Vet almost loses home over VA mistake

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A Channel 2 Action News investigation found a payment mix-up with the Department of Veteran Affairs almost forced one metro veteran to live on the streets.

"I'm a very patient individual, however my landlord, my creditors that I'm in debt to, they are not," said Matthew Gober.

Gober retired from the Marine Corps in January 2013 and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He told Channel 2's Erica Byfield he served his country for five years, four months and 13 days, including a tour in Afghanistan.

Gober said a few months into his retirement he reached out to the VA to find out why he had not received any of his benefit checks.

"They owed me a little more than $7,000," he said.

Gober said the VA's lack of payment nearly cost him his truck and his house. He showed Byfield his eviction notice.

Gober said he went to the VA regional office in DeKalb County three times to complain. On the third time he ran into Byfield.

Byfield put in an open records request in July and nearly 45 days later the stack of documents delivered to Channel 2 Action News backed up Gober's story.

The documents show the VA began logging Gober's complaints in June.

A page dated June 17, 2013, said, "The veteran came into the office to check to see why he has not received his VA benefit check."

In another from July titled "Report of Non-Receipt of Payment," a VA employee wrote, "The veteran's benefit was deposited into the wrong account."

And paperwork from August reads, "At this time, a case has been established on the veteran's behalf to conduct an investigation for fraudulent use of his account."

Gober told Byfield he did some research and learned his payments were going to a bank account he never established in West Virginia.

He added along with Channel 2 Action News, Sen. Johnny Isakson office pushed for answers and in August the VA sent him a check for $6,000.

"I've got to get a senator's office involved and Channel 2 involved to get things to comply with the VA?" he said.

Gober told Byfield he fought a war overseas, but didn't think he'd have this battle at home.

"Our men and women they fight really hard. They deserve to come home to better," he said.



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