Elgin mom can't claim son on taxes because the government says he's deceased --- even though he's alive

There is a child in Elgin who is very much alive and well; the only problem is, according to the federal government, he is deceased.

It stems from a paperwork snafu in 2018, and now, going on five years later, his mother said it not only continues to create financial headaches but emotional heartache. 

Jaxon Dyson, who turns six years old on Sunday, lost his father in 2018. But when his mother, 33-year-old Eboney McDaniel, applied for death benefits for their son, someone at the social security office messed up.

"It was on them," McDaniel said.  "Whoever took care of my paperwork somehow put my son in the system as 'deceased.'"

McDaniel, a special education teacher, had no clue what happened, until a short time later when she submitted Jaxon's social security number to renew her apartment lease.


"When I did that, the manager pulled me into the office and said, 'you never told me your son was deceased.' and I'm like, 'he's not," she said. 

Five years later, that administrative error has yet to be fixed.  

"This is a big mistake that could potentially follow him for the rest of his life if it doesn't get fixed," said McDaniel.

McDaniel said the Social Security Administration has promised to fix it, but every year at tax time, the problem resurfaces, with the IRS rejecting Jaxon's social security number, and her not being able to claim him as a dependent.

"It was like a punch in the stomach," said McDaniel. "Nobody wants to see their child written down as "deceased" and you are already going through something as-is."

McDaniel says the IRS is blaming the Social Security Administration, and the Social Security Administration keeps telling her the problem has been fixed, blaming the IRS for the error.

The IRS sent her a letter two weeks ago saying they'll accept Jaxon's social security number "for now", but that he's still listed as deceased.