Tellico Plains veterans appeals VA after personal information is sent out

Bob Boyd shows WATE 6 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Don Dare the claims he received in the mail.

TELLICO PLAINS, Tenn. (WATE) — In Tellico Plains, former US Navy machinist-mate Bob Boyd has an appeal underway with the Veterans Administration. Boyd, who is disabled, was severely injured while on active duty back in 1985.

Today, Boyd is unable to work. At the beginning of August, he received claim forms for himself — and, surprisingly, for two other veterans.

“Got some paper work from the Veterans Administration on a claim that I have this is mine,” said Boyd holding up his claim. “It has my name full address and full social security number. Right behind that is this other veteran with his full social security number. And another veteran: name, address, and full social security number. The main concern I have is that these people’s privacy has been violated with their full social security numbers. If the wrong person got a hold of that information they could wipe out their bank account credit accounts or what every.”

In the letters to the veteran from Florida and to the other veteran from Texas, Boyd pointed out the men had a limited amount of time to respond to the VA Appeals office. The veterans had 10 days to reply to the letters or their case could be turned down.

Boyd said the day he received the letters, he contacted Senator Lamar Alexander’s office in Knoxville to let them know of the mistake.

“They notified the privacy officer up there because the Privacy Act has been violated.They’re going to give these people an extension because their time-frame has expired,” said Boyd.

He expects to hear from the VA about his appeal soon. Boyd says he hopes to save the two men a lot of heartache.

“I’m going through the process right now so I know how important it is,” said Boyd. “So, I had to notify them.”

Receiving two other letters stuffed in Boyd’s mail certainly was unusual and was obviously a mistake. WATE 6 On Your Side was told Boyd took the correct action by immediately calling the right people, in this case U.S. Senator Alexander’s Office.

If you are ever mailed information meant for someone else, don’t toss it. You can either:

  • Write, “not at this address: return to sender,” then put it back in your mailbox
  • Or let your carier or post office know about the important documents.

Boyd took quicker action in order to prevent his fellow veterans from missing a deadline.

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