Jeff Cuts Through the VA’s Red Tape for a Blind Widow

Ms. Jarchow from Northwest Oregon is a widow who was receiving Aid & Attendance benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA) due to blindness. In order to qualify for Section 8 housing assistance, Ms. Jarchow and her family voluntarily cut off her Aid & Assistance benefits. Unfortunately, this plan backfired because due to Ms. Jarchow blindness and wanting to live on her own, she desperately needed this Aid & Attendance income to help her pay for assisted living.

The Clatsop County Veterans Service Officer (VSO) helped Ms. Jarchow restore her Aid & Attendance benefit. He facilitated her application and helped guide it through the VA system where it was eventually approved. However, due to a clerical error on a reporting form, the VA then immediately impounded her benefits due to a suspected overpayment from a simple mistake on a previous application. This mistake caused the VA to believe that Ms. Jarchow owed about $8,000 in overpaid benefits — rather than being eligible for Aid & Attendance as she should have been.

The Clatsop County VSO attempted to iron things out with the VA, but was unable to do so. In desperation, he contacted Jeff’s office. Once Jeff’s staff received all documentation he provided, they were able to figure out the original error and some subsequent procedural errors that further compounded the problem by diverting the application to the wrong office in the VA. Jeff’s staff was able to untangle the red tape, cut through to the base issues that needed to be addressed and corrected, and relayed all the right requests to the proper VA office. Once that was complete, Jeff’s staff asked the Pension Management Center to expedite the request in order to prevent any additional stress (financial or otherwise) on Ms. Jarchow. The VA agreed to expedite the request, deposited the funds she was owed, and waived the reminder of her debt within a week.