GAO Finds VA Pension Claims Fraud

June 11, 2012 | Terry Howell

The GAO yearlong investigation into the VA pension program for low-income veterans found that “weak oversight and unclear rules have made the system ripe for abuse.”

A recent Government Accounting Office report (GAO-12-784T) states that more than 200 companies offer financial services that can help well-off veterans qualify for benefits by transferring or hiding assets so they can qualify for the VA veteran pension program.  The VA veteran pension program is means tested, which means to qualify, veterans must meet certain low-income criteria as outlined by federal law. Click here to view the current income limits for the VA Veteran Pension program.

In response, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) will introduce legislation to stop abuses in veterans’ pension programs that victimize low-income veterans and lead to fraud and waste. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Burr (R-NC). If passed, the bill will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to take a closer look at the assets of veteran pension applicants.

“This legislation will protect both veterans and pension plans from abuses of the VA pension system,” said Blumenthal. “Pension abuses drive costs up for all both veterans and pension plans, and this legislation gives the VA the tools to fight these schemes and protect the integrity of the VA pension system.”

The legislation would give the VA a three year “look back” and penalty period to assess applicants’ true net worth and penalize those who falsified applications. Currently, the VA determines whether pension applicants satisfy the net worth limitations as of the date when they apply for pension benefits – there is no procedure to take into account whether an applicant has recently transferred away assets in order to qualify.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about this bill.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. Charles says:

    Hell, only a 3 year look back. I would go all the way back to the beginning of when they defrauded the Government and get it all back if possible.

    • saturian says:

      senators or congressman wants to spend millions of tax payer dollars looking up the *** of all these poor veterans. And you know those with no fault what so ever are going to be hassled. Mean while these same senators/congressmen are abusing funds by the billions, acting like they are going to protect innocent veterans and tax payers. BS This is another BS government committee that will be partying in LasVegas that should not be funded.

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • retiree says:

        Got it. You're OK with OUR money being ripped off, depriving those who NEED the pensions from the money because it goes to someone who VIOLATES THE LAW.

        Remember that in the future when you complain about cuts in benefits.

        • IDMTmedic says:

          So CONGRESS is ok to get millions AND a pension but it's not ok for vets? How about CONGRESS gets means tested for a pension?

          • retiree says:

            And that has WHAT to do with veterans SCAMMING the VA system, taking money from veterans who actually deserve it?

            I understand you dislike Congress – if you want to change the system, feel free to propose changes. Article V of the Constitution spells out how.

            Oh, and their pension is FERS – same as the Federal Civil Servants. I see you're still advocating the cut to military pension by moving us under that. Feel free to move under FERS – 34% after 20 years, payable at age 50. Contribute 1.3% of your active duty pay for the privilege.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            The veterans ARE getting the benefits they deserve but wait an incredible amount of time to get them. The focus is on companies doing predatory lending on SENIOR retired military members. They are not taking money from any retired member only inflating an already over burdened administrative nightmare government system. Now throw more "investigative" BS throws the timeline for DESERVING vets even more behind!!!! It needs to be investigated outside of the VA system that is already a crock.

          • retiree says:

            Read the article (I know, you may need a 1st grade education to do that). This article is about veterans and companies conspiring to STEAL from the VA pension funds they are NOT LEGALLY ENTITLED TO. This then deprives the funds being available to those who ARE legally entitled to them – the poor (often homeless) veterans. In other words, veterans stealing from poor veterans. Instead of defending their poor brethren, they're stealing from them. In my mind that is despicable.

            I suppose you consider stealing from your poor brother veterans to be just another way of getting yours, no big deal. If so, that says something about your character.

          • retiree says:

            IDMTmedic –
            Forgive my tone on this – however the basic facts, that this is about taking money from the poorest of veterans, and about stealing from the government, remains. It has nothing to do with Congress or their benefits, nor does it have anything to do with any veterans NOT getting what they have earned. It is about veteran theft from poor veterans.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            I think you must be talking about a different article, this is about "A recent Government Accounting Office report (GAO-12-784T) states that more than 200 companies offer financial services that can help well-off veterans qualify for benefits by transferring or hiding assets so they can qualify for the VA veteran pension program."

