DENVER -- Army veteran Thomas Howard served in the military for two decades. And for the last 20 years, he's been receiving VA benefits. But due to a paperwork issue, the government organization says he's been getting paid too much -- $14,000 too much -- and now the VA wants the money back.
"Fourteen-thousand, nine-hundred twelve dollars and forty-eight cents. That's what they say I owe them that they overpaid me for the last 20 years," Howard said.
It all comes down to dependents. Howard has claimed two on his forms that haven't changed for two decades. But he's been married, gotten divorced, and been remarried. Meaning his dependents have changed.
He didn't change his forms with the VA, despite changing with the Department of Defense, the D.O.D. financial office, and the organization that provides military ID's to family members.
He went from having two dependents, to just one, to five.
"They overpaid me for one dependent for six years," Howard admitted. "But the paperwork that they underpaid me, we're not gonna accept any of the proof that you sent us that you had this many dependents."
He said the VA is only recognizing the time that he was "overpaid," not the years where he had more dependents than he was being paid for.
The VA sent Denver7 the following statement:
"In this case, the Veteran did not notify VA in a timely manner of his divorce from his second Wife, Kimberly, on April 16, 1999, so the Veteran was overpaid $14,912.48. He has no dependent children at all now that can be added to award."
Denver7 contacted Rep. Mike Coffman and Sen. Michael Bennet have both been notified of Howard's case. Neither has said yet if they will try to help him in his fight against the VA.