Benefits threatened when Service Canada declares woman dead
Ross McLaughlin and Sandra Hermiston, CTV Vancouver
Published Monday, May 15, 2017 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, May 15, 2017 6:52PM PDT
An alive-and-well Chilliwack woman contacted McLaughlin on Your Side after Service Canada declared her dead before her time.
Sharon Beggs recently received a letter from the government saying it was putting an end to her old age security allowance and disability cheques because she had passed away. Service Canada also wanted the $195 GST credit she recently received.
Ross McLaughlin decided to pay a visit to Sharon Beggs to see for himself that she was in fact alive and well.
“How do you feel,” asked McLaughlin.
“I feel pretty good, except it just kind of blows my mind that I’ve passed away before my time,” Beggs replied.
Beggs showed CTV photos of her family plot, but says she’s not ready to go there just yet. So what did Service Canada tell her?
“They said my daughters phoned and I passed away,” she explained, “I said to [Service Canada] do you know my daughters? Because I don’t have daughters. They said, ‘Oh, I guess there’s something wrong with that.’”
But even after she informed Service Canada of the issue, she was still receiving letters stating she was dead. That’s when she contacted McLaughlin on Your Side.
McLaughlin took Beggs to the Service Canada office in Chilliwack to try to sort out the matter. Workers directed the issue to headquarters and within days CTV News received a statement from Service Canada that said, “"In what was an extremely rare situation, due to human error, Mrs. Beggs was wrongfully registered as being deceased in Service Canada systems. We understand that this situation has been very disturbing for Mrs. Beggs, and our first priority was to ensure that she continued to receive her monthly benefit payments, which she did."
Her benefits were restored, giving Beggs peace of mind.
“Thank you Ross. I appreciate it. You know I brag about you all the time," she joked, happy to be alive in the eyes of Service Canada once again.