            LOL

  2. shotbag says:

    surprise surprise

  3. Guess GAO won't get around to all the illegals and fraud scamming the Medicare system. Was just with my wife this morning at a Medicare appointment and saw it first hand.

    • Charles says:

      Patrick,

      You saw first hand Illegal Immigrants scamming the medicare system. How did you know they were illegal immigrants and what did you do?

      • mike you are the man. you should run for office,with this attitude maybe we can get this country back on track,you got my vote,

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Charles???? You were defending congress and Tricare right. Now??? Defending what again????

        • retiree says:

          He's asking a valid question – how do they know illegal aliens are scamming medicare? Do they have a reputable source, or is this again based on random e-mails, joe bob blogs, and "everyone knows"

          Nor does the original poster know the GAO is NOT going after illegal aliens and medicare scams. GAO has the ability to do multiple investigations at once. This article on VA scamming is posted here because VA scamming is of interest to the military community. An article about medicare scamming probably will not be posted here, simply because it does NOT involve military personnel or military benefits.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            GAO is a government agency and tell me one government agency that has EVER saved money?

          • retiree says:

            And that has WHAT to do with the question of how the OP knows illegal aliens are scamming medicare?

            And that has WHAT to do with the question of whether GAO is or is not investigating medicare fraud?

            Oh, and the government is cutting $1 trillion over the next 10 years, in case you hadn't heard.

          • Charles says:

            IDMTmedic,

            What does the GAO have to do with Vets scaming the system.

  4. Those that are gaming the system need to be discovered and have to back pay the fund so there is more for those vets truly in need. Go back all the way to when the program started, not just 3 years. Plus go after the companies helping as co-conspirators and charge them too with fraud too.

    • None of you have any idea what type of situation these vet are in. They must have been in combat to earn this benefit. If your a vet you serve and deserve what’s available as long as they meet all the rules.

      • ExplEngineer says:

        cont'd- Now, don't go off the deep end, I am not, nor would I ever consider justifying any criminal acts aimed at defrauding the U.S. government,, or anyone ese for that matter, the question is are these people acting illegally, or are they simply taking advantage of "loopholes") etc.) Anything, and any moneys that any level of government that are dispersed contingent upon means or income is simply Socialism (remember those economic terrorists Marx & Lenin who suggested that we take from those who have to provide for those who need).

      • ExplEngineer says:

        cont'd [last time I apologize for poor gammar due to editing]. If someone who "has" assets, income, etc. and WANTS to give it away, certainly can give their own money & assets away (without deductibility, the government should be income neutral) that is their business. I don't choose to contribute to the lives & lifestyles of those who produce less than they demand from this country. A little work ethic would go a long way, if we deported everyone who is here illegally all of those Veterans and other folks could get over the concept of Jobs Americans Won't Do, as when those Americans lose their government subsidy and get hungry enough to get out of their (breeder) beds and off of their gluteus maximus, which might be more "minimus" if they worked instead of sitting on it for 8-12hrs/day. Instead of criminalizing the conduct of Veterans who fought for their country, notwithstanding the popularity of the war that they particpated in, let us get Americans back to work, and ensure that every Veteran, notwithstanding his financial status, has the total & equal distribution of all funding for all lawful purposes.

    • ExplEngineer says:

      The problem is the whole corrupted process of means-testing in ANYTHING relating to veterans! In my entire year in VietNam, my 4+ years of active duty, my approximately 36 years of USAR & National Guard service I can attest that, at least in the VietNam War neither the NVA nor the VietCong "means tested" their weapons (unless you count the surface to air missiles that they shot at us while we were piloting aircraft, with or without a Red Cross for my fellow pilots who flew Medveac ("DustOff") but that was really reverse means testing as the pilots were officers and made more, rather than the solidiers did in pay & allowances). My close friends in who are currently in Afghanistan, and who formerly served in Iraq will testify that they have never been shot at, etc. by any enemy weapon that carried a means-testing projectile.

