Poaching Veteran's Pensions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by vetadmin, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

  2. jetphantom

    jetphantom Newbie

    Debbie,

    This is an excellent article. I need to clarify what we are doing to help my in laws and my mother with someone who knows more than I do. Neither of them have a lot of money, but are over the total liquid asset threshold for A&A. However, if they had A&A it would make what money they have go much further. My mother has a negative $$ flow of about $1200/month and my in laws is much more than that, as they require much more care. It was my idea encourage them to setup irrevolkable trusts for estate planning to move their assets, with my wife and I respectively as the trustees. It is in process now, but if the trust will "....make them ineligible for A&A..." then they obviously don't want to do that. This paragraph in the article seems to contradict itself and I need to get to the bottom of it for our folk's sake:

    "•Transferring assets. Under current rules, it is not illegal to shift your assets to family members or to a trust to make you appear needy and qualify for A&A benefits. But transferring assets can have serious consequences: it can disqualify you for A&A benefits rather than qualify you. If disqualified, you would be required to return any A&A benefits already paid to you. Also, A&A benefits may not be enough to fund your long-term care expenses, and you may need to apply for Medicaid, the government’s program for people who cannot afford medical care. But Medicaid has a 60-month look-back period: If you’ve moved substantial assets at less than market value during the previous five years, you may be ineligible for Medicaid services."

    How can transferring assets disqualify you for A&A? I do understand that if they have to go on Medicaid prior to 60 months, then Medicaid will go after the trust. That is a given, but we need to know why A&A could be lost for doing this.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  3. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Dave,

    It is not illegal at this time to restructure. The challenge comes in as you know with Medicaid down the road with the lookback, and what can be considered an asset.

    With A&A, the point that was being made is the bill sitting in Committee, if approved would invoke a 3-year lookback. If this happens, then for those who go this route and then encounter the lookback, they could face the potential of owing everything back to the VA. This all hinges on the bill actually passing. It would take at least a year for them to put this in place.
     
  4. veldajay

    veldajay Newbie

    I am just starting this process and cannot find anything re: the maximum income allowances to receive benefits for assisted living. I have a standard service agreement from American Veterans Aid (provider) and the consultation intake form is from National Guardian Network. After reading your blog and your story, I am reluctant to pay the $950 for them to file the paperwork for me. It is something I am pretty sure I can do myself. They have not promised me anything, but assured me that they, in most cases, can get the paperwork pushed through and have a determination letter inside of 2 months, providing all the paperwork is filled out properly. Maybe this guy has an inside connection of some sort? That alone sounds a bit fishy, since seeing your website and knowing that it normally takes nearly a year.

    Does anyone out there have experience with either of these companies, and can you give me a thumbs up or down? I don't want to waste $950, but if they can truly help push it through, it would be worth it.
     
  5. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    We cannot recommend either company mentioned.

    I have sent you a private email to your personal account.
     
  6. Froweed

    Froweed Newbie

    great article
     
  7. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you.
     
  8. loucille

    loucille Newbie

    Thanks so much to everyone who has made this site and the information here available!

    I am currently looking at A&A for my VA Dad of WW2. I am so confused with the process and was looking online at American Veterans Aide as a benefits consultation company to assist us in obtaining this benefit. I have found nothing online contrary to this being a legitimate company, but do have several positive testimonials they have sent me that say they have done a fine job in obtaining this benefit for the veteran and within a very timely manner.

    Anyone here know if this company is a legitimate place to get assistance in this very complicated process, or does anyone have an idea of a better place to get personal assistance for the application process?

    Thanks!
     
  9. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    That would be a NO!!

    I am sending you a private message.
     
  10. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Newbie

    Help! I'm trying to help my father, a Korean War vet, with the Aid & Attendance benefit. He's been speaking with a rep from VETERANS CARE COORDINATION LLC who wants to help him with filing. I called them myself and was told the services they provide are: determine a vet's eligibility, review his/their financial status, and - if they determine he's eligible, provide for home health care through a local agency BEFORE the VA actually approves and pays out A&A funds. The rep also told me that they have excellent relations with the VA and can secure a faster application review of 3-4 months rather than 12+ months.

    Any thoughts or feedback in general or about this specific company? My father got scammed badly with an annuity purchase 5 years ago, so both he and I are wary. He needs home health care now but has low/no funds to pay out of pocket. Sincere thanks.
     
  11. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    I am sending you a private message on this matter.
     
