Constituent Story: Tricia in Derry
After Tricia’s husband David, a Marine who had been stationed for a time at Camp Lejeune, passed away from Myeloma this March, the bills started rolling in.
While her husband was alive and battling his disease, she was told that the VA was going to cover the costs of his intensive medical treatment because of his time stationed at Camp Lejeune and the impact that had on his health. But after he passed, she became overwhelmed by medical bills and was informed that the VA would not pay as she had been led to believe.
This led to mounting bills and debt. It got so bad, that she was in fear of losing her Derry home.
Tricia was understandably frustrated, angry, and scared. In addition to the loss of her husband, she was dealing with a large bureaucracy and not getting answers. She faced thousands of dollars in bills and feared she would lose the home she and David had shared if she couldn’t pay.
“I didn’t know where else to turn,” said Tricia.
One day, she emailed Congressman Pappas’s office.
As she says: “I was in shock, mourning my husband and trying to figure it all out. I reached out to Mr. Pappas' office. That was the best decision in this whole fiasco.”
She had never contacted a Congressional office before, but she wanted to share her story and make sure that this didn’t happen to anyone else.
When Congressman Pappas’s staff followed up, they informed her that this is actually something the office could help her with. Even though she had reached out to the VA and other federal and government agencies repeatedly, there was “no movement until Congressman Pappas’s office got involved.”
Congressman Pappas’s office reached out directly to the Medical Director of the Manchester VA, Al Montoya, and said this was an urgent matter that needed his attention - because Tricia might face foreclosure soon. Patrick, Congressman Pappas’s Director of Constituent Services, took up the case and worked with the VA to acknowledge they were wrong in rejecting the claims and they offered to help pay these bills.
If it wasn't for the work of Congressman Pappas’s office, Tricia doesn’t think she would be in a good place right now.
“Patrick got the proverbial ball rolling and I am currently at a point where I am waiting to hear how the claims processed with the VA. If it wasn't for his help, kindness, compassion, empathy, follow through and professionalism, I don't think I would be in a good place right now.”
Tricia is now working through this process with the VA.
If you are a first district resident, you can contact one of Congressman Pappas’s district offices to seek assistance on any federal issue, including: visa and passport applications, veterans benefits, and questions about the IRS, Social Security, and Medicare. You can visit Pappas.house.gov to send us a message online or call us in Dover at 285-4300 or Manchester at 935-6710.