NEWCASTLE, Pa. (KDKA) – What a difference a dollar can make.
A local veteran learned that the hard way when one dollar led to his V-A pension being cut. And it was a significant cut.
“It makes me ashamed to call myself an American. I’m ashamed to be a veteran,” said 74-year-old Newcastle resident Carl Robertson.
Robertson is a Vietnam veteran. He volunteered to serve on a Naval Intelligence ship during the war. A month ago the VA sent Robertson a letter he describes as “disturbing.”
Under a banner headlined “What we have been told”, the VA writes “We thought you were receiving Social Security for yourself of $798. Now Social Security tells us that you have been receiving Social Security of $799 per month.”
“A dollar. They are sending me a letter over a dollar,” Robertson said.
Turns out the dollar made a difference. Carl Robertson’s pension payment was reduced by nearly four hundred dollars per month.
“It’s devastating,” Robertson said. “It’s all I live on.”
Get Marty reached out to the VA. The agency responded immediately. The VA says the pension is a supplement to a veterans “other” monthly income. It is designed to bring a vets income up to what congress determines to be a livable wage. The VA says the extra dollar a month income pushed Robertson into a higher income bracket.
“That’s just plain ridiculous,” says Robertson.
The VA did tell Get Marty it looked closely at his records and additional documents. As a result, the veteran will be getting a nearly five thousand dollar retroactive payment from the VA.
Robertson is pleased. However, he believes the VA owes him more money.
Meantime, the VA says it has apologized to Robertson.