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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 1st, 2012 at 4:05 pm

VA Declares Former Drill Sergeant Dead 4 Times, Demands He Repay Pension for Being Dead

» by in: US Military

I have had plenty of military retirees explain to me the bureaucratic nightmares they have had with the VA but this has to be the worse yet:

Despite rumors to the contrary, Army veteran Jerry Miller is still very much alive.

“I’m alive. I’m very alive,” Miller told WESH 2 News.

The U.S. Veterans Administration has declared him dead four times, but Miller, a Brevard County resident, has refuted the claims.

“To me, it’s stupid. I can’t die but one time. They have killed me four times,” he said.

Miller, a former drill sergeant, served 10 years in the Army. He said he lives on a government pension and Social Security.

The confusion started in July 2010 when he received a letter addressed to his estate that expressed sympathy for his death and politely explained that, as a dead man, he was not eligible for the veterans benefits he was paid.

Miller said he informed the VA that he was still alive, and his benefits were restarted. But the letters kept coming, each one stopping his benefits.

“I’m alive, you see. This can’t keep going on and on,” Miller said.

He said a letter came this month – addressed to his estate – requesting repayment of more than $94,000 in benefits he shouldn’t have received, because he was dead, and that it included polite instructions how to make the payment.

Miller said he has no idea why he was declared dead.  [MSNBC via This Ain't Hell]

Since he was enlisted for only 10 years it is probably a disability pension he is receiving.  I have to assume that the VA must have some kind of computerized system that has him confused with someone else that died thus cutting his pension.  A actual person at the VA could not possibly be stupid enough to have caused this I hope?

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  • Raymond F. Cich Jr.
    3:23 pm on February 1st, 2012 1

    :???: Un-’F'ing Believable !?! Just another case of some ‘pencil-pushing bureaucrat’. Trying to screw another Veteran… out of something that he’s worked his whole life for !!!!!!

  • geowalsh
    4:34 pm on February 1st, 2012 2

    “A actual person at the VA could not possibly be stupid enough to have caused this”.

    Thats a pretty big leap of faith.

  • Ole Tanker
    4:37 pm on February 1st, 2012 3

    The pencil pushing bureaucrats are being encouraged to make more mistakes like this. Hell, without interest look how much $$$ Uncle Sam can save making delayed payments. :cool:

  • John
    5:29 pm on February 1st, 2012 4

    Not to throw water on a fire, but from http://www.va.gov/about_va/vahistory.asp, isn’t it now the Department of Veteran Affairs, being that the Veterans Administration was no more after 1989?

    Maybe MSNBC got part of the story wrong, or all of it wrong. I don’t know. I’m sure in all cases that there’s a interesting story here.

  • JoeC
    5:59 pm on February 1st, 2012 5

    A little off point but, $94,000 of VA payments in an 18 month period? That’s close to $63,000 a year. A pretty good deal for 10 years of service.

    Of course I’m being tongue in cheek. If he received his notice first notice for repayment in July 2010, he obviously was “declared” dead some time before. But still, it would be useful learn how much time from a person being “dead” until the VA discovered they should stop sending payments to their “estate.” $94,000 seems to suggest that, at least in this case, it took a couple of years.

    This case reveals how much work needs to be done with these systems, to include Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare to plug these opportunities for fraud.

  • Chris In Dallas
    8:05 pm on February 1st, 2012 6

    And just think, these are the same drones the DemocRATs want running the nation’s health care system :roll: .

  • Teadrinker
    9:00 pm on February 1st, 2012 7

    #6,

    Well, they can’t be doing a worse job than the private sector. Do you even have any idea how much it costs medical insurance companies to manage their accounts in the US? I remember seeing somewhere that it costs Blue Cross alone more to manage its customer accounts in any given American state than it costs all of the 13 Canadian provinces and territories combined. Multiply that by at least 50 and you’ve got an insane amount of money being wasted, money which ultimately comes out of your pocket.

  • Teadrinker
    9:03 pm on February 1st, 2012 8

    #7,

    Hell, multiply that by the number of states each health insurance is doing business in.

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:19 pm on February 1st, 2012 9

    Jerry Miller could be a fairly common name however, I checked GWOT lists and there appears to be no Jerry Millers…

    Vice Admiral Jerry Miller, USN (Ret) seems to be alive and well and still receiving his benefits.

    There was a Jerry Miller, he was in the 106th NY Inf in the Civil War.

    Nah, don’t thank that’s it.

    There’s a CAPT Jerry Miller lost in Korea in ’50…
    Captain Miller was a pilot of a F9F-2 Pantherjet fighter with the Marine Fighter Squadron 311, Marine Air Group 33, 1st Marine Air Wing. On December 26, 1950, while on a combat mission of attacking a highway bridge, his aircraft received a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire, crashed into a small hill and burst into flames. His remains were not recovered.

    Here’s your problem right here:

    Full Name: CPL JERRY L. MILLER
    Incident Date: 09 Sep 68
    Incident Country: SVN
    Status: KILLED IN ACTION

    Nah. VA computer is screwed up and they need to fix it. Me and a couple guys in my unit were dead for a few months while I was in the Army. You should have seen the look on the CO’s face when we showed him out LES’s with DECEASED on them. We asked for a few days off, in light of our ultimate sacrifice. It didn’t even help us for tax purposes.

    Not to worry, they got us back on our feet again in no time. I was always curious about how I died though.

  • Teadrinker
    10:01 pm on February 1st, 2012 10

    “Nah. VA computer is screwed up and they need to fix it. Me and a couple guys in my unit were dead for a few months while I was in the Army. You should have seen the look on the CO’s face when we showed him out LES’s with DECEASED on them. We asked for a few days off, in light of our ultimate sacrifice. It didn’t even help us for tax purposes.”

    Reminds me of a German contractor I knew who was here on a project run by a Korean cheabol. When his boss didn’t want him to leave for Christmas, he pulled out the ridiculous work schedule he had imposed on him and the other German engineers and told him he was done working the week before Christmas. The project was at least 6 months behind schedule at that point.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    10:20 pm on February 1st, 2012 11

    @4 – If you read the original This Ain’t Hell link they take MSNBC to task for getting the VA name wrong. Considering all the mistakes the media continues to make by publishing articles with fraudulent vets, getting the name of the VA wrong is small potatoes in my book.

    @5 – I am willing to bet the VA is trying to automate as much paper pushing as possible to save money. It would be interesting to see if anyone in the media does a follow up article on how many mistakes like this are being made. That would actually take doing some research so we probably won’t ever know.

  • Dragonfly
    2:06 pm on February 2nd, 2012 12

    “A actual person at the VA could not possibly be stupid enough to have caused this I hope?”

    I was a VA nurse for 20 years, believe me, there are people at VA who are. Luckily, not all of them. VA is a leader in computerized medical records and medication administration. Patients wear bar coded wristbands and all the meds come in bar coded packaging. The only way to make a med error is to think that you’re smarter than the computer. Nothing is on paper anymore, it’s all in the computer. Paper charts and records have been a thing of the past for a long time at VA. It’s the same with the compensation and pension people, the cemetery division, and all the rest.

    From personal experience, I had to go through the registration process three times when I started getting healthcare at the hospital I WORKED at. Each time I showed up for an appt., they said I wasn’t a vet. Oh well, great care otherwise.

 

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