WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Norman “Ed” Jackson’s quest for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits he earned while serving in the Army was a clear case of delay, deny until they die, according to his daughter.

“No doubt in my mind,” Melissia Pletcher said. “I think my dad would agree.”

Jackson died at 87 after receiving two just monthly benefit checks but long after the funeral, Pletcher came to 8 On Your Side hoping to expose snag after snag in the process.

The final straw in her dad’s red tape nightmare was the letter granting his accrued benefits arrived after he died.

“It’s dated August 17 and he died on August 7,” Pletcher recalled.

Right after an 8 On Your Side investigation exposed the problem, Pletcher received a phone call from the VA informing her she would receive his accrued benefits.

Since her VA-certified attorney told her the agency rarely if ever pays surviving children, the result was unexpected.

“Shocked. I was shocked,” Pletcher said. “I said, ‘Dad we did it.’ I came out [to the cemetery] and said, ‘Dad, we did it.’ “

Now, Pletcher has put the $14,000 to work by seeding a new scholarship at Jackson’s beloved University of Florida.

The Big Ed, Little Joe Jackson Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship, named after Jackson and his wife, will be granted to students studying movement disorders.

“My dad had two strokes,” Pletcher said. “My grandfather had Parkinson’s disease.”

The first recipient is Serena Pounders, a University of Florida junior who is studying to become a physician’s assistant.

“I think it was a perfect fit for me. I feel very fortunate as well to further our understanding of these disorders,” Pounders said. “It’s interesting that [the VA] withheld the money, and he didn’t get to see it in his lifetime but I’m glad you guys got involved and got it to Melissia at the very least.”

Pletcher is glad some of the money got to Pounders and that the scholarship will keep her parents’ legacy alive.

“Their names live on,” Pletcher said. “He loved the Gators.”

The back benefits were a solid start to the endowment, but Pletcher said she will be contributing her own money to the fund and also accept donations to keep the scholarships going.