  12. Middy

    Middy Newbie

    Hi,

    We applied for aid and assistance for my parents. We went through Veterans Home Care of California. After reading the posts we are very confused. The letter we got from them said we have a 0 interest loan until the pension amount is finalized. If the application is not approved we don't want to owe money for Home Care that has started 6-12 months before we are approved. They assure us that we won't have to pay if they are not accepted. We asked for this in writing. Do you know how much the benefit is for 1 veteran and spouse a month? We are getting different amounts. The Home Care tells us the 80 hours have to be used each month or lost but then we find out they will rollover. Does all the pension have to be used for home care or can some of it be banked for other assistance? Thanks for your help.
     
  13. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    This is not right! Full award for both a veteran and spouse is $2,123. These folks have mislead you.
     
  14. jcholak

    jcholak Newbie

    I have been assisting my 90 year old uncle with the A&A process the past few months since he moved to an independent living facility. We have gone through a representative of a "veteran benefit" organization that comes to the facility to assist the veterans with the application process. Everything seemed to be going well until we came to the part of the trust and annunity portion. My uncle and I opened the irrevocable trust and moved his assets into it with me as the trustee. I am also his POA as he has never had any children. He has been with his bank for over 70 years and is a well-respected customer with them. The bank had no probelem with the trust part, nor did we or the attorney from Elder Care. However, last week the representative presented us with the declarations to open two annuities and a life insurance policy on me. Thinking this was a mandatory part of the application process, I signed the forms as "Owner" and filled out checks to make the deposits. On our visit to the bank, this immediately threw up red flags to their Financial Officer who said we did not have to tie my uncle's money up with annuities or insurance since the trust offers enough protection for his money. The representative happened to call me the same day, so I mentioned that we had been to the bank and I wanted to rethink the annunity/life insurance applications, and to have the bank look over the contracts when they came in. He was adamant that the bank had no business sticking their nose into anything that goes on with the trust; that they knew nothing about VA-related annuities/insurance, etc. and only wanted to have us invest in their programs. When he said that I was not to show them any contracts or information, I became extremely suspicious. I started my web research that evening, finding this site, and started reading some of these posts regarding "Pension Poachers", and my anxiety grew even stronger. I contacted the representative the next day to tell him that I wished to stop the annuity/life insurance application and be reimbursed the deposits. He became adamant that my uncle's money would not be tied up for 10 years in the two annuities; that we would be able to withdraw 100% of it at any time because the financial group holding the annuities are "VA approved" entities. Is this true??? The representative is only at the independent living facility on Mondays, so he requested another meeting with my uncle & I tomorrow so he could "explain again" how my uncle's money would not be tied up for 10 years in these annuities. I don't believe him and I don't see how these annuities will benefit my uncle or I, and I certainly don't think a life insurance policy on me is necessary. Any advice anyone can give me tonight will be very much appreciated. I am not a combative person, so I am really dreading this meeting tomorrow as I do not want a confrontation with this representative. I especially regret doing such a stupid thing as this, thinking it was a required part of the application process. Am I doing the right thing in backing out of these two options?? Have they have any benefit in terms of the A&A pension my uncle may be approved for?? HELP!
     
  15. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Jeannie,

    You need to undo this and undo it immediately!!!

    If you will private message me a phone number you can reached at, I will call you tonight.

    RED FLAG alert!!!
     
  16. jcholak

    jcholak Newbie

    Vet Admin (Debbie):

    Thank you so much for the information you shared with me last night regarding the A&A benefit, your experience with it in regard to your parents, and also experiences other people have gone through with the VA. It helped me tremendously to make a definitive decision to stop the annuities and life insurance financial vehicles, demand a refund on the deposits I made, and also for all copies of the forms/materials/information that we supplied to them to support an A&A claim for my uncle. Your phone call absolutely stiffened my backbone this morning and calling the representative was the first thing I did after making our coffee!! What a narrow escape this has been, and how sad to think my uncle is more fortunate than many other veterans who have fallen for this scheme. I don't know how anyone can get any lower than trying to scam a senior citizen, especially a veteran.

    Thanks again, and I hope this site can always be maintained and be a source of help to many others. You definitely have my donation and my assistance in any way possible to keep it operating.

    Jeannie
     
  17. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Jeannie,

    I'm happy to have been able to help steer you away from what could have been a very bad situation for your Uncle.

    Thank you for sharing here on the forums your experience with the hope it will help someone else who finds their selves in a similar situation.

    Appreciate greatly your offer to help in any way that you can, and your considerations for a donation supporting our work and mission.
     
  18. ray

    ray Newbie

    Does this mean that if someone restructured less then three years prior to the bill being enacted that they would have to pay back all benefits received?
     

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