February 9, 2012

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide The American Legion’s views on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Fiduciary Program.  We testified on April 22, 2010 on this same program and while there have been some improvements; more still needs to be done.

VA oversees appointment and management of fiduciaries who act on the behalf of veterans/surviving spouse or dependent children referred to as “beneficiaries” who are deemed mentally incompetent and unable to manage their finances.  Upon notification of incompetency, a VA Field Examiner will investigate the beneficiary’s social, economic and industrial impairment then recommends appointment of a fiduciary.  The VA Fiduciary is responsible for managing VA monetary benefits ensuring the beneficiary’s just debts are paid.  Other responsibilities include utilizing funds for daily needs such as food, clothing housing, medical expenses, and personal items of the beneficiary and his /her recognized dependents.  The veteran should be able to live a lifestyle as any other person who is not within the Fiduciary program.  The appointed Fiduciary is allowed to charge a fee of up to 4% of the VA benefits paid to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary is married, the spouse may receive payments on the beneficiary’s behalf.  Selection of a Fiduciary involves analysis of current credit report, disclosure of criminal background and consideration of the opinion of character witness(es). 

In 2008, the Veterans Benefits Administration, which oversees VA’s Fiduciary Program, established a Western Hub Fiduciary Hub pilot program in Salt Lake City, UT.   Prior to the consolidation, VA Regional Offices (RO) were performing poorly in the average number of days to appoint a fiduciary and also with the average number of days for follow up visits.  At the time of our testimony in 2010, the Western Hub Fiduciary average for initial days to appoint fiduciaries was 45 days and that number decreased to 38 days in FY 2011.  However, the average number of days for follow up visits in 2010 was 120 days but in FY 2011 that number increased to 151 days. 

After the Western Hub Fiduciary model became operational in 2010, VA began consolidation of other regions across the United States in Fiscal Year 2012.  Those Hubs and locations include: Indianapolis, Milwaukee, WI; Louisville, KY; Lincoln, NE and Columbia, SC. VA is adding an additional 58 Field Examiners to their current number of 310.  Unfortunately, these 58 additional personnel are being pulled from other areas of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) such as Compensation (currently experiencing backlog).  A total of 368 Field Examiners will be responsible for approximately 123,000 beneficiaries.  Equally disturbing is that new Field Examiners training consists of two weeks formal training, an additional two weeks field training and then they are assigned a mentor for 60 days with 100 percent review for the following 90 days.  Field Examiners do not work within the Regional Office or at the Hub but from-their homes.  Moreover, Field Examiners are not required to provide contact information to beneficiaries.  The assigned location of the Field Examiner is determined by population density of beneficiaries.  This however, does not take into account the travel time in less populated states with larger geographical areas. 

Previous Recommendations:

The following recommendations were presented at the time of our last testimony and here is an update on their progress: 

  1. The American Legion recommended an additional Full Time Employee (FTE) be funded and authorized within each RO and PMC solely dedicated to Fiduciary Program management and oversight. 

Currently: VBA does not feel this is necessary with the implementation of an 800 number currently being tested which will be solely dedicated to Fiduciary issues.  This 800 number will direct the caller to the Fiduciary Hub within the callers region or allow the caller to request assistance from another Hub outside the calling area.  Until it becomes fully operational, callers are directed to call 1-800-827-1000.  VBA changed their claims assistance toll free number (827-1000) from RO access and consolidated them into areas. Unfortunately, this has become an exercise in futility as the call centers are so busy the caller is asked to leave a number to be called back which more often than not does not happen.  The American Legion continues to urge Congress to ensure VBA hires a Fiduciary Program Coordinator to work within each Regional Office to improve coordination between Fiduciary Hubs, ROs and Field Examiners.

  1. The American Legion recommended Congress appropriate funding to VBA’s Information Technology (IT) budget to set up an IT software package within all of the RO’s Fiduciary Program Units, PMCs, and Salt Lake City Fiduciary Hub to enhance communications between each of these offices. 

Currently: The VBA Fiduciary program is in the progress of creating Fiduciary Screens within the current Veterans Benefits Management System for tracking status of Fiduciary claims. The software program is currently being written with a projected completion date of approximately two years.  A target date for implementation of the program is not available at this time.

  1. The American Legion recommends that part of the software package include reminders or alerts throughout the process to ensure that no paperwork is lost or falls through the cracks.  This recommendation and current status is addressed above.
  2. The American Legion recommends that appointed Fiduciaries must be co-located within the at least a 300 mile radius of the beneficiary. 


Veteran Personal Stories:

The importance of solving the issues associated with VA’s Fiduciary programs can best be illustrated with the personal stories of some affected veterans.  All too often, by simply looking at numbers, program projections and reports, we forget the human face of this problem.  Because of the nature of the competency challenges involved for veterans requiring a Fiduciary, these are among our nation’s most vulnerable veterans.

