A daughter came in the other day to inquire about VA benefits for her mother. Mom had just moved into an assisted living facility and her income was not enough to cover the cost of care. The daughter knew that her dad had served in the military during a time of war. She had spent months trying to apply for the Veteran’s Administration Aid and Attendance benefit. The assisted living facility had referred her to someone who said they would help her apply for and qualify for benefits. But as Sherry put it (not her real name), “All they wanted to do was sell me an annuity! When I refused to purchase their insurance product they dropped me like a hot potato!” This scenario is all too familiar. An article in the San Francisco Weekly News tells the story of fraud and the new scam of the day: selling unnecessary insurance products to seniors so they can qualify for benefits.
Another approach taken by some unscrupulous companies is to charge for helping the veteran or their spouse with the application process. Not so fast! A Utah television station, KSL investigated private companies that cash in on the service of Utah veterans. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Title 38 states that only a VA accredited attorney can be paid for representing a claimant and only after a denial of services is received.
If anyone is requiring they be paid for helping you file a claim, or they are trying to sell you a financial product you don’t want, run don’t walk away from the situation! Many people profess to have expertise in the VA benefits arena. They include insurance agents, paralegals, representatives of Veterans Organizations, and attorneys. Some know what they are talking about; most do not! Here’s my article on the topic of VA Accreditation and why it’s so important. VA accreditation is the only way that a consumer can be sure that the individual knows the laws and regulations that apply to the VA benefit programs.
Sherry came to us looking for advice to get her mother qualified to receive the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. We helped her. Here’s our webinar on how to qualify for the VA Aid & Attendance Program .