In what appears to be a scenario from a nightmare, a 79-year-old resident of Spain recently made the shocking discovery that he had been declared dead by government authorities a year and a half ago.
Manuel Caamaño Pais from Mazaricos in La Coruña found out about this when he tried to withdraw money from an ATM on December 26th. He discovered that several unauthorised transactions had been made from his bank account. To his dismay, an amount of €20,180 had been withdrawn from his account. Upon inquiry with his bank, he was informed that this money, which was his pension payment, had been revoked by the state.
Declared dead and robbed
Manuel then went to a Social Security office to seek answers. There, he was told that according to all official records, he had been declared dead for nearly a year and a half. This was said to have been the case since August 2022. The revoked €20,000 was the pension he had received ‘too much’ since his alleged death. Moreover, due to this mistake, he had also lost his entitlement to healthcare and co-financing of medicines. Meanwhile, no one had realised that an error had been made.
Since becoming aware of this mistake, Manuel’s life has turned into a bureaucratic nightmare. He has gone from one office to another to prove that he is still alive. He has managed to re-register in the municipal registry and with the civil registry. There, he was still listed as alive. However, at the Social Security office, he is still considered deceased. So far, he has not received the withdrawn pension money back.
The cause of all the confusion ultimately turned out to be the nearly identical name of a deceased fellow villager from Muro, also in La Coruña. This man had a very similar name, with only one letter difference in the last name: París instead of Pais.