In August of 2011, the Western Area Fiduciary Hub was notified that a veteran was rated incompetent and a field examination for a fiduciary was required.  The son of this veteran, already the court appointed Power of Attorney for this veteran, requested to be appointed fiduciary for this veteran, but this family request was not granted.

By late September, a Field Examiner completed an examination, and appointed an outside fiduciary for the veteran.  However, two months later, in November, the veteran’s local Regional Office released to the fiduciary in question a check for $385,966.  As there had been no previous notification of any back payment, the fiduciary contacted VA for information about how to process this overlarge payment, and was informed she would need to obtain a surety bond to protect the funds and that the Field Examiner would have to contact her to complete a new budget for the veteran. 

This situation is still being investigated, including the possibility that the veteran’s son, who had initially sought to be appointed fiduciary as the veteran’s Power of Attorney, may well wind up being finally designated as such.  However, months have gone by and the veteran is unable to gain access to money that is rightfully his.

In another matter, a veteran applied for Pension benefits in 2009.  In 2010, with a diagnosis of ischemic cardiomyopathy from private medical records, the veteran’s claim was upgraded to a straight benefits claim under the presumptions inherent for Agent Orange related illness.  Further medical evidence established, over the course of 2010, multiple related conditions dating back as far as 2007, as well as the need for specially adaptive housing amongst other concerns.


In a VA letter dated March 23, 2011 the entire estimated back pay was found to be $163,256 the entirety of which was withheld.  Fully seven months later, in late October, the veteran received a decision letter stating:

“Review of your claims file shows the rating decision of March 22, 2011, proposed a finding of incompetency. It was noted in that decision there was a Delegation of Rights and responsibilities signed by you and your physician that you are not able of understanding your rights due to dementia due to Parkinson’s disease, dated August 25, 2010. You were sent a VA letter dated March 23, 2011, informing you of our right to submit any evidence, information, or statement that will present your side of the case.  To date, no response has been received from you.  Since there is a definitive finding if incompetency by a physician in this case and you are not shown to be able to manage personal affairs to include disbursement of funds, we have determined you are incompetent for purposes of managing VA payments.”


Ultimately, the veteran passed away awaiting appointment of his sister as fiduciary.  During the entire process, his sister had been providing for his nursing care and doing so out of her own pocket.

These two examples provide insight into cases where close family members are already providing close care to these veterans, in some cases with court appointed POA authority, yet these veterans still must wait months and even years to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits.  These benefits belong to these veterans, yet they can derive no use from them as they are held back beyond yards of red tape and miles of obstacles and delays.  We cannot keep veterans from benefits belonging to them, and sadly these cases are not unique.  American Legion service officers come across stories like these on a regular basis and have been all to eager to share these stories in the hopes that some good will come towards reforming this system.


It is worth reiterating that these are among our most vulnerable veterans.  As the nation’s veterans experience mental health trauma or diseases, they or their family members should not have to worry about receiving their earned benefits.  While The American Legion recognizes VA’s attempts to improve the situation, clearly there is still much work to be done.  The Fiduciary Hubs may have shown some improvement in reduced timelines for a portion of the process, the phone banks for these centers still lack direct access for veterans’ service officers, and the remote nature of these facilities adds an additional layer of remove from these increasingly vulnerable veterans.  Furthermore the improvements to manpower for this task cannot come at the expense of manpower in the regular claims processing, as all are aware of the backlog struggles in that arena.  The American Legion, through our network of service officers, is working hard to gain justice for these veterans as these difficult scenarios present themselves, but clearly this problem will not be solved overnight.


  1. After a near-fatal auto accident I was ruled incompetant by a probate court. I was never told of the court action. Attorney fees were assessed to my estate in the amount of well over $30,000. The Veteran Administration was never notified, and my disability compensation contiued to be directly deposited, however I had no control of my bank account. The current processing time through the fiduciary system is well over 6 months. This process should be at the individual local hospital where the veteran is to be seeen and assessed.

