VA pays more than $40K owed to disabled veteran since 2018

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020
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HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WTVD) -- We continue to fight for veterans waiting for years to get answers when it comes to their pending claims with the Veterans Administration.

Rosie Milligan said she and her 75-year-old husband Willie Milligan got frustrated waiting for their disability claim to work its way through the VA system.

RELATED: Troubleshooter helps Wake Forest veteran get six-figure disability claim

Rosie said she needs help taking care of her husband as his health continues to decline. "It was so frustrating to me because I'm looking at him, and his health is going down, down and down."

Willie Milligan, a Vietnam veteran, is deemed 100 percent disabled through the Veteran's Administration. After several heart attacks and other medical issues, the Milligans said they applied for Aid and Attendance, which would help pay for care for Willie. It took some time and appeals, but the VA eventually granted that coverage in 2018. But even though the aid was approved, no money came to the Milligans.

"He would say things like I won't live to see it, and I was like don't say that," Rosie Milligan said.

With no answers from the VA, the Milligan's turned to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, and she got in touch with the Veteran's Administration. Rosie said soon after getting in touch with ABC11, a representative from the VA reached out to them, and Willie's claim for Aid and Attendance was finally addressed.

It didn't take long for the Milligans to get the more than $40,000 that the VA owed to them in back pay for their claims. Rosie Milligan said, "There was a lot of relief, there was a lot of relief. We thank you."

When asked why it took so long for Willie Milligan to get his benefits, a representative for the VA said, "A maze of previous federal laws made VA's claim appeals process complex, inefficient and difficult to navigate for Veterans. That's why VA worked with Congress and Veterans Service Organizations on the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which overhauls and modernizes our claims appeals process and thereby provides better, faster decisions for Veterans."

If you are a veteran and need help, NC Serves has a list of Veteran services, including Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) in the Central NC area. VSOs can assist veterans filing claims and appeals with the Veterans Benefits Administration. Most organizations are listed by county for closer accessibility for veterans.