WWII Vet Dies Waiting for VA Benefits

WWII Vet Dies Waiting for VA Benefits

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MOORESTOWN, NJ -

Fox 29 has been reporting on veterans who have served their country, only to wait years for the benefits they were promised in return. More than once, vets have told us they thought they might die before they ever got an answer from the Veterans Administration.

The family of one such vet contacted Fox 29 to tell us it happened to them.

Richard Scott joined the Army, went through basic training and artillery training, and invaded Normandy on D-Day in less time than it's taking to get an answer from the VA.

Scott applied for benefits a full year before he passed away. He died waiting for an answer:

Scott had barely turned 18 when he joined the Army during World War II. Before he even had a chance to celebrate his 19th birthday, he landed on the northern shores of France, ready to do battle with the Nazis. D-Day turned out to be a turning point in the war, thanks to young men like Scott. He "wasn't going to say no and wasn't going to lose," his son Greg told Fox 29.

"You know, he wasn't going to lose for our cause."

Despite all he did for his country, Scott never asked for anything in return until the end of his life.

He needed help to pay for medication, so he applied to the Veterans Administration for benefits. The VA sent back form letters, but never an answer. Scott died in June, a full year after he had asked the VA for help.

"I said that a number of times," Scott's Daughter-in-Law Roberta said. "It's almost like the government is waiting for him to die so they won't have to pay the benefits. And that's what happened."

Scott's son is almost relieved his father never heard a decision, because if the VA had rejected his dad's claim, as it has for so many others, "I think that would have really crushed him. I think he would have really felt abandoned. I mean, terribly abandoned."

Three months after his death at 86, Richard Scott's family is still waiting. "I'm at a loss for words as to how these men and women have been treated," Roberta Scott told Fox 29. "My father who was there for his country when they asked for him to be there, basically his country was not there for him when he needed them," her husband added.

Greg Scott is hoping the benefits his dad should have gotten from the VA may now pass on to his 81-year-old mom Miriam. Fox 29 is in touch with the VA in Washington, DC, on a daily basis, on behalf of these vets.

We do know as of April, the Philadelphia VA is facing a backlog of more than 58,000 cases.

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