  5. purpleheartpark says:

    Take everything they got…Dump um in the street…Lying Clowns

  6. I have been waiting over 2yrs for my claim to be settled. I provided all documentation, did all the paperwork, interview, exams and am still waiting. I know there are claimants who claim 100% disabled but work @ Moving companies for cash! I see what I should have done, spent my last 2 yrs in Wounded Warriers getting paid to do nothing and got the Med board. But I still deployed with these deficits 4 times! The system is crazy!!

  7. Ron Whaley says:

    And once they prove fraud then they should be pounded with the max damn it. I know Vets that have put in for this very benifit (It is different from Disability) and having a hard time getting it when they have NO income. So I say ban them from ever getting VA benifits again.

  8. Lorraine Hoey says:

    I have been fighting 10 years as a spouse and they find reasons why i dont qualify for DIC etc. I need help now my so called NSO ignores me, my case is closed dont even know where to go, I have nothing left not even my dignity anymore, 65 disabled seriously, where do I go, who do I see, complain to, how do i iopen my case? no one will answer, I need a cardiolgist to review my hubbys military record, cant afford one if i could find one, and look what is happening to those who are greedy, the more thay have the they want.. and by god they have been getting, god knows i need help and get a kick in the ASS.

    • Jerry Ross says:

      There are two very important things to qualify for DIC:
      You must have been married for 10 or more years to the veteran and
      Your husband must have died from a VA service-connected disability.
      There are other conditions to meet also, but if either of the above are false it isn't possible to qualify for DIC.

      • You are partially correct which also means you are partially wrong. The law requires one year of marriage or the birth of a child to the couple if less than a year. The veteran must have died of service connected causes or the veteran must have been 100% service connected or drawing Individual Unemployability for over ten years if the death was not service connected for the widow to qualify for DIC. Signed, a nationallly accredited VFW Service Officer

    • Stevens says:

      When all else fails…find an attorney who does VA work for Vets and can practice before the Board of Veterans Appeals. Several in about all the states. Find one who has been doing vet work for many years as a recent law lets any attorney handle vet work. I have found some NSO's not as qualified as they want to make you believe….maybe somewhat lazy.

      • Lorraine says:

        thanks for the reply, I live in Colorado springs since 2004 and know no oone but my caregiver, my case i called the 1000 number thats how i found my case closed, i have a letter from a va rep but says I need a cardioligist, from when he fractured his head in cuba my hubby case is pityful what was done to him and i cant even live, do u have any idea how i fina VA attorney? colorado springs? i called a attorney advocates and Billys case is way over his head I am so so rry u got hit w/ my comment ,but i need help, I actually almost committed suicide thats how crazy this is, its to much stress. I dont understand how I was /had 6 reps working on my case then POOF, no case/DUH???. again thanks so so much i wont bother u anymore prmise!

    • saturian says:

      Look in your phone book. Find an attorney that represents Veterans. He will direct you in the right direction. No fee will be charged to you unless he represents you and wins your claim. If he is willing to represent you, he see a good chance of you winning a claim.

  9. does this include pensions for AGENT ORANGE cancer victims??? or is that not a pension, but compensation???

    • tdhowell says:

      Pension only

    • VA pensions are only for certain war-time veterans who have limited income and assets, and who are permanently and totally disabled, or over 65, or met other strict requirements. If you're service connected for Agent Orange exposure, this probably won't effect you.

    • Chuck,
      Agent orange has been recently determined to be a service connected disability compensation, not pension, for Vietnam-era veterans. I hope that’s helpful and good luck.

  10. Jerry Ross says:

    Jail them all for fraud and recover every cent; even if takes every hidden asset they have and their attorneys should go to jail with them. There is no such thing as parole or time off for good behavior in the Federal Prison System. They serve every minute of their well-deserved sentence.

    • Who said anything about attorneys? These are con-artist "investment" operators who are usually fleecing both the VA and the vet.

    • Michael says:

      Should be income limits for all benefits.
      Once you got a million bucks do you need any money from the VA?

  11. Dave S. says:

    AO is a compensation

  12. Problem is the VA depends on the honor system. When veterans apply for pensions it is expected they will be honorable and truthful. Unfortunately many are neither honrable nor truthful.

