Veterans life insurance

How Missouri’s Backlog Causes More Heartbreak For A Woman Who Just Lost Her Husband

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Losing a spouse too soon can be one of the hardest heartbreaks to deal with, but a local woman says Missouri State has made it worse due to a months-long delay in obtaining her husband’s death certificate. . Now staff shortages are creating another big backlog and this one is causing serious stress for a woman who has already been through so much.

I asked Carolyn to describe her husband Mark Yarian.

“Oh how long have you, Mark was a remarkable man.”

It’s clear how much she loved him.

“He was a strong Christian, he loved the lord and he loved people,” Carolyn said. “Mark had a remarkable sense of humor and was very quick-witted.”

A healthy, vibrant Air Force veteran, she never imagined she would lose him in a horrific accident at their home.

“He fell headfirst 11ft and hit the stairs in front of me,” she said.

After suffering a stroke, he died on February 6 this year. Since then, in addition to her grief, Carolyn has had to accumulate paperwork. The problem is that she can’t get Mark’s death certificate from the state of Missouri.

“He said it would be at least August, if not later, we can’t give you a timeline,” Carolyn said.

Without this, Carolyn could not claim her husband’s benefits. Letters from the life insurance company say the money is unclaimed and will be passed on to the state.

“I opened it and I couldn’t even believe it. and I called them and said, ‘how can you say it’s unclaimed?’ “, she recalls.

His frustration grows and the situation worsens.

“I may have to sell this house, which would add insult to injury,” she said.

Thus, News 4 sent several requests for information to Jefferson City, in particular to the health department, which manages the Bureau of Vital Records. They declined our maintenance requests but said they were understaffed due to the pandemic.

Mark’s death certificate contained an error and needed to be corrected. The state said it processes up to 2,500 death corrections in a single year. A spokesperson wrote: “This team is still being offered overtime and weekend hours to address the immediate backlog, while simultaneously working to find new efficiencies through automated and digital means.”

“What’s taking so long that I don’t understand,” she said.

But, Carolyn told News 4 that didn’t make sense.

“I hope someone, whether it’s the governor or someone else hiring, would like this situation, that they would hire people, even on a temporary basis.”

So News 4 asked Gov. Mike Parson, but he said he was unaware of any issues.

“I don’t know where that breakdown is, but you shouldn’t have to wait a year for a death certificate,” he said.

“He would be really upset because I know he was making sure I was always taken care of.”

Having already lost her husband, Carolyn said she was still waiting and was at a loss as to what to do next.

“Disappointment, frustration, anger, there’s just a lot of emotion,” Carolyn said.

News 4 contacted the life insurance company, but they said they would not comment.

Carolyn has been through so much that after her husband died, she also lost her brother Don Lucy, who was a beloved KMOV employee.

Just Friday, we were finally able to put Carolyn in touch with a state supervisor.

We’ll let you know if she finally gets Mark’s death certificate.