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Delays in getting death certificates to some families

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 11:18 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - There have been significant delays in getting some Indiana families their death certificates.

At a press conference Thursday, health officials said they recently transferred to a new birth and death registry and admitted they have had issues processing deaths that happened at the end of 2020.

“And the new deaths that have been certified into 2021 are going very very well. We know the system works. Hundreds of deaths and births have been processed through that,” said Dr. Kristina Box, Commissioner with the Department of Health.

One South Bend woman wrote to 16 News Now, saying in part: “Unfortunately this affects me greatly since my husband passed away less than two weeks ago and I am unable to take care of all the financial issues concerning his death...What they are doing isn’t good enough. Be more concerned. Hire more people. Hand write them. Obviously, I am coming from an emotional state, but I am angry.”

“And I know that is a very frustrating issue for families; and I know we have heard their concerns over not being able to do certain things with the estate because they do not have a death certificate or birth certificates...as people want those as they are filing their taxes,” Box said.

Health officials said they are currently working with local health departments and hope to get these certificates out in the next couple of weeks.

“We certainly realize that this is an inconvenience for Hoosiers and we are really trying to address it and improve that,” Box said.

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