SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A 111-year-old woman from San Francisco is speaking out Friday about a frustrating mix-up with government officials who were convinced she was dead,
She and her family ended up having to go to some lengths to prove she is, in fact, very much alive.
Lucy Mirigian has a lot of spirit for someone who is 111 years old.
“I’ve seen people say, ‘Oh, I’m too old. I can’t do it.’ No, I’ve never said that. I’m old, but I’m not dead,” said Mirigian.
Unfortunately, for a time, the U.S. government didn’t think so. The feds sent her a form to make sure she was still alive and eligible for benefits. Mirigian either didn’t get the letter or accidentally threw it away, so the feds cut off her federal pension
While it is pretty obvious to anyone who meets Mirigian she’s very much alive, her daughter and son-in-law quickly found out it wasn’t not so easy to change the government’s mind.
“What are you gonna do, you know? We are very frustrated!” exclaimed daughter Sonia Mirigian Koujakian
“Imagine her being kicked off her healthcare and then not get a pension. It’s too much,” said son-in-law Hagop Jack Koujakian. “And then you have eight days to take care of it; panic mode!”
In desperation, Mirigian’s family reached out to Representative Jackie Speier, who helped get Lucy’s pension back this week. She said she was happy to help.
“She’s a pistol!” said Speier with a laugh. “Just want to find out what her secret sauce is and it’s the fact that she has a joie de vivre. She loves life.”
Mirigian is glad the government now believes she is alive, so she can go back to living her life. She said her secret to living a long and happy life is to truly live it.
“It’s too late when you say, ‘I wish I had.’ That’s too late isn’t it?” said Mirigian.