  2. I am a disabled Army Veteran, and Field Examiner for the VA Fiduciary program. I am offended at the way the Legion tries to demonize the Fiduciary program. The VA has a lot of issues and the fiduciary program does also. But as an examiner I take great pride in making sure veterans who are at risk of being taken advantage of are protected and able to have their benefit available to them. The fiduciary program is not responsible for the release of retro funds. Although the funds cannot be released until a suitable fiduciary is appointed the fiduciary hub does not release these funds. PMC or the VSC are responsible for funds release. Not all fiduciaries receive a 4% commission. First off family cannot receive commissions next often times this fee is negotiated down or not taken at all. And in comparison look at what local courts allow to be taken by conservators court fees can range into the thousands yearly.
    Next you sighted 2 cases where a veteran did not receive their funds. What about the tens of thousands (and yes there are that many) where fiduciaries have helped vets get on their feet and improve their lives. I rarely appoint a professional fiduciary. My first choice is to appoint the veteran as his own payee, next spouse, then any and all family who are willing are considered, then as a last resort a third party. 90%+ of my fiduciaries are the veterans family. There are times when family cannot be appointed for various reasons (credit, criminal , inability to obtain a bond, or they just don’t want the responsibility) In these cases unfortunately a third party has to be used. It should be noted that most cases of misuse of veterans funds and abuse are by family members including spouses. I screen fiduciary’s based on the wants of the veteran (yes what the veteran wants is heavily considered) and the laws and regulations in placed by congress. Power of attorney has no screening process. Anyone can become one all it takes is a signed letter form the veteran, who may or may not be mentally compromised so basing appointment solely on power of attorney would be foolish.
    In reference to your request that a fiduciary lives within 300 miles what about family members that don’t live within that radius. This would force the veteran to have a professional appointed and a fee taken on his benefit simple because of geography. I think this is a foolish request and not well thought out.
    The hubs have a 1-800 number available to all fiduciaries solely for the purpose of fiduciary business. They are not directed to the normal 827-1000 number unless it involves a claim.
    The previous post involves the state appointing a conservator not he VA so it is not relevant to the fiduciary program.
    The current time line for an initial appointment is 45 days and the Hubs are working hard at maintaining those times. but there are family members and disabled veterans schedules to deal with. follow up visits should be completed in 120 days of request. The ever increasing number of incompetent veterans (WWII and Korea veterans mostly who suffer from age related deceases) is straining the few Field Examiners the VA has. The extra examiners the Legion opposes are needed to make sure that our most vulnerable veterans are being cared for in a manner they deserve. The fiduciary program is not here to take away veterans money or make it so family cant care for their loved ones. It is however here to make sure these veterans are cared for and not taken advantage of.
    As a disabled veteran I have had my battles with the VA and I don’t always agree that they are doing their best. But publishing skewed or false information is not the right way to change things. I am sure I can drag up all kinds of accusations and stories of the legions mishandling of veterans.. The point is to work towards an end that ensures our veterans are cared for with dignity and respect. I appreciate the work the legion has done on behalf of our veterans and I hope they will continue to serve those that served.

  3. If you are so offended by the way they framed this obvious taking of liberties and attack on veterans, then kindly respond to Mr. Dilber1.

  4. Sir, you are spot-on.

    This program has served many disabled (incompetent) veterans and their beneficiary's that have progressed in age/disability and are no longer able to protect themselves. The VA does a great job in protecting veteran's/beneficiary's from even their own family members that would misuse VA disability funds for their personal use and leave that beneficiary out on the street and homeless. And YES, there are family members that have and will ABUSE our most vulnerable elderly beneficiaries (sickening).

    Please note, that when a Field Examiner knocks on the home of a veteran, they never know what they are walking into. Many Field Examiners have been physical assaulted and have had weapons puled on them. But this data has failed to be included in this report.

    Additionally, many local Field Examiner Teams individually collect canned food-stuff, clothing and cleaning supplies for veteran's that cannot even afford that much.

    Please don't take the easy way out and assume that the FE is coming out to burden you. Most FEs are your fellow veterans and want to help you. If a decision has been made that you disagree with, by all means appeal. But please know that all decisions are being made with the beneficiaries best interest in mind.

    Try to have faith in the rank & file employees, that we are trying to serve you to our best abilities. After all, it was us that blew the whistles.

  5. B.S. Is exactly right! My fiduciary bought $10,000 worth of preburial insurance. I did not find out about it until I forced the VA to change fiduciaries. I wanted my wife to be the fiduciary, but the FE that came to my house said she would have to write checks for everything down to a toothbrush. I told him that no one should have to do that and he said if I wanted my wife as a fiduciary she had to follow the same rules as all fiduciaries. After calling the VA to complain that $10,000 was spent without me knowing about it, I was told that my wife didn't have to follow the same rules as appointed fiduciaries. So the FE straight out lied to me and my wife. He needs to be fired.

  6. hospitalized vets or those severely disabled and living at home often accept help from neighbors or predatory folks who know this system and eventually get the veteran to sign over docs like life insurance, bank and savings accounts, bonds, property deeds and vehicle titles to them for giving them a ride or doing other little things like dropping off a pizza or just sitting with them while stealing their meds. i personally know of such a case -- which violates no law i'm aware of other than outright theft -- just beware of those strangers bearing ''gifts'' when you are a sole survivor vet and have amassed a moderate to substantial estate -- get yr legal ducks in a line before the kindness of strangers suddenly is heir to yr estate, instead of a chosen charity or other options in estate distribution ... hard to believe, but i'm willing to bet this happens in VA hospitals with end of life wards of vets who have outlived or become estranged from their former friends or secondary relatives. a couple visits, a few trinket gifts and a few pizzas may be just enough to get the vet to roll his estate to a volunteer ''caregiver.'' they think of it as a calculated gamble to strike gold, and they may or may not be veterans themselves. this is a story for a national news outlet's investigation ...

