B.C. man mistakenly declared dead back among the living
Bryan Kupiak's social insurance number was switched with his deceased mother's
A 65-year-old Kamloops, B.C., man has finally had his pension reinstated after a bureaucratic mix-up caused him to be officially declared dead.
Bryan Kupiak was brought back to life by Service Canada after his social insurance number was somehow switched with his deceased mother's.
He didn't realize anything was wrong until he returned home from burying her in her hometown of Winnipeg.
"I go home and I open the mailbox and son-of-a-gun, there's a letter there," he said.
He said the letter was actually a Canadian federal tax slip that read: "Estate of Bryan Kupiak."
'And he says yes, you're deceased'
Kupiak said he was confused, so he called Service Canada and spoke to a customer service agent.
"And he says yes, you're deceased."
To make matters worse, Kupiak says the ordeal meant his pension cheques were temporarily cancelled.
"It's just added stress that I don't need," he said.
Kupiak said he gave the Kamloops funeral home both his and his mother's social insurance numbers when she was cremated and he believes somehow the two got mixed up, "and it just butterflied after that."
Kupiak would not name the funeral home when asked but said he has been working with Service Canada and his Member of Parliament to try and sort the issue out.
He is now pleased to announce he is officially alive again and sent beautiful roses to my staff thanking them for the resuscitation :) <a href="https://t.co/lEKSH3uV5n">https://t.co/lEKSH3uV5n</a>—@Cathy_McLeod
Service Canada takes matter 'very seriously'
In an emailed statement, Service Canada says it takes "matters such as this very seriously."
The agency is not responsible for declaring an individual deceased — that is a provincial responsibility — but it does use information provided from regional authorities to register benefit entitlements and other federal services.
"The issue originated when the incorrect SIN was provided to Service Canada regarding a notification of death," said spokesperson Josh Bueckert.
He said the department has already corrected the error.
Service Canada did not say how often such mistakes happen.
With files from CBC's Radio West.