    • saturian says:

      the VA is a legal system like a district attorneys office. they make a case against the vets. The only benefits a vet gets is that witch he can prove legally. This is performed at a leisure pace lasting 10 even 20 years. Many vets entitled to agent orange service connected benefits never saw a dime, lived in misery and died before there was an answer to their claim. Misrepresented by various DAV, American Legion, unqualified representatives. The Government in the last few years have finally allowed vets to be represented by Attorneys.

    • Art
      your saying the VA goes by the horor system by giving the benefir of the doubt on lay testimony per so called lesser rules i.e. PTSD. VA using the honor sys. by their duty to assist. You are really of blind mind. Honor by the Vets the VA constantly screws for claims. Denying 80% of ptsd claims because those combat vets applying are dishonest / dishonorable.
      Speak for your self, as the one who is frauding the vets is the very same VA, by ignoring the CFR's and using them to suit their denials by a convoluted pension / benefits system from the get go.. But if cheating then get back the money but we all know I am sure of who the masters of deceit is, don't you1

    • haloguy628 says:

      The VA checks income reported for VA Pension and medical & RX copayments with IRS and SSA. So if you report bogus income it will be found out and you will have to repay the money you got or did not pay for med TX and RX.
      The fraud here involves hiding assets which also play role in means testing.

    • Finally, a grown up reply to life's way in this generation (excluding those who know they and their families remain "honorable & truthful of course). More annual accountability and financial transparency must be fused into the VA system. If they asked for continuous transparency from me .. I would always (and I think any who served should as well) comply.

    • PENSIONS and DISABILTY claims (service connected or not) are DIFFERENT …

      A PENSION is earned for 20 years of service, or more ….

      A DISABILITY claim can be caused by an injury incurred while in the service or after … One need only serve, I believe 180 days to submit a claim …

      A PENSION cannot be taken away for any reason … A fraudulent DISABILITY claim can …..

  13. Does Anyone else find it rather Ironic that Richard, "I Served in Vietnam" Blumenthal, the Poser Himself, is proposing this Bill ?

    • Not at all, he is a Dem and they truly hate the Military and what it represents. When do we start a look see into these rich asses in the congress and senate and see how they are ripping off the taxpayers?

    • I don't know about "Richard "I Served in Vietnam" Blumenthal, the Poser Himself" and really don't care – unless he is claiming Nam service and didn't do it.

      However, I DO CARE ABOUT MY 'NAM VET. My husband is currently 40% disabled and every five years or so that % is going up because of his Naval service 1971-1974. The VA has forgotten the VIETNAM VETS and so has the rest of the country. 'Nam vets lost their benefits when Ronnie Ray-gun was president in the early 1980's!.

      We struggled for years to try to get the VA to even recognize his claim and it wasn't until the recent past they did – but only when he pointed out that the examiner was NOT measuring joint flexion correctly! So now he gets a yearly physical, hearing assessment and colonoscopy – but we pay for everything else. His teeth are rotting out of his head – no dental from the VA unless you are 100% disabled!

      One of our best friends is in the same boat as my husband…..still extremely minimal help from VA. Hell, the drug costs are worse for both of them than mine are through SS disability!

      I am not knocking any veteran from any other war – but seriously; VIETNAM VETERANS NEED JUST AS MUCH HELP AS THE NEWER VETS DO!

      My husband can't even ask if he has PTSD because if he does; federal law prevents him from the 2 jobs he can do! We can't afford to get him re-trained into another career because he would have to live out of state for 1.5 yrs and we have a mortgage and all the other normal bills.

      Ok, enough bitching. It would take a miracle or a complete change in government; government policy; and much more to effect any change.

      As for anyone who has their claim closed and no one to help – turn to your "liberal" congresspeople; sometimes they do help and go to the media if you can get them interested – they REALLY HELP!

  14. With the current backlog of disability pension applications the VA has time to go after this program, how stupid is that? This is a pension that you don't even qualify for until your 65 years old, and you have to be impoverished to even qualify. I would like to see the stats on what the application rate is for eligible veterans for this program. I know that only 10% of those eligible for VA medical benefits ever apply and become patients in that system. Is this really where the waste is in the system. How about taking care of the 19 year old with no legs or hands or disfigured to the point of suicidal ideation. This is where the energy and effort should be expended. Talk about a straw man argument. This really takes the cake.

