WWII vet overpaid by VA will not have to repay money
A 95-year-old World War II veteran who owed the VA thousands of dollars after it overpaid her for years will not be expected to repay the money, officials told FoxNews.com Tuesday.
For more than two decades, Irene Miller — a Navy storekeeper during World War II — received pension and disability checks from the Department of Veterans Affairs for her service.
But those payments stopped last month because the VA overpaid the Nevada woman, according to Miller, who said she now faces eviction from her home because she cannot afford her bills.
“There were sending me $1,788 a month for years,” Miller told FoxNews.com.
“Now they’re saying they overpaid me,” said Miller, a great-grandmother whose late husband served in the Air Force during World II. “I don’t think I’ll ever see another pension check again.”
Miller, who lives alone in her Las Vegas home with her dog, said she relies on the checks to pay her rent. Without them, she faces eviction.
After several inquiries made by FoxNews.com, the VA said Tuesday that Miller will face no debt with the department. The VA did not clarify how much Miller owed or how, exactly, the mistake occurred.
“Due to privacy issues, VA cannot discuss the veteran’s case. However, we are glad this issue came to our attention as it provided an opportunity to serve our veterans in need,” the VA said in a statement.
“As a result, this particular issue has been resolved and will have no negative financial impact on the veteran,” it said.
Miller said that for the past 12 years, the VA was paying her a small amount of $22 a month from her late husband’s federal benefits.
“When my husband died, they gave his pension to me and it wasn’t very much,” she said. “I really didn’t pay attention.”
Miller said that the VA stopped sending her checks altogether last month when it caught the mistake during an audit. She told FoxNews.com she owes the VA $26,000, though that sum could not be confirmed with the VA.
Steve Sanson, president of Veterans In Politics International, said his group plans to hold a fundraiser for Miller so that she can continue to pay her monthly rent and utility bills.
“It is absolutely terrifying on how we treat our military veterans in this country,” Sanson told FoxNews.com. “Here we have a 95-year-old disabled wheelchair-bound Navy veteran whom our government has stopped paying.”
A crowd-funding website has been created to help Miller pay her bills.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that the Pentagon is seeking to recover decade-old re-enlistment bonuses paid to thousands of California Army National Guard soldiers to go fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The paper reported that nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom risked their lives during multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay the cash bonuses after audits revealed widespread overpayments by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets at the height of the wars 10 years ago.