ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46 )-- The drive from Commerce, Georgia to Metro Atlanta can sometimes take hours, and despite not having transportation, a Vietnam vet says the VA keeps giving him out-of-town doctor appointments.

“I can’t get someone to drive me, I can’t go” says veteran Fred Herrold.

Herrold and his family reached out to CBS46 in desperation saying his doctor’s appointments are way too far away.

“The last one was in Stockbridge. That’s 82 miles one way. He’s incontinent, he has dementia, and he can’t walk," says Herrold’s wife Patricia.

Patricia says after CBS46 reached out, VA medical division agreed to provide home health aids but the benefits division has not been very helpful. In fact, she says they agreed to have a shuttle pick Fred up and take him to his appointments, but quickly canceled the plan after finding out more about his condition. 

“They said he has dementia and I said yes, and they said the driver is just going to drop him off and he’s on his own to go. I said you can’t do that he’s 77-years-old, he doesn’t know where he’s going and how to get there, he’ll sit there all day,” explained Patricia.

With no way to get to his compensation benefit doctor’s appointments Fred has been unable to adjust his claim for financial benefits or receive help getting other services like a handi-accessibly shower.

“ I’ve fallen out of the shower twice now and they’re talking about putting in a stand up shower for me. I’m still waiting. I don’t know what their problem is, my condition has not changed but they promised a lot of things that don’t happen” added Herrold. 

A VA Benefits representative sent us a statement saying, “The premise of our inquiry is false and Mr. Herrold has been receiving 100 percent service-connected disabled since 1999 and his additional claims are not supported by federal law.” 

In the meantime, Fred, who received a bronze star for his efforts in as a medic in Vietnam, sits and hopes for the best. But there is a silver lining, VA Medical has been helpful. They sent us a statement saying they are committed to continuously improving patient care and they are "confident we will successfully resolve the issue for the veterans."

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

gunnygil

Additionally a vet can not get over a 100% disability rating. Plus in the state of Georgia, if he owns a vehicle for personal use, his tags are free and they are numbered with a prefix of "DV" and carry the disabled logo. A veteran in Georgia can get motor vehicles tags this way for 2 vehicles just by showing the DMV his VA rating, DD-214, and ownership papers.

gunnygil

I am also a service connected partially disabled vet and have to have a driver that stays with me when I go to appointments for certain procedures. A vet gets travel payments for appointments and the amount is dependent on mileage. If this veteran is actually on 100% disability from the VA and lives alone, he gets over $30,000 per year disability payments per year tax free. He is also paid by the mile for appointments from his home to the appointed place for his VA appointments and appointments with civilian doctors or clinics. All he has to do to get such mileage payment is to fill out the paper work for each trip. A 70 mile trip would pay him over $25 per trip. Something here is not reported correctly. Plus in the photo a woman, presumably his wife and caretaker would increase his disability payments to as much as $40k per year tax free. DAV runs vans for disabled vets but they cannot stay with the vet while at the appointment unless they make special arrangements to do so

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