AUSTIN, Texas – A Vietnam veteran received an unsettling surprise when he opened his mail.
He got a letter from the Department of Veteran Affairs, informing him that he was dead and demanding his family pay back thousands of dollars in benefits received after his death.
“I died January 15th of this year,” said Charles Hubbard.
The Navy veteran, who served during the Vietnam War, says he learned about his untimely demise in a letter demanding benefits that were sent after his “death.”
“Our records show the deceased was not entitled to benefits in the amount of $5,270 and 0 cents.’ The VA said I was deceased, and they closed my checking account when the bank found out,” said Hubbard.
Hubbard suspects the problem started after a man stole his identity and used it to get treatment at a California hospital.
That man then passed away.
“When I received a hospital bill of almost $300,000 in California, I said, ‘Hold on.’ And they called me, they want me to pay it,” he said.
Hubbard receives a government pension around $1,000 a month.
It’s been three months since he’s received any money to pay bills or buy food.
“We got a food bank here, and the one at the church where I go to, that’s where I get my food from,” he said.
Hubbard also feared he wouldn’t be able to pay for his Section 8 housing.
The landlord cut him a break, only charging $25 a month until he gets his pension back.
“I keep calling. They say it could take up to eight months,” he said.
In the meantime, Hubbard keeps reassuring his daughter and grandkids that he is still around and waits for the VA to officially bring him back to life.
KVUE reached out to the VA’s pension department, but hasn’t received a response.