Veterans Association Mistakenly Overpaying Its Beneficiaries

A poster for WAVES - Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. Irene Miller was serving as a Navy storekeeper in WWII.

Irene Miller is a 95-year-old World War II veteran who was receiving monthly payments for years from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA then informed Miller that they had overpaid her and she owed thousands of dollars to the VA.  They have now determined that Miller will not need to repay the money.

For over twenty years, Miller was receiving the pension and disability checks from the VA for her time serving as a Navy storekeeper in WWII.  Last month, the checks stopped arriving because the VA had overpaid her.   She now faces eviction because she cannot afford to pay her bills.

Miller said that the VA had been sending her $1,788 every month for years.

Miller lives alone with her dog in Las Vegas.  She said that she relies on the VA checks to pay her rent.

The VA has stated that Miller will not be held responsible for repaying the overpayment.  They would not comment on how much she overpaid or how the mistake occurred.

For the last twelve years, Miller says the VA has paid her $22 a month from her husband’s pension. It wasn’t a lot of money, so Miller didn’t pay it any attention.

The VA stopped sending the checks last month after finding the error during an audit, according to Miller.  She says that she owes $26,000 to the VA, but the VA would not confirm it.

Steve Stanson is the president of Veterans in Politics International.  He said that his group is organizing a fundraiser to help Miller pay her bills.  “It is absolutely terrifying on how we treat our military veterans in this country,” Stanson said.

According to some sources, the Pentagon has been trying to recover re-enlistment bonuses paid to thousands of California Army National Guard soldiers that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan decades ago, Fox News reported.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers have been ordered to repay the bonuses after an audit showed that the Guard had overpaid soldiers while under pressure to meet enlistment targets during the peak of the war ten years ago.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE