VA apologizes for delay in pension checks to local veteran, restores benefits

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ST. LOUIS – After months of delays over missing Army pension checks and turning to FOX 2 for help, a St. Louis couple says the Veterans Affair Department has finally come through.

Val Kovac and her husband, Army veteran Michael Martin Kovac, can finally breathe a sigh of relief after months of frustration. Val contacted FOX 2 after the couple hadn’t received Michael’s pension check in five months.

The couple lives in an assisted living center in south St. Louis and needs that money for essentials.

One day after sharing their story with the public, FOX 2 got a U.S. Senator involved for good measure. On Tuesday, the VA admitted its mistake and agreed to make good with the Kovacs.

“I’m flabbergasted! I’m so excited! I can’t believe that you got this accomplished in such a short amount of time!” Val said.

FOX 2 contacted the VA facility at Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis County. They coordinated with their counterparts in Washington, D.C. In addition, we reached out to U.S. Senator Eric Schmitt’s office. His staff also contacted VA officials in Washington.

We received a statement from the VA on Tuesday:

Thank you for advocating for Mr. Kovac and letting us know about these delayed payments. Fortunately, we can confirm that Mr. Kovac’s benefits have been reinstated. We are reaching out to the Kovac family and are investigating to learn what happened. We’d like to apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Kovac for this unfortunate situation and thank him for his service.

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