Beaverton vet hits wall with VA over ID theft

Jesse Crain had his ID stolen and had trouble getting benefits from the VA, May 15, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Jesse Crain had his ID stolen and had trouble getting benefits from the VA, May 15, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Jesse Crain spent seven years in the US Army, served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffers both physically and with PTSD.

The 28-year-old attends school for business management, and depends on the $1300 per month in disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help pay his bills.

But in March, he didn’t get his normal direct deposit, so he contacted the VA.

He said the VA told him someone fraudulently changed his direct deposit number.

Crain told KOIN 6 News he filled out the necessary paperwork, including a police report, and submitted it to the VA in March.

But as recently as Wednesday, he said the VA still had not processed his information.

“It’s bad enough that someone would do this, steal from veterans,” he said. “But the VA treating you like this doesn’t help.”

He said this was a case of fraud. “Someone apparently took my personal information, submitted it to the VA and changed my direct deposit information.”

The money from the VA “makes living a life possible. It really does,” he said. “Without my family, I’d probably be living on the streets.”

The VA gave him no explanation for when they were going to get to his case, Crain said. “They wouldn’t give me a straight answer.”

Within hours of KOIN 6 New contacting the VA in Washington, DC, the agency sent an email to KOIN 6 News:

“The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to ensure that all Veterans receive the benefits to which they are entitled under the law.  We are presently looking into the specifics of Mr. Crain’s case and have reached out to him to resolve his direct deposit issue.  Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.”

Crain said the VA called him Thursday afternoon and changed his direct deposit account back to the right numbers and, he said, the last three months of payments — more than $3,000 — will be in his account within the next 3 to 5 business days.

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