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Veterans To Lose Some Benefits in Grand Island

LINCOLN, Neb.– Hundreds of veterans and their families are trying to figure out what they’ll do. Now that the Department of Veteran’s Affairs has run out of money to pay for programs some vets use daily- and their families said they can’t go without.

A third of the people who go to Tabitha adult day services are veterans. By the end of July, they have have to find a way to pay about $1,000 a month to keep coming here.

Debbie Umland-Kimble said she can’t imagine not having her husband Larry living at home with her.

“When we got married it was for better for worse, for richer or poorer. I’m pretty much in for that,” she said.

Larry, a Vietnam veteran had a stroke in 2012. Debbie said when she can’t be home with him, the adult day service at Tabitha has become Larry’s place.

“He’s got friends here, he’s happy to be here,” said Debbie.

But come the end of July, The Kimbles may have to make some big changes.

“I’m honestly not sure where we’re going to be,” explained Debbie. “It might mean that I have to quit working.”

The federal government cut funding to some services to keep others. The U.S Department of Veteran’s Affairs ran out of money at the end of June for services, like adult day services, that don’t require a certified practitioner.

The VA of Nebraska and Western Iowa tells 10/11 News they want to continue funding programs like the Adult Day Program at Tabitha, but without money they’re running out of options.

For now, the VA of Nebraska and Western Iowa is using their operational budget to give families the month of July to make a plan.

Now, they’re evaluating every one of the 1,900 cases impacted by this. Some will keep their funding, but not all can.

“I’m disappointed,” said Umland-Kimble. “I don’t feel it’s the VA’s fault by any means. I think they need the increased funding. Because it’s only going to get worse,” she said.

The VA tells 10/11 News it isn’t a done deal yet. They said sometimes the Federal VA comes up with more money, but, in the meantime, they said they want to be good keepers of taxpayer dollars and not spend money they don’t have.

Meanwhile, families said they’re left with more questions than answers.


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