Government declared him dead; but this Richmond vet is alive and needs his retirement pay

Posted at 5:35 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 17:48:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Bills are piling up for a Richmond veteran who hasn’t received his retirement check in months. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) sent a letter to Warren Holmes’s address in January stating the agency believed he was dead.

“They said they couldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t give them the answers to the (security) questions,” Holmes told the Problem Solvers of his call to DFAS.

The 71-year-old served in the United States Army from 1968-1988. He said he can’t remember the answers he wrote down on a DFAS security form decades ago.

Holmes claimed he spent months spinning his wheels trying to find a way to reinstate his retirement pay before eventually contacting CBS 6.

“Right after you got involved, they called not quite a week later and told me how sorry they were and that my money would be here,” Holmes said in an interview with Problem Solver Bree Sison last week.

A representative for DFAS could only tell CBS 6 that they are working with the veteran.

Holmes believes the back pay will total about $3,500.

While he had some savings to hold him over in the months without a check, he must now catch up on things like his health insurance premiums and phone bill.

“I asked them (DFAS) who told them I was dead and still to this day, they won’t tell me where they got that information from,” said Holmes.

The Problem Solvers have helped our viewers with more than $100,000 in surprise medical bills. Click here to tell us about your situation.

CBS 6 News is working on your bill. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.

Find unique, award-winning stories every day on CBS 6 News:

💰Mondays: CBS 6 Gives
📁Tuesdays: CBS 6 Problem Solvers Investigations
🏙️ Wednesdays: Our RVA
👔Wednesdays: Wayne's World
🏅Thursdays: Beyond the Roster
🏅Thursdays: Beyond the Roster
✋Fridays: I Have a Story