Kentucky veteran claims disability account hacked, VA slow to fix it

Published: Jun. 28, 2018 at 6:01 PM EDT
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A disabled veteran, who doesn't want his name revealed, didn't get his disability check last month. His disability check covers all of his monthly costs.

"I've got what they call 80/20 disability. 80 percent is disability, 20 percent is employability because of my PTSD and all of that stuff," the veteran said from his home in Somerset.

His monthly check from the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for everything he needs.

"Everything I do, I live off my disability, yes," he said.

But at the end of May, he says he received a call from Veterans Affairs telling him his monthly disability check had been hacked.

"And that's when they informed me that someone had gotten on the eBenefits website and changed my bank information."

The VA caught it and corrected it quickly. But things slowed to a crawl when it came to re-issuing his disability check.

"I know you guys know this is fraud, and this and that. So pay me and you guys go after them but let me live my life," he demanded of the VA.

Still, they said it would take four to six weeks to get his check. His truck was disabled by the dealership he got it from for not paying his monthly car payment. The local American Legion has helped as much as they can by helping to keep his utilities running, but they can only do so much.

"I'm just at my wits end. I don't know what else to do," he said. "It's caused me a lot of grief. I can't sleep. I can't do anything. I'm just about over it."

He doesn't think he's the only one this has happened to. But right now, he's feeling very isolated.

"I swallow a lot of pride. You know I don't like to ask for nothing so it's pretty humiliating," he said, "They've got a veteran here who has no income and is going to lose everything."

A spokesperson for Veterans Affairs said the department will reach out to the veteran to ensure he gets the assistance he needs. The spokesperson could not discuss specific details for privacy purposes.

The VA also disputes the claim the veteran's account was hacked. Instead the department says "we have on occasion learned of individual accounts that have been accessed fraudulently."

Veterans Affairs confirms more than 3,000 accounts have been compromised since August 2015 out of more than 7 million eBenefit accounts.