ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Betty Ashley made headlines as a lively senior who walked the Gasparilla 5K during her 90s and served as Grand Marshal this year at the age of 100. She now faces a different challenge involving a federal government payment she had received every month for more than 20 years.
“It just stopped and it hasn’t started again,” Ashley said.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is an agency that disperses the payments from the annuity of Ashley’s late husband who served as a U.S. Postmaster.
When Ashley and her daughter Thelma Metzger looked into the six months of missing payments, Ashley was asked to prove she is still alive. “Someone [from OPM] said, ‘My goodness. She’s 100 years old. Why would we think she is still alive?'” Metzger said.
Ashley sent a notarized form to OBM and a picture of her with a current newspaper. It has not been enough to unlock the payments. “I am [alive,]” Ashley said with a smile. “I’m going to celebrate 101 in June.”
OPM has not responded to requests for comment.
Metzger shared a May email from OPM that stated, “Upon approval, she should receive all missing payments on Friday, May 13, 2022.” But Friday the 13th was unlucky for Ashley, who is still waiting, with a quarterly federal tax bill due in a couple of weeks.
“Those payments helped me pay that tax over the years. The payment went up this time,” Ashley said. “It’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet.”