Just last week, Robert Pressley’s family received letters from both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense claiming he was dead, plus two checks to help fund his burial.
“To prove that I am alive is just insane and it scares me to death,” Pressley said. “That at a touch of a button or because of someone’s clerical error my whole life can be taken away from me and it is.”
We reached out to each agency involved. So far, there is no clear explanation to what happened, but a mistake somewhere has now canceled Pressley’s disability payment, VA healthcare and other medical insurance.
His family depends on him and he depends on the healthcare and benefits he earned by serving his country. After this error, there’s no telling how long it will take for him to get them back. It’s hard to get the VA to pay attention to you when you’re alive. Imagine trying to get service when you’re “dead.”
This disabled veteran is not alone. Being mistakenly declared dead by the VA has happened to others.
“Gentleman have to wait one, two, three years to get their benefits back,” he said. “I don’t have that time span.”