American Veterans Aid Business Reviewed: Don't Let Them Take Advantage of You
Posted in Uncategorized on February 8, 2016
Tags: aid and attendance, tips for seniors, veterans, veterans benefits
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:
"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."
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 let us know on our forums.
19 Responses to “American Veterans Aid Business Reviewed: Don't Let Them Take Advantage of You”
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Candace, I appreciate your input on this but you are wrong. And what American Veterans Aid is doing is wrong. It is actually illegal to charge anyone for help with filling out the A&A application. What they are doing is breaking the law and it is taking advantage of veteran families. We never charge anyone for our help at VeteranAid.org and we are completely transparent with all of the information you need to fill out the application yourself. I would rather know that I'm helping families get the award without charging them outrageous fees - even if it takes a bit longer (and not every case takes one year - it varies drastically based on how complicated a person's application is) then charge them illegally and hope it only takes one month when, in reality, that is not up to American Veterans Aid control.
Hello Dewey, I just sent you an email to help you out.
I need assistance with my Dad's A&A application. I spoke with "American Veterans Aid" and there wanting $1,475.00 to complete the service and walk the application through the process. They say their service isn't for filling out the application, it's for their consultation. My father is turning 80 in two months. He was active duty during the Korean conflict and he needs assistance in his day to day care.
This is the link to the site I visited. I've been working with someone at this office, until they told me about the fee. Can you direct me to the application and the process for get this approved?
469 952 4969
Thank you for the information and alert. We have been in touch with American Veteran Aid for my father. Can you please support your allegations of the illegality of their services with references, before we make a commitment?
I have been told by quite a few users of the VeteranAid forums that their experience with the American Veterans Aid business was awful. They charge up to and over $1000 for their services - services that should be free and, by law, are required to be free. Helping someone apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit is something that should only be given to veterans and their families for free. Our veterans deserve to know this important information and given help along the way - but not be charged an outrageous fee in order to do so. That is why we, at VeteranAid.org, offer all of our information and assistance for applying for the A&A benefit for free.
Thank you, Kaylin. However, I was asking for the law you reference in your response ("services that should be free and, by law, are required to be free"). Where can I find it, so I can ask these companies about it when I talk to them. Thanks.
Suzzanne, just check out this info straight from the government: http://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/pensionpoachingpostcard.pdf
[…] a benefit that can help them pay for care in their senior years. There are also, unfortunately, companies out there that try to charge veterans for help with the Aid and Attendance application or offer financial planning services like moving […]
This is my first attempt to try and apply for veterans benefits for my widowed mother. My deceased father was a veteran of WW2. Is there anywhere I can go for help.
Ken, I just sent you a private email.
Hello, So glad I checked the AVA out before going with them. I spoke with them a couple of times and they seemed really helpful (someone named Maryann), however, when she finally said they were a private company I asked if they charged, and was told that they would charge a fee, but would have to get all the information needed organized first. She said she would call me back to complete that within 2 hours. I never heard back from her; I think I scared her off when I asked where she was located, because her number was fairly local and she had said she was in a different state...she said their calls are routed through a number in Orange County (949-835-4036) which was the number of the incoming calls, but the calls were registering location as "Rancho Santa Margarita", which I mentioned is on Camp Pendleton. She sounded shocked, then I did not get the return call. Hmmm!
I'm so glad you avoided going with them, Lani! What an interesting story.
If this is so illegal, why do lawyers make tons of money helping people file for social security disability? And why is Veteranaid.org any different that veteransaid. com?
I just this week contacted them because of the conflicting information I got from a local Health Care business, and what I read on line. That, and waiting over a week for the vets government site to call me back. Sick of all of this, when people are only trying to get what they are entitled to!
Laura, VeteranAid.org is very different from VeteransAid. (By the way, we don't like that their name is so close to ours). All of the information and assistance you get from VeteranAid.org is free. All of it! We will never charge you a dime for any help you may need. Whereas AmericanVeteransAid charges for their services. And people who use VeteranAid.org are just as successful at getting the A&A benefit as folks who use other companies who illegally charge veterans and their families. It doesn't matter which organization you use to help you apply for the benefit, it's more so about how complicated the actual application is for each individual's situation that will determine how long it may take them to get approved.
I spoke with a person from AVA earlier today and was prepared to pay them the $2375 they asked for but decided to "sleep on it". My Dad, a WWII veteran, died 6 years ago and my Mom has been living with us, with us taking care of all of her needs. She is starting, though, to have falls and we are unable to watch her 24/7. The latest fall left her with stitches in her head and bruised like she was in a car accident. I found out about this program from a nursing home referral website and was referred to AVA. The research resulting in them being called a scam now has me confused about which path we need to take. Am I correct in assuming that the "scam" is just that they are charging for filing the paperwork and following up? I am also concerned that they quoted me $2375 when others, above, were quoted much less....
Is it faster to apply through them at all? Do they have less denials?
Randy, I urge you to not use AVA to help with your mother's application. No one should be charging for helping someone complete the A&A application at all! Especially those outrageous fees. On http://www.VeteranAid.org you can find all of the forms you need to print off, complete instructions on how to apply, and forums that you can read through or join yourself to ask questions if you have any for your mother's application. And we'll never charge you a dime.
Hello, I was hoping I could run by you the position we are in and which direction we should go. My husband Rick served in Vietnam as a Navy Corpsman under the Marines. Rick received a 10 percent benefit for hearing loss about four years ago and then a 60 percent rating for PTSD two years ago. Rick has been suffering from severe COPD for a few years now and it has gotten worse. I know his COPD is not an acceptable diagnoses for benefits because he smoked off and on throughout his life. His COPD has made him more or less homebound and he needs help showering, managing his meds, doctor appts., meal preparation, dressing himself, etc., etc.. I left my job a year ago as I was exhausted and an emotional wreck trying to do both. Knowing his disability (COPD) is non-service connected do you think it is worth applying for aid and attendance? IF so, do I take form 21-2680 to his doctor to complete? Not really sure which way to go with this, if at all. Thank you in advance for any information you can help out with this.
Sherry, it certainly sounds like your husband could be eligible for the A&A benefit. But is he currently receiving compensation benefit for his service-connected injuries? If so, a veteran can't receive both compensation and pension and would have to decide between one or the other. Most likely the compensation benefit would be the higher monthly amount.
Or, at least, a veteran can only receive compensation and pension if he/she is rated 100% by the VA.