Problem Solver: Name change slows benefits

It's been almost 60 years since Will Jones was known as Will Parks; confusion over his name made it difficult to get Social Security benefits

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Will Jones wasn't always Will Jones.

The Aurora resident was born in Turner, Ark., to a 15-year-old single mom, Gloria Janet Parks.

At the time of his birth, his father was unknown, so Parks, his mother's maiden name, was put on his birth certificate.

Three years later, his mother married Charlie Jones.

From that point on, all business conducted in her son's name listed Jones as his last name.

No legal papers were drawn up and there was no ceremony, but for all intents and purposes, Willie B. Parks became Willie B. Jones.

The last name of Jones appeared on his grammar school documents. He graduated from high school and college a Jones.

His driver's license, passport and Social Security number all bear the Jones name as well.

"I've just been using the name Jones," said Jones, 62. "My work history is Jones. Everything I've ever filed has been Jones."

The discrepancy between the name on his birth certificate and the name on all his other important documents was never a problem — until he applied for his Social Security benefits in April.

His application was denied due to the name conflict.

In June, Jones filed an appeal, asking the Social Security Administration to reconsider his case.

When he hadn't heard anything by mid-October, he emailed What's Your Problem?

"It's been a nightmare," he said. "They haven't given me any type of response."

Jones said he'd gladly jump through whatever hoops the Social Security Administration requires, but he has not been told what he needs to do.

He said he's entitled to about $1,200 a month in benefits.

"The last time I called they said they have no record of me," Jones said. "They're not even telling me what I need to do."

The Problem Solver contacted Carmen Moreno, a spokeswoman for the Social Security Administration. Moreno had agency researchers look into Jones' case.

A Social Security Administration representative called Jones to discuss his situation and go over his documents.

On Wednesday, Moreno emailed to say the agency will grant Jones his benefits, but the decision was made after careful consideration.

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