Posted: Jan 31, 2012 10:48 AM by Sharon Knight
Updated: Jan 31, 2012 10:50 AM
A Florida war veteran is in the middle of a new battle. This one is with the federal government to prove that he is alive. In fact, he's now been declared dead by the government, four separate times.
Jerry Miller says he keeps getting letters that say he has died and his survivors need to pay back his VA benefits. While it sounds funny on paper, Miller is really concerned. He's afraid he could lose his home if the government successfully makes him give the money back, even though it's rightfully his. The former drill sergeant served 10 years in the Army and lives on a VA pension and social security.
The mess first started in July of 2010. Miller says he received a letter, actually addressed to his estate, expressing sympathy over his death and politely explaining that as a dead man, he was not eligible for the benefits he had received. Miller got the issue corrected with the VA, and his benefits were restarted, until the next time the VA tried to declare him dead. The latest letter from the VA asks his estate to repay more than $94,000 in benefits.
Miller has no idea why he keeps being declared dead, or what even started the mess. A VA spokesman says they are looking into the case.