Another Vet Denied Benefits, Waits Years on Appeal - KMSP-TV

Another Vet Denied Benefits, Waits Years on Appeal

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Northeast Philadelphia -

Fox 29 is working to get results for another vet who says he's running into a brick wall at the Veterans Administration. 

Like the other men we profiled in recent weeks, this Philadelphia resident served his country, and now in his old age needs some help in return.

But he isn't getting any.

Frank Ciampitti's memory has faded.  But he is clear on one thing-- the time he spent in the Army serving in Japan and the Philippines during World War II made a difference. 

"It was very important," Ciampitti insisted.  "Otherwise they would be here controlling us."  Ciampitti is 90-years-old, frail and in a wheelchair. 

He says he never asked the Veterans Administration for a dime until two-and-a-half-years ago, when he had a stroke and applied for benefits. 

He's still waiting. 

"He was a good man, he did everything right, he don't deserve this," Ciampitti's wife Palma told Fox 29.  "It just breaks my heart," daughter Barbara Jean Raneiro said.

Ciampitti's daughter is handling the volumes of paperwork for her dad.  By her count, she's filed a claim or an appeal with the VA.

"I'd say once a month for the past two-and-a-half years, and I've gotten the same reply over and over." 

To summarize:  Don't call us, we'll call you. 

The VA told her it's overwhelmed by the number of veterans applying for benefits.  And it insists she hasn't supplied all the information needed to process her father's claim, even though she's had a lawyer and a Congressional liaison to help her with the applications. 

"I think I'm just getting blown off," Raneiro speculated.  "I think it's just a way for them to put me on the back burner."

"Every day you figure, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder if they're going to help," Palma Ciampitti added.  "I hope they help." 

Frank Ciampitti's family is certain he doesn't have much time left.  His wife is spending what time they do have together waiting and worrying.  "I don't sleep at nights," she said tearfully. 

"I walk around like a zombie."  

Raneiro turned to Fox 29 because she said, "We just don't know what to do, we don't know where to turn.  He served his country.  He was happy to serve his country.  Now what's his country doing for him?"

Fox 29 has contacted the Veterans Administration again about this latest case.  And we're also waiting for a response on the case of Alexander Rupeiks, the Korean War vet we told you about last week. 

When we get answers, we'll be sure to pass them along.

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