    • saturian says:

      I agree. This is a BS program and it’s going to cause a lot of unnecessary hard ship to people who don’t need this kind of stress in their lives. I know I will vote against those who proposed this bill.

  15. Lorraine says:

    I have to say one thing just remmber "KARMA" what goes around comes around, but meantime, those in need are suffering, and it harder to get benefits, all exscuses, my friend said w/ the vA don't ever stop fighting, thats what they wait for, boy is that true, but u get so disgusted, you can't help it.
    too much greed in this world, to many children no food, to many poor, i wonder if these greedy people help the needy? yeah right!! to self serving, but it will bite them in the ass in the long run.

  16. saturian says:

    Some poor old vet didn’t claim an extra car or motorcycle and now this senator or congressman wants to spend millions of tax payer dollars looking up the ass of all these veterans. And you know those with no fault what so ever are going to be hassled. Mean while these same senators/congressmen are abusing funds by the billions, acting like they are going to protect innocent veterans and tax payers. BS

  17. George Finch says:

    Medical benefits are rampid with fraud. There are vets that just listed social security as their only income, yet they have big houses, boats and fancy cars. How do people like this sleep at night??? The whole system is a farce, and yet we don't have the assets to clean it up. I know someone who is in late 70's who recently got free hearing aids due to hearing damage on the rifle range during Korean War. Give me a break!!! The doctors are a part of the scam. Our country is sick!!!

  18. Lorraine says:

    Jerry ross.. cant find your post,
    yes married almost 25 yrs and yes he was 100% disabled when he died from what VA hosp did, But thats why i need cardioligist bring from cuba ..fractured skiull/head nerves in head, plus a lot more when they cut his pereonal nerve its just so much thats why i am just sick w/ it all i was w/ him 30 yrs married 25 yrs and yes i do know all the laws of the VA, just not the right people.

  19. Pete Peterson says:

    Blumenthal got caught in a lie about his military service. Actual War Veterans knew it was a lie and called him on it..
    This smells like payback for exposing him as a fraud. This Guy is a "piece of work".

  20. I went thru this process for my Uncle (whom was all alone) in Ft. Lauderdale Fl. a W.W. 2 Vet
    It was a lengthy process (13 months) his social worker and assigned medical Dr. from the V. A. were the reason he qualified, don't give up answer all questions and be ready to answer again if needed, it's the system, they do check on Vet and make sure he is qualified. One of reasons was told it took so long is, tangible assets(money you can put your hands on if needed) were below but close to limit, they told me he needs to spend some of that money on his care, while process took place, lots of vets in worse shape financially than him and were processed ahead of him, We had no problem with that, when he was finally approved check came from the date of application start, it was a godsend to help him out, then followed him into care service, till he passed. Can't say what a great program this is for Vets that qualify, just to many applying that don't qualify, and overwhelm the system. They don't take your home or vehicle into account when figuring up your liquid assests, checking, savings, bonds, stocks, precious metals, 401's, etc. money you can put your hands on to take care of yourself if needed…….Sometimes (just sometimes) it could be family that don't want to spend assets on vet, to make sure there is something left over for beneficiaries. So ask yourself is the question taking care of Vet or preserving assets. If the V.A. did go back to a (?) date it just might stop the abuse or Vets getting bad advice stop applying and jamming up the system and keep it more fluid for it's intended VETS… I couldn't have been happier with the team that took care of my Uncle at the Ft. Lauderdale V.A. a real group of professionals that went that extra mile to take care of our VETS……..The world ain't perfect but we're working on it,,,,,,,,,,,,(for the past couple thousand years)…………………. One of the best side benefits while going thru process, he had good medical insurance with prescription meds and was spending out of pocket $400-$600 a month on meds
    The V.A. does a 3-month issuance at a total of $140 for 3 months, that savings alone was able to keep him going till approval came in at 100% pension. Now to speed up this process be ready to jump in and do leg work like getting approval from any outside Dr.s to O.K. the generic meds (list) the V. A. offers, the more your outside Dr's approve the easier and cheaper it is.
    Art —— Px. AZ.

