Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:14 AM MDT
After Months Of Fighting VA, Family's Claim Approved
(KUTV) An Ogden military family has been battling with the federal government for several years. They say they are owed money for their father’s military service.
It’s an investigation Matt Gephardt first reported last October.
As a military wife, Dorothy Peterson received benefits from the Veterans Administration. But after Dorothy sold her home to move into an assisted living facility, things with the VA got complicated.
A year and a half after the move, she received a bill that read, “The Department of Veterans Affairs paid you benefits to which you were not entitled” because of the sale of the home. And they demanded more than $27,000 back.
Dorothy’s children, Ron and Ann, appealed and say the VA told them “don’t” pay any money back until after the appeal is decided.
They did as they were told, but then they began getting calls from a different branch of the federal government: The U.S. Department of Treasury, saying they want payment “now.” They also said the family owed thousands of extra dollars in penalties for having waited to pay back the money.
They paid, and then the VA stopped returning their calls.
It appeared the Ogden family may have been out tens of thousands of dollars after the Veterans Administration seemed to suddenly change its mind on whether or not to pay benefits earned by Dorothy’s husband, a combat vet.
After several calls to the VA, 2news was able to reach a VA spokesperson, Antione Waller. Waller apologized, saying they should never have taken so long in responding to the family. “Honestly we recognize that this case was not adjudicated in a timely way.”
In the time Dorothy’s children were fighting the VA, Dorothy passed away. So, last year Matt Gephardt reported that the VA told him the case was closed and Dorothy’s children were out of luck.
But it appears the VA has had a change of heart.
Months later, the VA told Dorothy’s children “We have approved your claim,” and wrote a check for $15,960.
It’s not everything their mom paid, but Ann and Rod say it’s better than nothing.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)