Have you heard of “pension poachers” trying to take advantage of our nation’s veterans?
This news segment that aired about VeteranAid.org explains a bit more about them: (http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/local/consumer/on-your-side/2015/11/11/veterans-claim-they-paid-hundreds-to-get-free-benefit/75594220/). Veterans and their families are being taken advantage of by companies like financial planners and elder law attorneys trying to illegally charge veterans.
VeteranAid.org stands by its mission to offer detailed information on a veterans’ pension benefit called Aid and Attendance (A&A) and make sure these veterans and families can find this information for free. If veterans require assisted living care in a community or at home, we give them the information they need to apply for the A&A benefit themselves. Nobody is supposed to be charging to help a veteran file for this Aid and Attendance benefit money.
Veterans end up looking for help with finding more information about and filing for the Aid and Attendance benefit, only to become victims of “pension poachers”. Essentially, these businesses tell you they can find out if you’re eligible for the benefit and then help you with filing the application.
The catch is, these companies can charge anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in order to help a veteran with their services. Note that it is illegal to charge for helping someone apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit, or any veterans benefit for that matter.
One company in particular, which apparently offers their services nationwide and are located in Orange, CA, has received many complaints about their “business” which is essentially trying to make a dollar off of the back of our nation’s veterans.
Here is the American Veterans Aid company website:
And here is a list of complaints and reviews about the American Veterans Aid business: http://www.checkbca.org/report/american-veterans-aid-100074634/complaints
Complaints of the American Veterans Aid company from our forums:
“I spoke to an organization last night and found out they charge $1475 to assist with the process. That’s a lot of money. I was looking for advice in the difficulty of doing this on your own and thoughts on paying that money to the organization for help.
The organization claims they get approval in half the time (4 to 6 months). But I see on this forum that some folks received benefits in less time than that.”
” I have been advised by the asst living director that they use a certain “non profit! To help their residents with Aand A. I also have been given other names from other people and have found American Verterans Aid
Who helps people apply for this. I need advice of whether to go this alone or use one of these resources. Can anyone give me advice here?”
How can you help?
We are trying to spread the word about our site and educate people looking for additional information to help them navigate their way through this difficult and overwhelming journey and stop them from being taken advantage of.
Let’s stop them! Let’s work together to get this story out there. Please share this information with your friends and any veterans you know who can use the help of VeteranAid.org.
If you have a story of someone charging you for services in filing for the Aid and Attendance pension benefit, please feel free to comment and tell us your story or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your stories today!