RICHMOND, VA (WRIC) — Local veterans continue to report delays, mistakes and poor customer service at veterans’ hospitals.
8News Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien met with a Richmond vet that says his disability benefits were mistakenly cut in half, at least until 8News stepped in to help.
Veteran Ronald Rockingham served in Iraq and suffered a brain injury and loss of a finger when an improvised explosive device suddenly went off. Rockingham can’t work and is collecting disability.
“I was in the computer field so I can’t really type or change parts in computers now, so I depend on the disability,” said Rockingham.
He was asked to fill out an annual employment questionnaire last October to prove he wasn’t working. When he was finished he faxed it in and received a transmittal paper showing the fax went through.
In December he received a letter stating that Veteran Affairs did not receive his form and then in January he noticed his benefits were suddenly cut in half.
“I call the VA everyday and they give me the run around basically, ” said Rockingham.
After multiple faxes, hand-written letters, Rockingham even filed a claim and met with a customer service representative at McGuire hospital here in Richmond and three months later his benefits still haven’t been restored.
8News spoke with Veteran Affairs and within 48 hours Rockingham’s benefits are now back. They say that Rockingham was given the wrong fax number. Instead he was given the fax number to an office in Wisconsin which handles claims west of Mississippi. Rockingham says he is not sure why that happened, most likely a human error.
The vet is glad this battle is over but feel it shouldn’t be so hard to work with Veteran Affairs.