Claim decision comes too late for one veteran; widow turns to the Problem Solvers to get answers

TULSA - Helping veterans get the benefits they deserve; for some, the decision comes too late.

2NEWS anchor Deana Silk goes to work for a widow who's been trying to get answers from the VA for more than a decade now.

"We'd get a letter and I'd tell him they said such and such and he'd say well maybe it won't be long and they'll decide." Sue Chichura recalls many conversations with her late husband, waiting to hear from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Unfortunately, John Chichura will never know the decision, he passed away in 2010, five years after initially filing a claim with the VA.

Over the years Sue has received stacks of letters from the VA, most of them saying the same thing.

"...They have received application for benefits and it is their sincere desire to resolve claim promptly... but 14 years is a long time." said Sue.

The portion of the claim, undecided, is for 'Agent Orange'. According to the VA, veterans were possibly exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides if they served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975. John James Chichura met that criteria.

"I'm not trying to get anything he wasn't entitled to. I think they should have given it to him a long time ago."

Frustrated with phone calls not being returned, Sue contacted the 2NEWS Problem Solvers for help. We reviewed her information and contacted the VA in Muskogee for answers. The next day Sue received a phone call.

"She (the woman from the VA) said they are working on it and that they should have got ahold of his ship records, ship logs all this time and they never got them." explained Sue.

Sue was told it could take up to 3 months for a decision to be made. The Problem Solvers will stay on top of it and let you know what happens in the coming months.

To read more about the requirements for Agent Orange click here .

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