'I work hard for everything I own:' Disabled vet fights for benefits with Blumenthal's help

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BRIDGEPORT -

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says "bureaucratic red tape" has caused a local veteran who served in Afghanistan to lose his disability benefits and end up homeless.

Gerardo Brown, 63, is a U.S. Army veteran and a cancer survivor who had his benefits suspended in November due to a bureaucratic technicality at the Social Security Administration, according to Blumenthal. The senator's office says it's working to resolve the issue, which involves a lost passport and Social Security card.

Blumenthal says Brown, who was battling cancer at the time, has certified copies of the documents but the SSA refused to accept them.

Brown says when he was serving in Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, he never thought he would end up disabled and living on the streets - despite being decorated and honorably discharged. He says he currently lives out of a borrowed pickup truck.

"I don't come to this country to beg or borrow, I work hard for everything I own," says Brown.

The Social Security Administration did not respond to News 12's request for comment.

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