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Veterans warned about potential ‘scams’

Posted: August 10, 2014 1:03 p.m.
Updated: August 11, 2014 5:00 a.m.

As a veteran, beware of pension advance products that offer to pay military retirees a lump-sum payout in return for their monthly retirement payments.

The products may amount to payment of only pennies on the dollar and the advances are reported to carry interest rates from 27 percent to 106 percent, which can threaten a safe retirement.

When being solicited, watch out for:

• A lawyer or veteran adviser who offers to get the Aid & Attendance benefit for a fee. Federal law prohibits VA accredited advisers from charging to assist with VA claims. However, at times a "consultation fee" is charged up front.

• A claim from a paid adviser stating that he or she can get the benefit for you more quickly than anyone else. All VA claims must go through the standard evaluation process, which no one can bypass to get it done faster.

• An offer to help financially secured veterans qualify for Aid & Attendance by taking control of their finances and moving assets into inaccessible trusts. This may disqualify a veteran from other benefits.

• Retirement homes using the lure of Aid & Attendance to get veterans to move in on the implied promise that they will get the benefit. If the claim is denied, the veteran may not be able to afford to remain in the facility.

If you have any questions about VA pension benefits, including Aid and Attendance, please contact your local county veterans affairs office. Kershaw County Veteran’s Affairs, 515 Walnut Street, 803-425-1521


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