  7. I fully understand your position as a VA employee who only wants to do the right thing for the Veteran. I have a case pending right now with a current VA employee who utilized their position to obtain not only a fiduciary over a veteran who is NOT deemed incompetent, but they utilized other VA employees to obtain guardianship over said Veteran in a State Court. This is deeply concerning and does not imply that all VA employees have malicious intent toward Veterans. What is the punishment for those VA employees involved that commit such heinous acts of a criminal nature?

  8. Your expression and offense to someone replying to your post is why we have lost faith in any federally sponsored or ran program.
    You take things to personal, and while you play god to these people and think you are doing justice on their behalf by taking away their rights and ability to carry on as responsible people. You degrade them and make them feel low and incompetent but that is your job. Make vets feel so degraded that they believe they can’t manage. I have seen your investigations and you all are a bunch of pompous and arrogant JA ‘s. Reality is, it’s all about federal funding for your travel and lodging. 99.9 % of federal employees who travel on government behalf will file faults claims and make excuses for over payment of things they never should have gotten paid for. I’ve seen your kind before and know everything about you. There is but the .01 % that actually is honest in filling out reports properly and doing it for the benefit of the vet and not their wallet.
    I’ve seen how you talk to these vets and the way you treat them.
    And I hope this does offend you and every day when you look in the mirror and see all the faces you have degraded and taken their purpose of life away you will see the person you really are. Take pride in that!

  9. I am disgusted by the people that defend the fiduciary process. I have been trying to have my wife of 10 years to become my fiduciary. My bills have not been paid, my electricity has been cut off, my credit is in shambles all because the VA designated Hall, Williams, and Hart in Albany, GA to be my fiduciary. They have stolen my funds by purchasing life insurance, that I did not want or need. They refuse to even talk to me about it. I have never met my fiduciary, Lauren Williams, I don't even know if they are male or female. I just get a clerk who complains she is overworked and does not have time to explain anything to me. Yes they take the full 4 percent and charge me for every stamp and every piece of correspondence. My wife is fully able to handle our finances, she currently is my fiduciary for Social Security. Why won't the Columbia Fiduciary appoint my wife as my fiduciary? They either have no reason or won't say. I never get an answer. I have submitted all the paperwork 5 times, I have even drove to Columbia, SC and talked to them, I also have been on the phone with them so many times I can't count. The system is broken, just like the VA hospitals. I am tired of people defending a busted system. I will continue to fight these beaurocrats until I die. I encourage anyone having problems to speak up and fight the system that treats Veterans as idiots. We deserve better! God help us.

  10. Your fight is usless if you keep forwarding your concerns to the local office. Forward your concern to your local congressman or Washington DC.
    You will get answers then.

  11. I agree that's probably what I have to do. I'm a fiduciary for my mother. I quit my job to take care of her but we have our share of problems. First we were paying the bills and putting a little up for savings. But now after 3 years of being fiduciary and having my hands smacked for writing checks for cash and using cash withdrawals, we have no way of getting my mother money now. She can't go anywhere or do anything and if she needs money me or my family gives it to her while her money just sits there. The VA won't let her have anything. Disgusting. I'm a fulltime student in college now but I still don't have a job because I'm taking care of her.

  12. Re contact your vet rep and tell them not ASK TELL you will be using portions of the funds for taking parent/vet on trips. In doing so, I have a caretaker who will be compensated as well. As for as cash, their words to us " govt frowns on cash" well I guess so, no trail. My parents specifically put in writing and had it notorized by 2 sitting judges, that when they got older whatever money they had, they wanted me as their only child to use for my family and I. Their love exceeded any comprehension our D.A. govt can understand because it's being humane. My parents will never go without anything, but this isn't Russia or Pakistan so don't you dare try to monitor my business affairs, my family and for sure my parents. When vets and families get together and find true lawyers, then ONLY then can we March up those crooked capitol steps and say, we're Americans and you will no longer dictate. In fact you need to leave the USA because that's exactly what you are
    Dictators with a socialist agenda. When they gave my parents a check for 20,000 I thought that was a lot but reading here, I think their about 300000 short a several war lies long.

  13. Where do I get help for being wrongfully accused of misuse of my now deceased father?

  14. I am a wife of a disable veterans in your same situation . My husband is so sick to deal with the fiduciary arrogant and idiot people. Help us

  15. I am a fellow Veteran and I am working a similar case with another Veteran with regards to fiduciary fraud. If you need assistance, please email me at patriotlucky13@gmail. I may be able to help you.

