CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The family of a veteran living in Charlottesville says they received almost $25,000 in payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following a Problem Solvers investigation.
CBS 6 began reaching out to federal officials and veteran advocates in January on behalf of 93-year-old Jerry Horn. His service in World War II qualified him for a disability pension but the application lingered for more than a year at the VA.
“This is not the way it’s supposed to be,” his son, Dr. Bob Horn, said in an interview with Problem Solver Bree Sison. “It’s very frustrating. He deserves this. He earned it.”
Jerry Horn requires around-the-clock medical care that costs the Horn family about $6,000 a month, a sum on par with the average cost of facilities in the area. Jerry’s income is less than $2,000 between Social Security and a small civilian retirement plan.
His family applied for the VA pension in 2018 to help off-set the cost of his care. The VA would not respond to questions last month about the typical wait time for a benefits decision; why no one was able to provide an update for the Horns in the 18 months the application was pending; what, if anything, went wrong in the handling of Jerry Horn’s application; or if his family would be eligible to receive back-pay for the benefits he never received.
This week the Horn family tells CBS 6 the VA made good on pension payments due from October 2018 to present. Horn is expected to receive $1,911 a month going forward.
“I am convinced none of this would have happened had you not picked up and ran with the story,” wrote Bob Horn in a note to the Problem Solvers.
CBS 6 has helped viewers resolve nearly $80,000 in medical bills. If you’re having trouble with the VA or a healthcare bill, click here to submit a tip.