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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A divorce settlement from 20 years ago is causing problems for one Bladen County woman. She’s fighting with the federal government to try and get money she is owed.

Ramona Duncan divorced her husband in 1991. As part of the settlement she would get 50 percent of the retirement funds he accumulated between 1975 and 1991 payable to her once he retired from the US Postal Service.

“He retired in 2007 when I believe it was, he retired from the federal system, and I was waiting, and I have never received any money from the us postal service,” Duncan, who is deaf, said through an interpreter.

Fed up, she hired an attorney.

“The court ordered in October 2009, I won the court case, saying yes, I should be getting that retirement money, and they were supposed to begin paying me half of his retirement,” Duncan said.

This was two years ago. She sent certified letters, left messages and still nothing.

“It’s truly frustrating,” Duncan said. “How am I supposed to get their response to my phone call? How can I discuss it with them if they won’t even return a call? There’s just no recourse for me.”

We contacted the US Postal Service. It told us this was handled through another government agency the: Office of Personnel Management. So we called and even sent e-mails asking the OPM why Duncan still has not received her ex-husband’s retirement benefits.

“On background, it is our policy not to comment on individual cases as we would be violating privacy laws,” said Jennifer Dorsey, a media specialist with the OPM, in an e-mail. “However, we are actively working on the case and will be contacting Ms. Duncan directly to provide her with an update.”

That was a week ago. When Duncan still did not get a response, we tried again.

Finally, Jim Ketterman with OPM Retirement Services called back. The holdup? Duncan’s attorney.

Ketterman says the attorney has not sent OPM the official “Court Order of Benefits,” which is required.

“We are ready to process hers today, but we’ve got to get the documents from her attorney,” Ketterman said.

Once that happens, Duncan will get her money.

We learned late this afternoon that Duncan’s attorney has sent the missing documents to OPM. She should get her benefits shortly.

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10 Comments on "TROUBLESHOOTERS: Woman waiting on benefits due from divorce settlement"

Guest Milton Waddams
2015 years 10 months ago

I don’t know of many gold diggers who marry government employees. Not much of a gold mine there…

2015 years 10 months ago

She is deaf. Disabled. So she hasn’t had all the opportunities that an able bodied woman may have had in life. And is at retirement age herself. You want her to go out and get a job? Think again.

Just Me
2015 years 10 months ago

I feel sorry for you. Good that you can take care of yourself. Everyone is not as fortunate as yourself. You have no idea of what this person did, does, or personals circumstance. I too am divorced and like you can take care of myself. But while I was married I gave it my all. I am entitled to everything that I will receive. You see I provided, food, clothing, shelter, medical bills,and everything else for my child who was beyond the age of child support yet could not provide for themself. If a person is entitled to receive a percentage of their spouse retirement it is most certainly an entitlement and payment not for the current time period but for the past. It takes two to make a marriage work and only one to break it up. Which one was you?

Guest Apu
2015 years 10 months ago

I don’t know anything about the people in this story, and presumably neither do you. Why would you say she is a gold-digger? She may very well have been a housewife, raised kids, cleaned house, washed his clothes, etc., for 20 years, all the while received no salary. Then they get divorced, and suddenly she out there with no job history and limited job skills. How would her taking some of his retirement be considered gold-digging? In a divorce, there is a property settlement, and his retirement is part of the couple’s assets that are divided.

2015 years 10 months ago

She might be legally entitled to it, but morally is a different question. Sounds like a gold digger. Women should be more independant and provide for themselves. They want to be equal to men in pay and such, so when a marriage breaks up, both go their own way and provide for themselves. I never asked my ex-hubby for anything, as I can take care of myself.

Das Weibstück
2015 years 10 months ago

This attorney sounds like a total flake ! She should have sent the papers in herself. Want something done do it yourself.

2015 years 10 months ago

You’re missing the point. It was part of the divorce settlement. It was a legal decision reached by both parties, agreed to, and ordered by the judge. She is legally entitled to this money. That was all decided 20 years ago.

2015 years 10 months ago

If she has made it this long without HIS money, seems like she does not need it. Maybe she should get a job or a better paying one.

Guest Apu
2015 years 10 months ago

Wrong – part of the divorce agreement made it HER money. Splitting of retirement funds is fairly common in divorces, especially in cases where only one spouse works while the other takes care of children and the house. It wouldn’t be fair to leave that stay-home mom out in the cold, with no job skills and no way to support herself in retirement, other than the small amount social security provides.

Susan johnson
2015 years 10 months ago

It is not HIS money, It was their money, hence, and now you are one! She did without things in order for them to be able to bank that money idiot!!!


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