  21. I find it surprising – all of it. The complaints, the abuse itself, the negativism. It's a benefit that you qualify for or you don't – if you have to lie to get it you are betraying your honor. You have time to read this and complain – find a veterans charity and work with it – God knows there are enough vets coming home with physical and mental issues.
    And because I know someone will say it – yeah I know other people lie but that doesn't make it ok. I work with a PTSD Foundation – Bring Them All The Way Home – the slogan.

  22. How about the billions in foreign aid and military aid to other countries. Eqypt, Pakistan, many others…they even gave a billion to Central African Republic because so many youtube hits…maybe they should check on the goldbrickers and ghedunk heroes in those armies before they screw with our vets

    • Sounds like you want to change the topic and I can only wonder why. As for (potentially you) and the other goldbrickers out there, it makes me want to hurl when I see the phony vs. real PTSD crowd. Watching them laugh and joke around in the break area at the VA only to put their game face on when it's time to see the shrink is low down. Meanwhile, the young guys who have been treated like a yo-yo with multiple deployments are hurting and that's a fact. Their legitimate health care needs (combat arms only REMFs) suffer because of the air of suspicion brought about by deadbeats. Not to pat myself on the back but I refuse to collect my service connected disability for two reasons; don't want to wallow in self-pity and I don't want to charge it to my kids and grandkids. Go to USdebtclock and see that Uncle Sam is $145 trillion in the hole, not the $15+ trillion big lie.

  23. Hang them all. The veterans and the ones that are helping them comitt the fraud. They are ruining it all for the rest of us!

  24. This pension has been sitting silent as an entitlement for the past 61 years.__It is the VA's silence that has allowed this market to be created, and now there is a rush to judgement to evoke a look-back that will put an additional burden on the veteran, while giving the VA yet another way to postpone award.

    I was at this hearing, and the very people who have exploited this pension for their financial gain will probably do nothing more than to revamp their business model into a Veteran's Pension Planner platform. They will simply target a younger group of veterans to make sure they financially qualify. They are not going to be held accountable for their dispisible actions or the harm they have done to thousands and thousansds of veterans and their families._Before you pass judgement, you should watch the hearing to see the harm that has been done at this link http://www.senate.gov/fplayers/jw57/commMP4Player… __

  25. You should also visit the forums of the company who infringed on the pension with no regard to our veterans. I think you will these insights most telling as to who should be held accountable.
    http://blog.dlcharles.com/2010/05/15/beneath-the-

  26. Blumenthal,HA HA HA, The 6 month reservist who sat around pushen papers in DC while in the service.When out of the service makes himself a Vietnam Marine Veteran.And after he is EXPOSED for being a LIAR those geniuses re-elect him. 2X Vietnam Marine

  27. vincent livoti says:

    There's probably many Vets that are in need of financial assistance and legally qualify for it, who don't apply for it. And then there are those that are scam artist who never saw any combat and are liars and try to beat the system and claim PTSD, they make it bad for the honest soldier who honorably served his country.

  28. The Hammer says:

    F these SOBs, These are probably the same SOBs that would raid the care packages in the rear and all we got were tootsi rolls.

  29. My brother gets a VA pension-his wife works and earns 50k a year. (he was in a car accident 10 years ago). Never left California during Vietnam . Turned hiim in twice. Still gets a pension. Oh, he hand cuts 8 cords of firewood with a shoulder and back injury and brags about wood should only be split with an axe. What an ass. VAOIG does nothing!!! Over $120,000 over a ten year period! ( I am 100% s/c with three hearts.).

    • veteran72 says:

      I can see why you needs three hearts. Too intensively concerned about you brother than focusing on your own health. I he has done as you say, he will get caught. Meanwhile, chill down before you need that 4th heart.

      • I'm sure Mike meant "three purple hearts" – i.e. 100% service connected disability, and what he is describing is fraud – if his brother is healthy enough to cut 8 cords of wood with an axe, then he should get a job and stop gettiing a disability pension – that fraud affects all veterans, and makes it harder for the ones who really need benefits to get them. Duty – Honor – Country, don't these words mean anything anymore?

