Preparing an application for benefits from the VA, such as VA Aid & Attendance Non-Service Connected Disability pension or other benefits, can be an onerous task for the uninitiated. Recently, the federal government has asked that veterans seek the advice of accredited professionals to help with the claims process, citing that properly completed applications may help reduce or eliminate the backlog for benefits. The federal government claims that up to 700,000 of the pending, backlogged claims contain errors in the application, which is holding up the process.
There are, of course, horror stories about certain claims preparers and, when problems arise, the VA is unlikely to do anything to help deal with shady preparers. When choosing a preparer to help you with your application, it is important that you find someone whom you know and trust to work with you. Depending on the type of service you need, you may want an individual with certain expertise. For example, in the context of Aid & Attendance benefits, individuals who qualify often have more money flowing out for their medical needs than coming in. Additionally, individuals must meet a net worth qualification, which typically falls in the $30-50,000 range, excluding the family home.
If you are unable to qualify currently, it is worthwhile to seek an accredited attorney for a QVap Trust and other eligibility information. Similarly, you will want an attorney to help you if you anticipate that there will be difficulties in your application, such as proving that a disability is service-connected for regular disability payments.
Conversely, it is important not to buy advice about your VA benefits from someone who is not accredited by the VA. You should be particularly wary of insurance and annuity sales representatives who indicate that purchasing their products will help you qualify for benefits. Although the sales representative may ultimately be correct, it is important to get specific advice about your particular situation from someone who has been accredited by the VA in order to determine whether the advice you are receiving is sound, accurate, and up to date. Additionally, if your professional is not accredited by the VA, it is illegal for them to assist you in preparing your application. Further, it is illegal for anyone to charge you for preparing your VA application.
When planning for benefits, veterans are wise to seek professionals who work regularly within the area of VA benefits and are knowledgeable about the complex procedures for getting a claim through the process from beginning to approval. In particular, a competent estate planning attorney can help address other concerns related to VA benefits, such as whether spouses are eligible for certain benefits and whether a power of attorney is necessary to the application. Through addressing these concerns at the beginning of your claim process or, in the case of Aid & Attendance benefits, long before you are prepared to make a claim, you can ensure that your claim will be processed more smoothly which, in turn, should be more quickly!
VA Aid & Attendance–How Can I Correctly Choose Help for my Application Process? FREE REPORT: This complimentary report focuses on the various kinds of people one can consult when applying for the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit. Who one chooses can mean the difference between success and failure. Remember, if you are denied, you may not be able to reapply for up to a year or longer. Download our complimentary report for a behind the scenes look at the different types of people you can consult and the dirty underbelly of the Veterans Aid & Attendance industry.