An Atlanta veteran who once served in the Navy is now living in and out of homeless shelters.
George Hocker reached out to CBS46 reporter Natalie Rubino after he'd been waiting two years for social security.
After his service, Hocker worked for decades as an executive assistant. But in 2009, he had his first heart attack.
"Recovered from that, went back to shortly after I went back to work I had a second heart attack," said Hocker.
He recovered from that too but he had a third heart attack. So in 2013, Hocker applied for disability with social security. At 55 years old he was denied.and couldn't find a job in his field.
Hocker then worked retail for three years until it became too painful to stand for long periods of time.
"I went to the doctor and found out I had peripheral artery disease on top of my coronary artery disease," he said.
His VA doctor told the SSA that Hocker couldn't work. Still he was once again denied disability benefits. So he went to the VA to for help.
"They said you have to actually become homeless before we can do anything for you," said Hocker.
But the head of the Social Services Department for the VA tells CBS46 they did provide Hocker with other resources.
"We provided all of those resources but it's the veterans choice whether they follow up or go with a or b."
Hocker says after he became homeless the VA placed him at the Salvation Army's shelter. Now he's desperately waiting for an appeal date with social security.
"I'm sorry i just never thought I'd be in this predicament. I had a good life most of my life," said Hocker.
The VA tells me they work closely with social security and after CBS46 reached out. they said they'd connect Hocker with the VA's social security liaison. Hocker says as a veteran, he deserves a hand up from his country.
"You're sacrificing your life and I believe that any veteran who has done that and finds him self in need of help later on down the line should receive it from the government."
Below is information that the VA provided to CBS46 to share with struggling veterans.The CRRC, located at the Fort McPherson Campus, 1701 Hardee Ave (Building 129), SW, Atlanta, GA 30310, 404-321-6111 ext. 7436, offers walk-in services for Veterans and families seeking assistance for their loved ones. The CRRC is open Monday- Friday, from 7am to 7pm. Any homeless Veteran seeking VA or Non-VA services may access services at the Veterans CRRC. Veterans, their family members, community agencies and non-VA providers can call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1 (877) AID-VET (424-3838)- 24 hours a day- for information on services and immediate assistance.A spokesperson for social security also tells Natalie Rubino after hearing about Hocker's case, they've requested that his appeal court date be scheduled immediately.
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