  30. what I want to know is precisely how many have frauded this program? 100, 1000 or 400,000?
    It'd have to be about half a million for the GAO to even put pen to paper due all the waste from the govt and that well is another lesson in history.
    From what I've seen you'd need to be with the financial skills of a Goldman Saks CEO to get over on the VA.

  31. I am 11$ a month over the anual income treshold and ws declined.My wife go without food that is nutrious about 3 days a month and theese assholes get paid what crap.

  32. Christopher says:

    I am 39 and sat in the VA Hospital for treatment many years now. Everyday I see and hear all those who speak about milking the system and ," I'm gonna get mine" comment gets thrown around quite a bit. What makes me sick is how I had to go dissabled 2 years ago and was forced to take out fifty thousand in student loans and attend a degree course I have no interest in just to put food on the table. The VA has denied my claims for over ten years. Now my claim made it into the decision phase and they find a way to place it back into the "Gathering information Phase" meanwhile my wife and kids and I have recently been accepted for food stamps. As I said I am 39 yrs old with titanium hipps, bakers cyst on both knees, Traumatic Brain Injury with Memory loss, mood instability, severe depression, Anxiety, tinittus, chronic headaches,neck pain, and to top it all off Severe Degenerative joint disease which effects my hips, knees, back, shoulders, and neck. I have been fight against the VA for over ten years now. While all these guys are getting theirs and then some while not deserving a penny some of them.

    • I am really sorry to hear about you.You are the type of person that should be already getting 100% good luck.

    • There is a lot of inconsistency coming out of this process … They are under fire, so perhaps, perhaps … things will get better …

      The thing I find MOST odd about your case is the tinittus … I put in a claim for several things a few years back and all were denied … A year later a different VA Rep added tinittus to the case …. FOUR months later I was awarded 10% … there was a hearing test inbetween and I do have significant loss (Flight Deck and Heavily Air Conditioned environment) …

      Ten percent gets a small check and qualifies for medical with no means test …

      You surely should have had that one 'separated out' of the rest of the claim and paid as they 'investigate' the more difficult to assess, and I'm giving them a break when I say that …

      I don't see the VA getting better, sadly it seems to be getting worse … I've been using their hospital for 18 years …

      • Stevens says:

        Have you considered an attorney who can practice before the VBA. One who has been in the business a long time. Many persons who say they can help you don't know squat….the VA segments your whole body…this muscle…that muscle…this group..etc. And you must have a person who has been helping vets whose living depends on their claim. He/she will truly work to get your claim solved fast.

        • Don't use an attorney. Use a Veterans Service Organization. Each VA Regional Office houses honest, well-trained service officers. You can down-load VA Form 21-22 off the VA website (va.gov). The form list numerous service organizations, (although many are almost non-existent anymore). You will recognize the major ones however.

    • how well i understand that…i also have servere disk disease, alot of the other things u listed…had surgery last month , they removed 2 disk, fused it, theres no cure, im just tryin 2 keep out of a wheelchair as long as i can, haven't worked in 4 months now, va still givin me the run around on everything, i do draw 30% from the va, but its not much.

    • J Fourquet says:

      It is a shame. People who deserve benefits are denied, while people who do not deserve benefits are geanted. What is worse these decisons ar ebeing made just to move a case not to get it right.

      • This is an example of why there is such a long wait for those seriously needing assistance. Phoney PTSD claims and fraud by fellow veterans. This is not brain surgery.

    • LordRussell says:

      Here’s a problem I found out about VA disability claims… each time you have a problem or injury – these idiots only seem to tackle each one, one at a time.

      in their fact finding mission, they completely & utterly determine the maximum percentage rating for your injury that they feel they can be legally responsible for. Then once that injury has been diagnosed, rated & addressed they move on to the next one – despite the fact that they are still “looking” at your other ailments.

      Here’s the ‘rub’… Your file goes to the bottom of the stack of ratings recipients each & every time they send it up for review. If at any time you ask for a progress report or complain about what is holding up the progress & they pull your file to see “what’s going on”, it’s like they play a bit of ