David Perry, a World War II veteran, died June 5, but that's not stopping the government from going after his money -- even if it's only 59 cents.
A note from the VA benefits office, addressed to the late David Perry, reads, "Please provide copy of death certificate. Thank you." (Image source: Wilmington Journal News)
The Department of Veterans Affairs sent a letter to Perry's home in Avondale, Pennsylvania. It was to be opened "by addressee only." But, as Perry's wife, Helena, pointed out, that would be "kind of hard for him," so she went ahead and opened it.
"You remain eligible to receive [VA] health benefits. Please provide copy of death certificate.," the letter read.
Another piece of mail arrived several days later. This time it was a bill for 59 cents to be paid by October 11. After that, there would be additional charges. Perry received a third letter September 4. It was his reminder to get a flu shot.
Helena called the number listed on the bill and spoke with a customer service representative. She said she told Cecil, the representative, that she had received a bill addressed to her late husband asking for 59 cents. "I thought Cecil was going to crack up," Helena said. She later told him "I'm not gonna pay it," to which Cecil replied, "I think we're on the same page."
While Helena, who is 81, described the mishap to the Wilmington News Journal as "hilarious," there was one thing Helena didn't find quite so funny.
She said the Philadelphia VA disability benefits office sent her letters critical of her for not canceling an appointment she had made to file a claim for her late husband's hearing loss. Helena insisted that she did, in fact, cancel the appointment.
A spokesperson for the VA said would not offer any comment on Perry's specific case, but did say the department "is reviewing" what happened.
In the wake of the VA scandal Helena said she understands why the department is investigating dozens of facilities across the country: "With people like that running it, I can see why it's fouled up."
(H/T: Wilmington News Journal)
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