Nadine Greenberg is now speaking out after she was forced to wait months for benefits following the death of her husband, David, in February. He served in the Army and Air Force.
“When my husband was in the hospital, there was a lovely gentleman from the VA who looks into see how you’re doing. And he told me that I could qualify and that I’m to look into it, survivor’s benefits,” Greenberg said.
Nadine began the process with charity organization, American Veterans. The organization helps veterans and families file paperwork for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She says that part was easy. Little did she know, the rest of the process would be one big headache.
“Well they gave us between 6 weeks and who knows. And who knows was it,” Greenberg said.
The process had a lot of loose ends. Nadine says it took seven months to finally hear back from Veterans Affairs. The letter she received, however, did not clearly state what she was entitled to.
Nadine then turned to local Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz. She says his office made no promises, but they would see what they could do.
About a month later, Nadine learned she would finally be compensated for back pay, and also burial fees.
“It was very, very exciting. I didn’t know I was getting back pay,” Nadine said.
According to the V.A, it could take months for the agency to determine what benefits a veteran’s spouse qualifies for. The agency says there are variables that depend on how long a couple was married for, how long the veteran served for, and many other things to consider.
Nadine says her husband was a disabled veteran who required lots of medical care. In that regard, Nadine says the V.A. was great. She only wishes it would step up its efforts for spousal support and families.
“Help the spouses a little bit more. Help the families. We’re part of them,” said Greenberg.