This Coloradan can't convince the government he's alive

Vietnam veteran George Horgan, in Hugo, has been dealing with a persistent problem: His death.

HUGO, Colo. — Death can be difficult to come to terms with, particularly when the death is unexpected -- most especially when the death is your own. But what if you're very much alive?

"My name is George, last name is Horgan," said Vietnam veteran George Horgan, of Hugo, Colorado.

Horgan reached out to 9NEWS after finding out he died.

"I've been calling you guys because I've been through every loop I can to try to find out how I can fix being dead," said Horgan.

His wife, Marjorie, died in April.

"When you lose your wife, or your spouse, it's something that don't go away to start with. You remember that for the rest of your life. The love of your life. You've lost them," said Horgan. "I met her back in 1998 after I retired from the Adolph Coors company."

Credit: 9NEWS
George Horgan

He said he had a retirement from that company until his wife died.

"I wasn't going to receive no retirement from my employer. No more money from Social Security. No money for my disability. And then my Medicare ceased," said Horgan. "At the time of my wife's passing, I was declared dead by Social Security."

He found out he was dead when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sent his wife a letter about his life insurance policy.

"I get a letter that was sent to my deceased wife, saying accept our condolences for the loss of your husband, George Brent Horgan. I'm thinking, what is going on here?" said Horgan.

"Please accept our condolences on the loss of George B. Horgan," the VA letter began. "Mr. George B. Horgan named you to receive the payment from his government life insurance policy. We are writing to tell you what you need to do to file a claim for the insurance."

He said he has tried resurrecting himself by getting Social Security to realize he is alive, but said he keeps getting hung up on.

"I finally said, 'Before you go hanging up, you tell me why you're hanging up on me.' And she said to me, she said, 'Well, you're committing fraud. You're using a dead man's social security,'" said Horgan. "They told me I was trying to commit fraud. When I'd call, they'd say you're trying to commit fraud."

Then, he visited a Social Security office in person.

"I had to write him a letter right there on their form that I was still alive, standing in front of them," said Horgan.

He signed an affidavit affirming that he was, indeed, alive.

"I am alive and well and living at…" Horgan wrote with his new Hugo address.

Credit: 9NEWS
George Horgan paperwork

Being dead when you are not dead yet comes with financial issues.

"My credit reports went down the tubes. My credit cards were all canceled. You can't get a credit card when you're dead," said Horgan. "All my medical -- I've been having to pay out of pocket on all my medical."

Horgan said he never trusted money in just a bank account, so he has been constantly putting money away.

"I've got some safes that are now pretty much empty," said Horgan. "I had over $250,000 that I had sitting in cash. Part of that was, I sold my fancy motor home, I sold my fancy boat, and I sold my home after my wife passed."

9NEWS reached out to Republican Colorado Congressman Ken Buck's office in Washington, D.C. for help. Buck represents Hugo. Someone from his office has already connected with Horgan to bring him back to life.

"I'm sending her the same stuff that I got here to show you," said Horgan.

He's not ready to give up yet. Life is too short.

"I'm too old to go back in the military and earn my military benefits. And I'm too old to go back to work and do my 40 years retirement at my past company," said Horgan. "Man, my life has been turned upside down."

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