  16. As the child of a veteran, one who is receiving disability compensation benefit, I too had to be approved after filing a NOD upon receipt of the finding that my veteran parent was determined by the RO to be unfit to handle his VA benefits: I myself , after meeting all of the back ground requirements of the VA Fiduciary administrators, I was appointed my parents VA fiduciary; I qualified for the required bond (that cost is paid by the veteran, depending on veterans $ assets, that fee could be thousands of dollars per year for that one insurance premium, if anyone is are unaware.
    As to myself being related to the beneficiary’ I receive no compensation for this fiduciary service, but undertake 100% of the legal and financial responsibility.
    I wish to raise some key issues, that of the VA RO raters and VA Fiduciary administrators placing incompetent veterans at risk, regarding their prepared estates, then the beneficiary of those estates (spouses and dependants) who are being placed in legal jeopardy too – that of probate court - which Is selective discrimination, punitive even, even if claimed to be in the interest of protecting the veteran and dependants.
    Bank accounts titled “Representative Payee” set up by the appointed fiduciary on behalf of the veteran beneficiary, that Representative Payee could be a relative of the beneficiary, here is the rub: the veteran, who cannot transact on the bank account due to the incapacity finding of the VA, though the veteran is the legal owner of the bank accounts, that veteran CAN NOT SIGN A BENEFICARY FORM TO TRANFER HIS FUNDS TO HIS/HER BENEFICIARYS AFTER DEATH TO AVOID PROBATE COURT BEFORE THE VETERAN DIES – neither can the representative payee arrange on behalf of the veteran to fill out such bank beneficiary forms, if doing so rightly to appoint the veterans own preexisting trust .
    Conflict of interest issues for non family representative payees put aside; what if the veteran has a preexisting living trust with will, what if the veteran had a durable power of attorney, what if the veteran had a medical care proxy, what if all of these legal instruments were in place before the veteran was disability rated by the VA RO, before the RO asked for the veteran to be deemed incompetent, and before the veteran was required to be assigned a “representative payee,” one which could be a family member and perhaps an heir of the veteran’s estate?
    Here is the problem; the Social Security Administration reviewed and found they would accept the legal instruments which the my veteran parent had put in place prior to his VA RO rating and competency finding, the SSA respecting the durable power of attorney and medical proxy, even if the veteran was deemed incompetent for purposes of handling his financial affairs - by the VA RO purposes alone – the VA RO’s finding should have no further legal impact on the veterans non VA legal and financial affairs – but it does!
    I’m sure the Americans with Disability ACT, then all impacted veterans rated as being incompetent to handle their VA benefits due to service connected injuries or age related issues being one unavoidable consequence, the veteran finding themselves unable to assign a designated beneficiary only for these “representative payee” titled bank accounts owns, accounts which the veteran must deposit their VA benefits into by law, as those accounts – for reason which the bank and the VA fiduciary have been unable to fully explain to me, which will then require an attorney to explore, that cost paid for at the expense of the “incompetent veteran” just to enforce the veteran’s prior trust arrangements which that veteran had made prior to being rated and receiving benefits from the VA - this is discrimination against veterans with disabilities and then disrespectful toward the dependants and beneficiaries of these impacted veteran’s estates too . A veteran’s VA benefits could be better used supplementing their care or assisting with other financial burdens like the upkeep of a home, clothing, food, medical care, or providing economic support for their qualified dependants.

    With one key change by the VA RO’s regarding the veterans competency finding, one from” incompetent” to “competent,” that VA RO rated “competent” veteran can then appoint a beneficiary for any of their bank accounts, as that veteran avoids the need to use a “representative payee” titled bank account and then avoids both the legal and financial jeopardy it poses to their dependants and estate by not being able to assign a beneficiary to whom the bank can disburse the veteran’s funds only to AFTER their DEATH, avoiding state probate and legal costs to settle the estate.
    Can someone please respond to this discriminatory disparity placed on the disabled veteran by the VA RO and the VA fiduciary administrators?
    Why does the VA suggest that veterans get life insurance policies then, that instrument has to have a beneficiary of record – but why are “representative payee” bank accounts ill eligible of having this same option? Clearly this is discriminating against this one veteran demographic group being labeled as “incompetent for purpose of handling their VA benefits alone,” - the is VA imposing unnecessary legal costs on this one disabled class of veterans, their dependants and heirs, who are unable to protect VA benefits from being probated in state court.
    If a representative payee purchases a CD for a incompetent veteran, and that veteran dies being unable to preselect a beneficiary for that CD upon death, the bank will close out the CD account, the veteran and his estate will LOOSE all of the occurred interests, that CD account and ALL other representative payee purchased and then titled accounts or instruments will have to then be probated – why?
    Disabled veterans have a right to disburse there assets upon death and as directed by will and trust as they desire to, they must have the right to avoid probate for any of their estates assets before they die – without undue influence of the blind burecratic do-gooding of the VA, even if done in the name of serving disabled veterans and their dependants, as in this specific instance I describe.

