Constituent Services Highlight: Sen. Kelly’s Office Assists Arizona Veteran Families with Federal Agencies
Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly shared the news that his office resolved a variety of cases for veterans across Arizona.
“As a Navy veteran myself, I know the kind of sacrifice and devotion it takes to serve our country,” said Senator Kelly. “That’s why, when it comes to providing constituent services to veterans and their families, my team stops at nothing to ensure that those who have served our country get the answers they need and the benefits they have earned. It’s the honor of a lifetime to serve Arizonans, and when we have an opportunity to make things right for a veteran, it’s especially rewarding.”
Diana Allen, from Sun City, AZ, had her benefits erroneously terminated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which also claimed she had a pending debt she was unable to pay. Her daughter reached out to Kelly’s constituent services team, who got to work on her behalf. Allen’s debt was forgiven, and her benefits were reinstated and retroactively awarded to her.
Diana Allen’s daughter, Tanya Carroccio, offered the following note of gratitude after the case resolution:
“Words cannot express the relief that overcame my mom, a recent stroke victim and an Army Veteran, when she heard the news that the VA had reversed their decision to cancel her assisted living Aid and Attendance benefit, as well as reverse their decision on debt owed for previous Aid and Attendance program benefits. A clerical error and poor communication contributed to the VA’s decision to cancel her benefits and demand she pay back what she had been given. We reached out to Senator Mark Kelly for assistance with this erroneous VA decision. Through a congressional inquiry, the VA reviewed the circumstances, worked with the outreach representative and assisted me with getting the appropriate level review and reversal of the VA decisions. Thank you, Senator Kelly, for your support and the amazing team you have to assist veterans.”
Another constituent, Ela Yazzie King, faced bureaucratic barriers to receiving survivor benefits after the death of her late husband, an Air Force Veteran who served in the Vietnam War. Because they lived on the Navajo Nation, his death certificate had to be approved by the FBI. Due to the pandemic, the backlog was four to six months, which put King in financial distress. She reached out to Kelly’s constituent services team, who escalated her case through the VA. The agency ultimately granted her the much-needed benefits earned through her husband’s service.
“I am so grateful to Senator Kelly and his team for their quick and effective assistance in helping me navigate the uncertainty around my survivor benefits after my husband’s passing on the Navajo Nation,” said King. “The pandemic made more challenging an already difficult time in our family’s life, and the support from Senator Kelly’s team meant so much. The Senator’s team is determined to try and help Arizonans. I greatly appreciate their efforts and encourage Arizonans who need help with federal agencies to reach out to Senator Kelly’s office.”
Lastly, Thomas Sullivan, a disabled veteran from Surprise, Arizona, encountered barriers to care for a chronic back condition. He reached out to Kelly’s office for help with a resolution.
“Facing serious injury to my shoulder, the VA approved my request for chiropractic care. Unfortunately, the VA scheduled my appointment at a location that I couldn’t access easily, and they were not able to work with me on a better arrangement despite my attempts to resolve the issue,” said Sullivan. “After Senator Kelly’s staff stepped in on my behalf and contacted the Phoenix VA, my doctor called to let me know my appointment was moved closer to my home. I am so relieved that I’ll be able to get to my appointment. I really appreciate Senator Kelly’s team’s efforts to help me access the medical attention I need. It’s clear that the Senator and his staff care about veterans, and I encourage other veterans experiencing federal hurdles to call on Senator Kelly’s office if they need assistance.”
Sen. Kelly’s staff can assist individuals with referrals as well as with a range of other federal issues involving veterans and active duty military, Social Security, Medicare, the Small Business Administration, IRS cases, immigration, passports, and others.
Arizonans who need more information can visit Sen. Kelly’s website.