Veteran struggling after VA massively reduces monthly disability - CBS46 News

Veteran struggling after VA massively reduces monthly disability check

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Leonard Moody enlisted in the Army in 1977 right out of high school.

"When I first went in, [it] was just basically to help finances with the family, but I fell in love with the military," says Moody.

He fell in love with boxing too. While working as a combat engineer in Germany -- far away from family -- Moody looked to the ring for comfort.

"It was just extra activities after work, but it became a passion and the boxing coach saw me and he invited me on to become part of the military team," he said.

Moody says he was always a soldier first. He was honorably discharged in 1985 but wasn't done serving his country. That same year, Moody joined the Army Reserve.

But then the headaches started.

"The migraine headaches, the ringing in the ears and now my memory," he says.

Moody says they weren't encouraged to wear helmets while boxing. In 2010, a doctor diagnosed him with TBI.

Working was no longer an option.

"We applied in 2009 and got the award in 2011," says his wife, Ellie Moody.

The VA awarded moody with full benefits, but more than four years later, the family got a devastating letter.

"The letter stated there was a mistake," his wife said. 

The VA told Moody that the doctor who diagnosed him with TBI wasn't specialized enough to make that diagnosis. The administration then reduced his monthly check by $2,300.

"It was devastating," his wife said.

His wife and fulltime caretaker went back to work. But it's still not enough. The family has exhausted their savings trying to make ends meet.

"First, we went to the title pawn for my truck to pay the house note,” he said. “The second time, we had to go to the title pawn with my wife's car to pay the house note."

The Moodys even submitted documents from an Emory neurologist proving he has TBI from his time boxing in the army. But the VA won't budge, leaving the military family feeling neglected.

"I'm not begging for anything. I feel like as a United States soldier, I earned something," he said.

A spokesperson from the VA tells CBS46 that Moody's TBI diagnosis was not supported by "proper" medical evidence. She added that an appeals court is handling Moody's case and reviewing all his medical documents.

We asked how the VA could go against a diagnosis from a doctor that they appointed, and what the administration could do to prevent this veteran from losing his home.

All we heard back is that the VA's home loan department is assisting him and that his case will be expedited due to financial hardship.

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