terry_moakleyAs I write this piece, it is possible that some veterans out there over 65 years old or their family members are being told by some unscrupulous individuals that for a small up-front fee, they can help a veteran receive a VA pension. Does this sound reasonable to you? Unfortunately, it has seemed possible to some veterans who not only did not get a pension but who also lost their money.

It is being called “veterans pension poaching.” Basically, deceitful people try to convince veterans to transfer their assets to a trust fund or to invest in insurance plans in order to qualify for a VA pension. Typically, these con artists show up at assisted living facilities, senior centers, or other community facilities which seniors frequent. They may even claim to be veterans themselves but in reality they only scam older, unsuspecting vets.

These scam artists will go so far as to help you fill out the paperwork to apply for a VA pension. If your assets are above the threshold, they will try to sell you an annuity or convince you to put your money in a trust fund or an insurance plan. That’s how they make their money! And transferring your assets could disqualify you from receiving VA and other benefits completely.

The VA pension exists to help financially disadvantaged wartime veterans and their survivors. So, if someone approaches you with an offer to help you obtain a VA pension, we recommend that you ask which VA-accredited veterans service organization they are with. Settle for nothing less.

For more information on VA’s pension program, please view our webinar on applying for a VA pension. If you have questions about VA benefits, please submit your questions at “Ask VetsFirst.”

Terry Moakley
Chair of the VetsFirst Committee