Tags: veteran | kyle nuss | federal government

Disabled Veteran Fighting for His Life After Govt. Declares Him Dead

Disabled Veteran Fighting for His Life After Govt. Declares Him Dead
Kyle Nuss (Photo Credit: Christopher Reid)

By Tuesday, 05 June 2018 10:32 AM Current | Bio | Archive

As an attorney, I have seen many injustices but never in my life have I seen a disabled veteran treated as poorly as my client and friend Kyle Nuss.

At the age of 18, Kyle enlisted in the armed services because he was willing to fight for the country he loved — now he is fighting for his life from both a horrible disease and the very government he swore an oath to protect. The 28-year-old army veteran is currently in the hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, dealing with complications from cystic fibrosis which he has struggled with his entire life. To make matters worse, Kyle recently discovered that the federal government has declared him dead in a careless and devastating error.

Kyle was heartbroken when his father passed away in early May. However, instead of having time to grieve, Kyle is now in combat with the Social Security Administration, who pronounced Gregory Kyle Nuss dead instead of his father, Gregory Dwayne Russ.

"I wasn't able to use my credit or debit card, so I actually called them and they told me — this was at 10 o'clock at night — that I was deceased,” Nuss said in an interview with Alabama’s Fox6 WBRC. “I said, 'Y’all just went off a first-last name basis, y’all didn't check social security numbers or birthday?' She goes, 'Well, that seems to be what happened.' I said, 'Well that's ridiculous.'"

Due to the incident, Kyle’s health has deteriorated to the point that doctors are worried he may not survive this current battle with cystic fibrosis. The stress coupled with his cystic fibrosis has led some family members to fear Kyle may suffer from a heart attack or even a stroke. However, he has no access to his credit or debit cards and technically has no health insurance. He can’t pay a dime for his current treatment or the care he would need even if he was able to leave the hospital. In fact, he has been told that even if he does recover and is able to leave the hospital that they wouldn’t give him an oxygen tank because his insurance was canceled. Also, he wouldn’t be able to see a physician to manage his severe pain either. Kyle is afraid that if he gets better he is just going to be back in the ER in a few days and his fear is justified. It wasn’t until I reached out to the media and several elected leaders that Social security made any effort to help. Losing a father while fighting for your life is already beyond overwhelming but then having to deal with a government screw up has put Kyle’s life at risk and social security seems not to care. Kyle can’t even purchase a coffee at the hospital cafeteria and who knows when this will be corrected.

Dealing with the red tape in government agencies such as the Social Security Administration is like pulling teeth, and this isn’t the first time the SSA has been caught mishandling veterans’ information.

In September of last year, an audit conducted by the SSA unearthed 750 accounts of deceased veterans who still received regular social security payments, resulting in millions of wasted taxpayer dollars. Additionally, 11 percent of veteran recipients were mistakenly reported to be dead when they were actually alive.

The rampant mismanagement and sluggish reactions caused by bureaucratic red tape must end. When the U.S. government implements programs to help its citizens — especially those citizens to whom it is eternally indebted — it should take great lengths to ensure those programs are implemented with care. However, many veterans have been abandoned by the country they fought so bravely to protect. Kyle is sharing his story in hopes that similar situations can be avoided in the future.

"I would love to make sure that nothing like this ever happens to anyone again because it is amazing how just the smallest thing overlooked can just tear somebody down,” Nuss told WBRC.

Fortunately, Senator Doug Jones and Congressman Gary Palmer have offered to help Kyle navigate the bureaucratic process. With their support, hopefully Kyle will soon be able to receive the care he deserves and properly mourn the loss of his father. In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help Kyle navigate this difficult time. I would ask all the readers of this article to pray for a Kyle to make a swift recovery because the weight of all this is overwhelming. In my 8 years of practice I have never represented a more honorable and selfless person than Kyle Nuss and I will not stop until this injustice is corrected.

Here is the link of the interview he did on June 1.

Christopher Reid is an attorney out of Birmingham who owns his own general practice law firm, which handles Business, Family, and Probate Law and high-end litigation throughout the state of Alabama. Reid has held various policy positions, including working for the Alabama Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., where he also worked for House Republican Whip Roy Blunt. In law school, he clerked for the Alabama Attorney General Office, and, after graduation, he became Health and Judiciary Policy Analyst for Alabama’s governor. His charitable work includes serving on the board of Sav-A-Life. Chris is a frequent co-host on The Scott Beason Show in Birmingham, writes political and legal commentary for publications including The Hill, The Washington Examiner, and has been quoted in The New Yorker. He regularly provides on-air expertise and political commentary for TV news shows on Fox, NBC, and Newsmax with JD Hayworth. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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As an attorney, I have seen many injustices but never in my life have I seen a disabled veteran treated as poorly as my client and friend Kyle Nuss.
veteran, kyle nuss, federal government
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 10:32 AM
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