As Americans, we think our government of the people do an outstanding job taking care of our veterans. From my personal experience from talking with veterans, I can honestly say that our government of the people has lost touch with serving those who served us when duty called.

It’s a sad state of affairs when nearly 50,000 of our veterans are homeless, this number is 25% of homeless population, and these number astounds me when veterans make up only 12.7% of the overall adult population and less than 7.3% of the total U.S. population.

The majority of our veterans have worked long unforgiving hours while being paid at the poverty level while servicing our country, and now our government has the gall to demand signing bonus that were paid and what they now deemed overpayments.

One such veteran that requested his name be held anonymous, told me “The Department of Veteran Affairs sent me a letter stating they were going to garnish 93% of my VA disability compensation for the next 6 + month,” leaving his family only 7% to live on. When he asked them why, the Department of Veteran Affairs stated “they had been overpaid due to receiving drill pay and service connected disability compensation concurrently.”

He told them, “that it was not received service connected disability compensation concurrently,” he received pay from the West Virginia Air National Guard for drill 2009, 2010, and 2011 while he served. In October 2009, the Washington D.C., Department of Veteran Affairs hospital botched a surgery, leaving him unable to work for almost 7 months. The Department of Veteran Affairs took nearly 5 ½ years until May 14, 2014, to settle his service connected disability compensation claim.

“It appeared when the Department of Veteran Affairs settled my case they failed to properly audit my file, they failed to recognize that I had been in West Virginia Air National Guard and I had properly reported my drill pay and settled me service connected disability compensation claim. In August 2016, I received a letter stating that I had been overpaid and they were going to take the money immediately. The claims examiner who processed my claim they should have created the debt for the Military Drill Pay that I received for fiscal years (FY) 2009, 2010, and 2011 and held it back from the VA compensation for a total of 142 days reducing my benefits at that time. The claims examiner handling my file, and their coach (supervisor) who is supposed to do the quality control before issuing the back pay payment didn’t do their jobs properly.

My drill pay for 2009, 2010, and 2011 was $8,975.44, but the Department of Veteran Affairs has started garnished my disability compensation at $2,823.00 for 6 + months, until you recoup a total of $17,455.70. I’m astounded that the VA is able to take the greater of the two amounts.”

WV-ANG Drill Pay $8,975.44

VA Disability Compensation $17,455.70

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