A "veteran's advisor" said they could help me get my Aid and Attendance benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a fee. Is this legitimate?
If you are eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, you can apply for free. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes experts who can help with the application process, but they should not charge you any fees to do so.
The Aid and Attendance benefit helps pay for professional care in your home, in an assisted-living facility, or in a nursing home. You might be eligible for this benefit if you are a severely disabled veteran who is eligible for a VA pension and need daily assistance. The VA will decide if you qualify for this benefit by looking at whether your total assets are below a certain amount.
Look out for possible frauds or scams
You should beware of offers like:
- A lawyer or “veteran’s advisor” who offers to get you the Aid and Attendance benefit – for a fee. Federal law prohibits VA-recognized advisors from charging to assist with VA claims. If an advisor or lawyer is charging a “consultation fee” up front, they are probably not recognized by the VA.
- A paid advisor who claims to be able to get the benefit for you more quickly than anyone else. All VA claims go through a standard evaluation process that no one can bypass to get it done faster.
- An advisor who offers to help you qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit even if you have too much money to qualify. They may offer to take control of your finances so they can move assets into an inaccessible trust. This could disqualify you from other benefits and possibly result in even worse consequences, so you should never agree to these services.
- Retirement homes that claim that you will qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit to get you to agree to enter their housing. If later you do not qualify for this benefit, you may not be able to afford to remain in the facility.