Disabled veteran about to be evicted
Gary Connellis and his family are about to be evicted from their Leavenworth apartment.In a couple of Front Line blogs this summer, Connellis’ problems obtaining disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were outlined.Connellis suffered numerous injuries in 2006 while serving in the Army during the war on terror. He received an honorable medical discharge and the VA determined he was 30 percent disabled.To make a long, complicated story short, Connellis found out additional information about his injuries that the Army hadn’t passed on the VA. He has asked that he be declared 100 percent disabled. He has three different types of arthritis, major back, leg and foot problems, and post traumatic stress disorder.In Nov. 2007 Connellis applied for temporary pay while waiting on a new determination about his injuries. That was almost a year ago and he is still waiting on that determination – and any temporary pay.Connellis does receive a monthly tax-free check for $429; that’s for his 30 percent disability determination. He is taking classes at the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, and he gets additional VA money to pay for that.Connellis is unable to work, although he is trying to sell books online. His wife has a part-time job. They have a 7-year-old daughter. Their rent is $565 per month. They have additional expenses and a car payment. They use food stamps.Connellis long ago ran out of any extra money he had saved. He has been getting help from his parents and others.Connellis, 39, joined the Army a few years after the 9/11 attacks in New York, where he worked as a police officer for 17 years.Connellis received a three-day eviction notice, dated Thursday.