Pennsylvania veterans should be aware of people trying to poach their pension, warned the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Pension poaching is a financial scam targeting veterans, survivors and their families who are eligible for VA benefits.
“With today being World Elder Abuse Day, it is the perfect time to raise awareness about military pension poaching, especially since the older veterans are prime targets for scammers,” said Joel Mutschler, director, DMVA Bureau of Veterans Programs, Initiatives, Reintegration and Outreach. “Veterans served and sacrificed with great pride and deserve their pension. No one should ever deny a veteran an important benefit that they earned protecting our freedoms.”
Veteran pension poaching occurs when scammers, unscrupulous players or dishonest financial planners charge veterans or their beneficiaries for help in applying for or submitting applications for VA pensions.
Veterans or their advocates should never pay:
– For forms or to submit applications
– To restructure assets in order to “qualify”
– For the promise of eligibility for a pension
– To receive a lump sum payment on a pension
“Pennsylvania has numerous accredited veteran service officers available who are eager to help veterans prepare claims and apply for benefits free of charge,” said Mutschler. “These are experienced and certified professionals who are well-trained and provide great advice to veterans.”
There are approximately 200 veteran service officers in Pennsylvania who work within organizations such as the DMVA, county veterans affairs offices and several veterans service organizations.