app.

The Plight Of The Living Dead

111 million
NPR

For the U.S. government, keeping track of who's alive and who's not is important. There are after all a lot of benefits associated with being alive — Medicare, Social Security benefits, voting. But the system for confirming who's actually dead is far from foolproof.

Each year thousands of living people are accidentally added to the government's Death Master File — the list of everyone who's ever died. And that can have wide-ranging effects on a person's life and livelihood. Today on The Indicator: what happens when the reports of your death are greatly exaggerated... and also on an official government document.

Music by. Find us:Twitter/Facebook.

Subscribe to our show onApple Podcasts,PocketCastsand.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stacey Vanek Smith is the co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money. She's also a correspondent for Planet Money, where she covers business and economics. In this role, Smith has followed economic stories down the muddy back roads of Oklahoma to buy 100 barrels of oil; she's traveled to Pune, India, to track down the man who pitched the country's dramatic currency devaluation to the prime minister; and she's spoken with a North Korean woman who made a small fortune smuggling artificial sweetener in from China.
Aviva DeKornfeld