By Michelle Mortensen, Investigative Reporter - email
LAS VEGAS - Toni Robinson lost her husband Derrick two years ago, leaving her to raise then-17-year-old Darrian and 12-year-old Lauren without a father.
“It hurts my kids so much, and that really just pains me, because you know, as a mom, you always want to fix every pain that your kids have,” she said. “It was and still is very hard for them. They're very much still in the healing process. They miss their dad very much.”
Derrick, a corrections officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, died suddenly. Doctors diagnosed him with terminal brain cancer in April 2012. He passed weeks later on Father's Day.
Robinson claims a battle with Social Security over Derrick’s death benefits made healing more difficult. Shortly after her husband’s death, Social Security notified her that her children were due a large sum of money. All she had to do was fill out some paperwork.
Her daughter received the money she was owed. “Everything squared away with her in probably six weeks,” Toni said.
The same could not be said for her son. For some reason, Social Security wouldn't release the death benefits to him, even though Social Security representatives seemingly wanted to.
“I received two phone calls from Social Security asking me if I was aware that he was eligible for benefits,” Toni said.
Every time Toni inquired on her son's behalf, she was told his name wasn’t showing up in the system.
Desperate for help, she turned to 8 on Your Side. 8 on Your Side sent an e-mail to the Social Security Administration and asked about the delay. Before long, the problem was solved.
“Two days later, first thing in the morning, I received a phone call from Social Security,” Toni said.
Darrian received nearly $10,000, which comforted his mother's heart and ended a two-year battle.
“I did my best that's for sure,” Toni said. “You don't know what it means. That's one more chapter I can close and don't have to worry about anymore.”
If you have a problem you want investigated, contact 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.
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