  17. All legal documentation signed by the Veteran prior to a Fiduciary or Representative Payee is protected. Any Advanced Directive, Durable POA, etc cannot be revoked. This is most state laws. I've conducted extensive research on the VA Fiduciary program. If you have any questions or need to contact me please email me at patriotlucky13@gmail. I'll be happy to assist you with resolving this issue or to answer any of your questions.

  18. My Mother was finally named as Fiduciary for my father on June 22 with back payments deposited on July 13. Unfortunately between the time of the interview and the processing my Mother was found to have colon cancer and passed away July 16 as a result of the surgery. Since July 24 I have been trying to be named as my father's Fiduciary since I have all other responsibilities for his finances. They actually stopped his payments after October 1 and as of 1/19/2013 still have not set up an interview for a Fiduciary. This process is so broken and has caused so much frustration, despair and anger on behalf of my father who can no longer speak up for himself. I am preparing a series of events to send to our representative so that he can possibly bring it up as well. The irony in all of this is the process the Social Security office uses is somewhat similar but it is so well documented that it took exactly the timeframe for each step to occur and it caused only a 15 day delay in his benefits being resumed after my Mother's death. It is through tears that I am writing this.

  19. I was deemed incompetent with out having a hearing they lied about contacting my mother or friend to be payeee my payee puts her job before my needs the field supervisor talked to me aaasas if i was a child i also have back pay coming i can handle my affairs

  20. I am the fiduciary for my son a disabled veteran. Under the agreed plan he is to recieve $850 a month spending money. That being $25 a day. For a decade I accomplished this by withdrawing $300 at a time from his account using his ATM. Now the Fiduciary Hub is demanding evidence that I have given this money to my son and telling me that I cannot use his ATM to obtain that money.
    If I can not withdraw money how can I pay him his daily allowance. Aside from being called a theif by the call center I am simply caught in a catch 22

  21. I believe that writing a check once a week to him and letting him cash it would provide evidence that he received the money

  22. i am my sons Fiduciary. The solution I use to solve the no withdraw from the fiduciary account is that I have two accounts with the bank. ( USAA) it can be any bank. One account is the fiduciary account. My son does not have access to that account. I have another account that my son and I are both on. I pay his bills through the fiduciary account with the on line banking. With the exception of his rent, I mail a check. He has a debit card for the account we share and I transfer his spending money via my phone to that account and he either uses his card or withdraws the money. This has worked well for us and is accepted by the fiduciary department. I hope this helps.

  23. I AM A VET THAT HAS BEEN FOUND INCOMPETENT.My monies are being withheld pending the appointment of a fiduciary.My caregiver has been handling my finances for over 2 years.I have fought for 4 yrs with the VA over aid Attendance.I have finally won only to learn that now it could be another 2 years before the funds are given.I have lost my home car and everything else and these people just laugh when I call.Funny a crack addict is not incompetent. you know what they spend there welfare check on.I was also told the VA will not recognize a NC durable power of attorney.That is filed with the clerk of court that clearly states my care giver has power over Va benefits.The field rep has not bothered to return calls . I say close the VA down allow vets to use private sources.The VA is unable to use our tax dollars responsibly

  24. I am an Iraq war veteran recently placed under the VA's fiduciary program.
    Before January 2015, I received 100%/homebound of $3,221.17 (after life insurance) a month. Now I have no money, food and none of my bills have yet to be paid. When I called the phone number in the paperwork to ask why, the fiduciary (who've I never spoke to before) said she resigned and the Indianapolis VA Fiduciary Hub was supposed to reassign one to me, but failed to. Upset, I called the hub and told them that I had to use non-VA funds (SSDI benefit and a high interest cash advance) to pay my bills. The hub representative said since the fiduciary resigned, they have to reassign another fiduciary and it can take up to 45 days for the field examiner to set up another appointment with me and to assign a new fiduciary. After that, it will take an additional 2-3 weeks until my bills are paid and I receive money for food, gas, and bills. That means I will have no money, food, financials security, rent money, bill money for two months. This also means two months oflate fees and bad credit. Is this how all the fiduciary hubs do business, or just the Indianapolis hub?
    Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the VA benefit. I am strong, but suffer from depression, anxiety and stress-related mental issues. Two days ago, I was so stressed over this, I chose to end my life. Somehow, I didn't. My panic attack was so big, that I passed out and awoke a little calmer. I cry all the time over this.
    Sadly, I predict this to get worse.

  25. I hope things are improving. There are people who care about you! I've found the Vet Centers are a good source of assistance. God has you on this journey for a reason.

