Veterans, CYA – Cover Your Assets!

If you’re a veteran over 65 — or related to one, you are a target for a particularly ugly type of scam that involves “poaching” your pension. Unscrupulous “advisers” — attorneys, financial planners, and insurance agents — are trying to sell you financial or legal products to move your assets around without giving you the whole truth about the long-term consequences.

These less-than-honest advisers sometimes rent space at assisted living facilities, senior centers, or other places in the community with the pitch that they’ll help you with your pension paperwork. They often try to gain your trust by touting their own veteran status. They almost always appeal to your emotions to create anxiety and apprehension about your future. 

Then they go to work to try to convince you to transfer your assets to a trust — or to invest in insurance products — so you can qualify for (or at least appear to qualify for) Aid and Attendance benefits (A&A). They don’t let on that restructuring your assets through these transactions could have serious consequences. If the way you moved around funds doesn’t pass muster with Medicaid’s rules, you could lose eligibility for Medicaid services. Plus, if you’re subsequently disqualified, you would have to return the A&A benefits already paid to you. On top of all that, the “advisers” are charging fees that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars for their so-called services.

As the old song says, you must remember this: Applying for veterans’ benefits is free — and so are the forms. If you need help with the paperwork for your claims, use someone accredited through VA. The accreditation means the person is trained to help you fill out the papers and file them. It doesn’t mean the VA endorses the person’s products, advice, or ethics. But people with VA accreditation are not allowed to charge you for their help. That’s a solid tip-off to a shameful rip-off.   

Learn how to avoid getting your pension poached and how to apply for A&A benefits.

 

Blog Topic: 
Scam Alerts

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

This is a moderated blog; we review all comments before they are posted.  We expect participants to treat each other and the bloggers with respect.  We will not post comments that do not comply with our comment policy.  If a submitted comment includes a link to a commercial website, we will delete the link and post the comment. We won't edit comments except to remove links.

We won’t post:

  • spam or off-topic comments
  • comments that contain vulgar language, personal attacks, or offensive terms that target specific groups
  • sales pitches or promotions
  • comments that contain clearly misleading or false information
  • comments that contain personal information, like home addresses

Comments submitted to this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personal information. Also, do not use this blog to report fraud; instead, file a complaint.

If you have questions about the commenting policy, please contact us.

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a
user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act
authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online
comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s
(FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer
user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the
FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles
information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.