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Surviving spouse awarded record retro payment nearing $820K

photo of Laura Bivens

photo of Laura Bivens

“Juan Amaya and his team just helped this surviving spouse get almost $820,000 in backpay!  Williamson County has the biggest awards I know of now for our team,” said Laura Bivens, pictured, Texas Veterans Commission Veteran County Service Officer Liaison and Army veteran.

The surviving spouse was assisted in securing the award by Williamson County Veterans Services Director Juan Amaya, an Air Force veteran, and Veterans Service Officer Eric Medford of the Navy Reserves.

“It was a long process that had to be approved through a board appeal,” said Amaya, who encourages veterans and their families to be persistent in pursuing Claims.

“Do not give up on the benefits you’re entitled to. Some give up after a VA denial; but, sometimes the VA makes a mistake, we’re all human. Go to a Veteran Service Officer for assistance and get your benefits,” said Amaya, pictured.

Photo of Juan Amaya

The surviving spouse’s husband, a retired Army veteran, passed away in 2020. She continued pursuing Claims he had filed by herself including going to Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Some Claims dated back to 2011 and included dementia and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In April 2022, she contacted Amaya’s office for assistance.

After reviewing her Claims, “We found a CUE, a Clear and Unmistakable Error by the VA, and pointed out 100% compensation was due for TBI and dementia” said Amaya. “The VA recognized the mistake and awarded back 2011.”

The back pay awarded was nearly, $811,000; plus the surviving spouse was awarded the final monthly payment, over $9,000, from her husband’s last month alive.

According to Amaya, it won’t end there as her Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is still being worked on.

Pictured below is the Williamson County VSO team. From left left Karen Walker, Charles Subotich, Beatriz Bocanegra, Misty Cordero-Pierce and Director and Amaya.

photo of Wilco VCSO Staff

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