  26. My twin brother a former U.S. Marine, 100% disabled,
    died with financial assets in his account. The money
    appears to have been stolen instead of going to his
    2 Daughters or designated next of kin. A fiduciary
    is appointed by the VA, at Death, money paid in good
    faith to a U.S.Serviceman, is not subject to Grand Larceny of a Heinous nature under the guise of false
    assumptions or unrecognized unlawful authority.
    In this case the Fiduciary was forced upon my brother
    and at no time was I informed I could be the same for no cost to my brother. Intentional failure to inform is a tactic used by the VA to commit wrongdoing. The limited function of a fiduciary is
    in regards to finances, my brother has been rated
    incompetent. That does not make him ignorant, stupid,
    or irresponsible and therefore a victim to be abused
    by unsubstantiated claims of imagined authority.

  27. My husband was forced into the fiduciary program in March 2014. A field examination recommended he be removed from the program because he found my husband to be totally competent. Not to mention that he has letters from 3 VA doctors stating my husband is mentally competent and able to handle his finances. He received his VA benefits for 6 years and not until he was rated at 100% and owed 25,000 in back pay did the VA decide he was incompetent. They did this with no evidence to prove he is incompetent and 3 VA doctors and 1 fiduciary field examinor stating he IS competent! My husband is only 31 and is PHYSICALLY disabled not MENTALLY disabled! This situation has caused him and our family undue stress!!

  28. i was just recently given a 100% rating and found incompetent because my C&p asked me how I've been doing this past year, I told her that prior to coming to the Program I,veg been using drugs to cope with symptoms that I just found out we're PTSD/MST -along with major depression and insomnia. Before my Relapse I was a case manager for the Department of Corrections in Indianapolis paying my bills and living a wonderful life and then I had a episode is what I call it because my history before this diagnosis was after I got out of the service was active addiction treatment and the clean for serval years then the cycle repeated it self. My C&P never asked me about any of this just the year prior to coming in for treatment. I have read all the horror story's about the VA appointing a fudiciary, and I personally don't think one is warranted. Do I wait for the Feild Examiner to come or do I appeal this now. I am in Battle creek, MI and once I'm finish with treatment in Ann Arbor I will be headed back to Indianapolis. If there is someone that can help me with this I would greatly appreciate it.

  29. Can you let us know what has happened? Anyone reading this who is in your shoes should obtain a letter from a non-VA physican stating that they are mentally and physically able to handle finances. Try to avoid the Field Examination, but provide the FidHub a physician's note that claims competency and keep on them for a response to the matter. Be prepared to take out loans to survive while they cut your benefits off (they may or may not). Eventually you will get your funds, if you survive the bullying. Don't let them break you down. You fought in a war. This is nothing compared to what you've been through, though admittedly it's awfully depressing when your own government turns on you. The VA is just a scrappy terrorist organization which is disorganized and crumbling. You can beat them!

  30. Now, I understand why people call it the "frauduciary" program. My father was appointed a woman at random from one hundred miles away to manage my father's finances. The problem is she isn't managing anything. My dad's lights have been disconnected, mortgage almost defaulted, etc. The fiduciary will not communicate with the veteran.. never answers the phone, text.. nothing. Although she would talk to my brother and send him money all the way in S.C.. I would also like to know how my brother obtained my father's benefits from Columbia regional office if this lady was supposed to be the fiduciary. I feel sorry for my dad. Vietnam was really tough. He doesn't deserve to lose everything.

  31. I cant believe that after a year or so of having my rating upgraded, I now have been told that I'm incompetent now to manage my affairs? This is all because of some doctor who I saw for less than 10 minutes said so? yet my current mental health provider that has been seeing me at the VA for 5 years has never said that. Now this field agent wants to take control of all my payments if I do not submit to her questions? why is there nobody out there to help people like me? I tried going to the VA and get help but they all say that they can not help me...I don't get it. I have mental issue (anxiety, depression, ect..) but that does not make me incompetent to manage my money...or does it??? can anyone help

  32. I feel your pain, it seems that the VA helps benefit everyone but the Veteran!!

  33. In 2010, my son 25 year old Dominic Lovison, had a massive brain hemorrhage from an undetected AVM. He was married at the time and had just been discharged from the Marines from a 4 year stint. He was living in Omaha, NE with his wife's family. He was deemed 100% service connected some 6 or 8 months after the stroke. I, not being his spouse and only his mother, was not made aware of any funds disbursement in lump sum or otherwise. After 2 years of hospital/rehabilitation stays and on again off again divorce threats, he was served with divorce papers in June of 2012. There were no children involved, but his soon to be ex-wife was also asking for $700. in spousal support. I was made aware of how much money he/she was receiving through one of the doctors at the Hines VA hospital in Chicago when divorce papers were served. I was ASTOUNDED at the amount of money that she was receiving. I say she, because he was in no way able/capable of using/spending any funds that were direct deposited into this joint account. It was not until that time that I was made aware of the lump sump payments that were made/direct deposited into this joint account. Long story short, it was all in total around $200,000 including Social Security Disability. When the divorce was in process, I had a VA special investigator contact me with dates/amounts of lump sum and regular deposits on my son's behalf. The reason she contacted me was because the VA was notified of the impending divorce and the proposed $700 she wanted in spousal support. They said they were not granting it even if a judge did, and the an emergency trustee needed to be appointed to take over as well, as temporary guardianship for my son. She was granted the $700 in spousal support until she graduated from college, but also was ordered to turn over any funds remaining in the joint account. Out of $200,000, she had only $700 left. And as if it could get any worse, about a year later, after I was appointed my son's fiduciary, I received a letter that my son owed $100,000 in overpayment. Seems that the VA had been paying a stipend (to her) for caring for him at home. I don't know how the VA could not know he was being cared for in a VA subsidized facility and not at home. Now, my son is repaying the debt. Repaying a debt he never had anything to do with. Never spent any of that money personally, and never, ever laid his hands on any of it. I have a copy box full of bank records showing her lavish spending during that time. But, sadly enough, the VA will not hear of any of what she did, because she was his spouse at the time.

