A Government Mistake Costs Vet His Benefits

9:46 AM, Dec 18, 2010   |    comments
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One of these guys is a convicted felon.

DACULA, GA -- It's simple spelling. It's a simple problem. It's a simple fix. However, it took the Atlanta Department of Veteran Affairs nearly two years to correct a simple mistake. 

Don McMahon of Dacula had been mixed up with a convict of the same name but with a different spelling. Even though McMah(ON), not McMah(AN), showed up, in person, at the Atlanta office of Veteran Affairs with ID in hand, it wasn't enough to convince them he wasn't in an Arizona prison! 

"I was told I should contact my congressman," McMahon said.

Instead he contacted the Center for Investigative Action because he had this same problem before and had a letter from the Department of Veteran Affairs admitting and apologizing for the mistake.

The VA cuts benefits to 10 percent if you're in prison. Not only were McMahon's benefit's cut but they were demanding he pay back $7,000 in "over payments". 

Atlanta's director of Veteran Affairs stepped in when we brought it to his attention. 

"Proper protocol wasn't followed; someone should have called the prison," Al Bocchicchio said.

It's been fixed again.

"I'm hoping this guy doesn't have a life sentence because this could turn into a lengthy process here," McMah(ON) said, as he thanked 11Alive News for getting involved. 

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