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Boonville Veteran charged with hidden fees

Hundreds of complaints were filed into the Veterans Affairs office in 2015 and that number seems to continue to rise. A Boonville Veteran called into ABC 17 to get help for a problem that he fears many other veterans face.

It all started a couple of weeks ago as Russell Gibson, a disabled Veteran of Boonville, called ABC17 at the end of January to express his frustrations with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gibson was charged a hidden fee for medication he paid in full back in May of 2015.

Gibson initially paid a payment of $49.95 back in May, thinking it was handled. However, the next part came as a shock. Gibson was billed $18.74 on January 22nd, 2016- confused and curious he called the VA Hotline.

After waiting 30 minutes for someone to answer, Gibson was told through several VA representatives that he would have to file a formal complaint to the Truman VA Medical Center, and contact the local representative.

Gibson told ABC 17 that the most frustrating part was that most Veterans wouldn’t have noticed the charge and they would have paid that. Amounting to an abundant surplus of money to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

After ABC 17 made several calls to the VA offices, they were able to cancel the debt that Gibson owed.

In a statement to ABC 17 the Department of Veteran’s Affairs said “The VA remains committed to explore continuous process improvement opportunities to lessen the financial burden for Veterans.”

Gibson told ABC 17 that he hopes the department re-structures there billing department to make sure other Veteran’s don’t go through the same problems.

If you are a local mid-Missouri Veteran needing help, you can contact Truman VA Medical Center (573)814-6000 for more assistance.

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