One of the easiest things in our modern society is to pay people to do things for us. You can just about find anything people willing to do for money. Most of its legitimate, but what about for an elderly veteran who may be looking at applying for Aid and Attendance benefits?
There are services out there advertising help to not only fill out and submit the application but to also figure out the best way to present their assets and income.
Some of these firms are legitimate companies, financial advisors, lawyers, and so forth. Yet, is it legal for a veteran to pay somebody to help them file a pension application through the VA, something like the Aid and Attendance benefit?
Legal? In most cases, yes. After all, financial and legal firms are not going to put themselves in the crosshairs of the law by violating it outright. However, veterans need to be extremely wary of these offers for help.
In most cases, some veterans could pay up to $10,000 or more.
That seems like an abundance of money to be offering to a firm to fill out and submit a certain pension application, like Aid and Attendance. But, when the veteran receives a couple of thousand dollars every month (for home care) for many, many years, you begin to realize how valuable some of these pension programs can be.
A veteran who lives 10 or 20 years could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in pension benefits over that time period if they are approved.
So, why do some of these professionals and firms charge such lofty sums? Because one of the biggest trip-ups for veterans when it comes to Aid and Attendance happens to be combined income and assets.
These firms may manipulate numbers by moving assets around, re-assigning them to adult children or other family members, all to hide the figures enough so the veteran can receive those benefits.
What happens if the VA determines help was paid for?
There have been constant attempts to change the “look back” period for income and assets through the Veterans Administration. The VA has been trying to look back further into a veteran’s financial history to make sure there is no funny business taking place through the hiding of assets.
However, the laws haven’t always kept up with the change of pace and the manipulation of certain professionals. If the VA does determine that a veteran paid for help filing one of these pensions, it could lead to dismissal or denial of the application.
Be honest, fill out the application properly, and submit it. Don’t pay for help.
If the veteran has too many assets or makes too much money through pensions or retirement investments, home care is still an option. However, they may have to pay for it out-of-pocket. For those who can’t afford it honestly, the Aid and Attendance pension should be protected so it will remain available for them and others for years to come.