Earlier this year, Sonntag fell ill and went to the emergency room with chest pain and other worrisome symptoms. When his local hospital found that he was suffering from cardiac arrest, he was flown to Denton Regional Medical Center for immediate heart surgery. There, they also discovered other health problems, including kidney failure and hypertension. He underwent a triple bypass surgery at the Dallas VA Medical Center. His medical bills climbed to over $200,000, but the VA refused to pay.
After his story appeared in the news, a Vietnam veterans advocate and a Congressman took up his cause. Within months, the VA granted him disability benefits based on his exposure to Agent Orange during his service overseas. However, he is still fighting for the VA to pay for the six-figure medical bills associated with his heart attack and subsequent surgery.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.