Q. Are there scams that I should watch out for with VA pensions?
A. 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. There are many pension advance companies on the Internet, often with patriotic-sounding names and logos. If you're offered a pension advance, stay away from arrangements that allow a creditor to access the account where you get your benefits. Instead, get trusted financial expert advice if you need emergency funds.
Additionally, some individuals and companies use VA's Aid & Attendance pension benefit as a hook to sell services. The Aid & Attendance benefit is for eligible disabled veterans who require the aid and attendance of another person, or who are housebound. Individuals or companies looking to sell their services may offer to help veterans obtain Aid & Attendance benefits, but they often require customers to sign up for financial services first, then they move assets into irrevocable trusts for qualification. When being solicited, watch out for:
Find a Legion service officer in your state: www.legion.org/serviceofficers