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Houston, I Have a Problem: VA Medical Center asks veteran's family to refund grant

Posted at 7:36 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 06:22:42-04

CINCINNATI -- Rome Douglas Edmonson's family thought the $6,800 grant they received from the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center was exactly what they needed.

Edmonson, a Vietnam veteran paralyzed by a stroke and dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, couldn't comfortably shower without help. His wife, Aleeta, thought installing a seated shower and bathtub would help, and applied for the grant to fund the project.

She got it -- $6,800 for home improvement and structural alteration, which she used to install a spa tub with a seat. When the project was complete, however, she got something else: A request her family refund the VA because they had installed a tub instead of a shower.

"They basically want all their money back," Rome Edmonson said. "I don't have that kind of money. It would bounce all the way back to the bank."

WCPO reached out to the VA hospital for clarification and received a response two weeks later.

It reads, in part: "The veteran recently requested a waiver to keep the spa tub without having to pay back the funds. The Cincinnati VA Medical Center has approved this waiver, taking into consideration what is best for the veteran's comfort and assist the family in providing compassionate caregiver support."

In other words, problem solved.