Looks like another state is seeing more and more of what is called the VA Benefit Scam where so-called “patriotic” financial adviors are offering to help veterans and their eligible widows become eligible for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pensions and related programs, like the non-service connected pension often times referred to as Aid & Attendance.
These financial advisors who are not accredited by the VA and are often offering legal advice and thereby violating unauthorized practice of law rules, promise to reposition a claimant’s assets (generally buying a financial product such as an annuity) to make the veteran appear impoverished and eligible for the VA Benefit.
Well, great, they are now VA qualified, right?
Well, sometimes yes, but there are other concerns. First, often times all their advice is doing is crumbling the veterans’ financial worth and nest egg while lining the advisors’ pockets with lucrative sales commissions. Oftentimes, the “planning” often leads to trouble when veterans transition to the Medicaid program because of the five year look back period. Medicaid has a five year look back period, while the VA benefit does not.
In my own office I’ve had families of veterans who have came to me after getting hooked by these outfits (who sometimes even work with attorneys), who maneuvered all of their assets around but never even filed the VA application as promised.
As a VA accredited elder law attorney this saddens me that people are taking advantage of our veterans with this practice.