St. Louis veteran trying to convince the government that he is alive

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - A north St. Louis County man is trying to convince the Veterans Affairs Department that he is alive. His disability benefits were canceled after his wife died and was buried.

It's been a rough fall for Fred Prentiss, an Army Veteran who lost his wife of 53-years-in late August. She was buried at the National Cemetery as a veteran's spouse. At some point, a government employee recorded Mr. Prentice as the one who died. That has cost him his primary source of income.

Fred Prentiss and his family are still adjusting to the death of his wife Mary Prentiss. On top of that, the Veterans Affairs Department declared it was Mr. Prentiss who died, that terminated his benefits, even though he is at the VA three days a week for dialysis.

"I couldn't figure out what could be wrong, I just couldn't." said Fred Prentiss. "I felt kind of rough because I'll get thrown out of here. You know they ain't gonna let you stay in here if you ain't got no income."

His daughter Vivian Parr picks up the story.

"The letter from UMB bank is our first notice he is deceased. That letter came on the 28th of September," said Vivian Parr.

The bank had already emptied his account with no notice to repay the government his September veteran's benefits.

"My dad is 83. He goes to dialysis three times a week. He's a double amputee and he should not be going through this," said Vivian Parr. "I'm trying to make sure is taken care of as soon as possible before it impacts his housing."

On October 4th she took her dad to the VA benefits office in downtown St. Louis where they completed the paperwork, Attesting to the fact he is very much alive. But the payments have yet to be re-instated.

The uncertainty over when Mr. Prentiss would see his disability payments resumed is causing the family stress. A public affairs official for the VA tells FOX 2 that they are working to expedite the case.


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