In Your Corner: VA Benefits Battle

By Ryan Elijah

June 18, 2010 Updated Mar 26, 2011 at 11:01 PM EDT

(FORT WAYNE, IN) Indiana's NewsCenter --
Back in September of 2006, Dan Tucker was granted disabled veteran status by the Department of Veterans Affairs, but the Vietnam veteran lost his battle with Cancer before the check arrived. When Dan's widow, Linda received the check in April of 2007 it was incorrectly issued in Dan's name, over 16 months later, she's still waiting for the 799 dollar check to be re-issued.

Linda Tucker- "I understand these things take time and I understand there are other families that have bigger issues, but it seems like it would be an easy thing to re-issue the check".

Linda contacted both the Grant County and Wabash County Veteran's Affairs offices, but after several months she still wasn't getting anywhere. The VA officers referred her to her Congressman Dan Burton's office, but despite their cooperation, she kept hearing the same response "we'll get back with you, it just seems like everyone I spoke with about this didn't want to be bothered. They smiled on the phone, but I would never hear back from them. I didn't get any results, I was frustrated and eventually became angry"

Dealing with months of frustration, Linda decided to turn to us, we immediately started with the VA Regional office in Indianapolis. The office was very cooperative and once they received permission from Linda to speak to us, the barriers disappeared rather quickly. During our conversation with the VA, they said they would immediately look into the situation and about two weeks after that phone call, Linda received the check she'd been waiting for.

Linda Tucker "I'm amazed how quickly it comes together when someone applies the right pressure in the right place"

In the end a computer problem was blamed for the delayed check. The fact that Linda was persistent and documented everything eventually made the difference. While her story has a good ending, it leaves some concerning questions about a system that in Linda's case failed her.

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