Who can legally assist Veterans with VA Claims?
Veterans scam alert
The preeminent fraud—“helping” Veterans with the VA benefit commonly called Aid & Attendance. Getting yourself through the maze can be difficult, but it is worth the effort to wartime Veterans and Widows of Veterans during the difficult economic times we now face.
More Veterans and surviving spouses file claims for disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs each year. Wartime Veterans and surviving spouses may be eligible for a monthly pension benefit at age 65, are permanently disabled and unable to work, are homebound, or require regular aid and attendance of another either at home, in an assisted living environment, or in a nursing home. The program is based on financial need for assistance. The process is by no means an easy one, as claims frequently require extensive documentation and substantiation of myriad facts before the claim is settled. And there is widespread misunderstanding in regard to how to determine if you qualify for this important benefit and do the actual filing.
Is the company or the individual helping you to obtain Veterans benefits operating legally?
Federal Law dictates that no one may help a Veteran in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of an initial claim for VA benefits unless that person is accredited.
VA recognizes 3 types of individuals for purposes of accreditation:
1. Accredited Attorneys
2. Accredited Agents
3. Accredited Representatives of Service Organizations
What does it mean to help a Veteran with a claim?
The VA interprets its prohibition on preparing, presenting and prosecuting a claim to mean that talking to a Veteran or a Veteran’s qualifying spouse or dependant after that person has indicated an intent to file a specific claim or claims for benefits requires accreditation.
Stated simply, no individual or organization other than those stated above may counsel or assist a Veteran or his/her family in any way whatsoever with an application for benefits. You DO NOT need to purchase an Annuity in order to qualify for the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefit. You need to be careful when repositioning assets because of tax consequences or penalties on existing retirement plans.
You may contact Robert Dornak, Accredited Agent, Veterans Affairs at 713 828 6951
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