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Jacksonville veteran fights for benefits

10:06 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Leroy Lemarr is a patient in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system.

"It is not the employees that doesn't care, it is the system that doesn't care," said Lemarr.

For the past 17 years, Lemarr has been treated for a service connected injury.

"For years, the VA has been giving me cortisone shots," he said.

Shots in his right shoulder to ease the pain. Last week his treatment was elevated to a new level, corrective surgery. Now, he waits.

"I don't know when I'm going to start physical therapy," said Lemarr.

In the meantime, he is on leave from his job with a pest control company. The leave ends this December and he could be out of a job.

The former Army medic said he was told the VA would change his disability status during his recovery, but it is not happening.

"I've got a family to provide for and I can't do that right now," he said.

Lemarr said before his surgery, the VA promised to move him to full disability so he can get an income to provide for his family. Now he's being told it will take six months or longer for a decision. 

"I was told as soon as I have my surgery I would be good to go and that is not the case," he said.

The process has left him speechless and feeling helpless. Lemarr said the system is broken.

"I've got to live now," he said," I can't live in the future."

Lemarr doesn't know where to turn. We have taken his case to the VA and he is waiting to see what happens.

First Coast News

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