  34. 100% service connected suffering from Schizotypal disorder.
    When I could face the world I would work doing odd jobs at about 400.00 a month which went to housing in places that was down right terrible.
    I left my last place because I could'nt take the Budda chant machine which had 4 words in it 24/7. I stayed in a garage
    with owner permission. A month or so I received my benefits
    2908 a month I instantly found a room and started to decompress. Life has been comfortable.
    The end of Feburary I received an envolope from the VA inside was a business card from a field examiner with a note wrote on the back. I thought this is weird I called her and the first thing she wanted to know was my Ssn# so she could verify it which I did not do she went into the financial information thing which I stated you should have all the information at your finger tips. She got irate and told me I'm going to appoint a fiduciary and hung up. I went to VA to confirm she was from VA she was a field examiner I had just received my retro pay of 34000.00 I called her back and informed he of my visit to the VA total different attitude.
    She told she was going to deposit my retro in a savings account. The very next day my benefit was stopped (March)
    Trying to get info is difficult luckily I had money in the the bank to take care of me. I went by Capital One and told the rep what had just happen to me. They gave me a 1500 increase in credit and told me dark days are ahead we see it all the time. Thank Cap 1 the credit will allow me to function for 2 months.I don't know what to do at this point.
    Thanks for reading

  35. The field examiner said she told Hub to pay the monthly Benefit because there will be hardship. She scheduled an interview for tomorrow at 11 am.
    Will post the results tomorrow

  36. The field examiner said she told Hub to pay the monthly Benefit because there will be hardship. She scheduled an interview for tomorrow at 11 am.
    Will post the results tomorrow

  37. Field report was plesent went through the questions said she's appointed some one to me it's a Law Firm. I don't know who they are to contact me. As I stated early we are in hard ship. I had enough fininaces to cover March. I was told by a Vet on the street to not tie your wife to you the VA because she has SSDI and the VA will take her SSDI. We are going to have a hard time but we've been here before.

  38. My wife received her 100% in March 2016. They also wished to declare her incompetent. She went to the DAV and filed the appropriate response. We heard nothing from them until July 26. A woman named Claudia called and said she was with the VA fiduciary department and has set up an in home meeting for Aug. 4,2016. To go over her finances and appoint a fiduciary. My wife heard nothing from the VA until that day. Four days after the phone call she receives an apology letter from the VA saying they forgot to let her know they deemed her incompetent.What? How do you forget to mention that. She filed properly and they overlooked letting her know? Needless to say we have been running around getting stuff together for this meeting, and no my wife is not incompetent. She is fully capable. She has a letter from her treating psychiatrist etc. It's now on file. The big kicker is tonight an attorney for the DAV (who we contacted on last Friday) finally emailed her back to say a field rep coming to this house is unusual and there was a recent scam in our area involving the fiduciary program. However no DAV reps are available due to a conference until next Monday. Wtf are we supposed to do now? Do we let this woman into our home? Do we sign anything?

  39. My wife received her 100% in March 2016. They also wished to declare her incompetent. She went to the DAV and filed the appropriate response. We heard nothing from them until July 26. A woman named Claudia called and said she was with the VA fiduciary department and has set up an in home meeting for Aug. 4,2016. To go over her finances and appoint a fiduciary. My wife heard nothing from the VA until that day. Four days after the phone call she receives an apology letter from the VA saying they forgot to let her know they deemed her incompetent.What? How do you forget to mention that. She filed properly and they overlooked letting her know? Needless to say we have been running around getting stuff together for this meeting, and no my wife is not incompetent. She is fully capable. She has a letter from her treating psychiatrist etc. It's now on file. The big kicker is tonight an attorney for the DAV (who we contacted on last Friday) finally emailed her back to say a field rep coming to this house is unusual and there was a recent scam in our area involving the fiduciary program. However no DAV reps are available due to a conference until next Monday. Wtf are we supposed to do now? Do we let this woman into our home? Do we sign anything?

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