For aging and disabled veterans, the Aid and Attendance Benefit could be an incredibly important pension as it provides financial assistance for those who need home care services. Some veterans, though, may be tempted to hire a personal consultant or financial firm to hide some of their assets because there are limits on just how much an individual can have and earn in income to qualify.
Some of these financial firms and consultants charge several thousand dollars. In fact, some charge $10,000 or more for these services, and they make a lot of bold claims.
Let’s explore some of the claims and then determine whether this is something a veteran should actually consider or not…
Claim #1: Long-term care is expensive.
Yes, it can be. When you’re talking about five or even 10 years of long-term, full-time care, that can really add up. When you’re talking about several hundred thousand dollars in potential long-term care support expenses, that can cause somebody to see $10,000 as being a drop in the bucket compared to what they would otherwise have to pay out-of-pocket.
However, spreading the cost out over all those years still makes it the most affordable care option. What some of these consultants and firms do, though, is to try to scare people with these massive figures that are, realistically, the minority and spread out over many, many years.
Claim #2: They guarantee approval.
No one and that means no consultant, firm, or even VA representative, can guarantee a veteran will qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit. Sure, they can look at their time in service, that they are considered a wartime veteran, that they have a doctor’s letter of recommendation for home care services, and so on, and they can be confident they will be approved, but there are no guarantees.
There are veterans who have paid a substantial amount of money to these consultants based on those guarantees who didn’t get approved.
Claim #3: It’s completely legal.
By the letter of the law, what some of these firms and individuals do may be legal, but it’s certainly not moral or ethical. If the VA finds out a veteran paid for support in filling out and submitting an application for the Aid and Attendance Benefit, that alone could be reason enough to deny them this pension they otherwise would have received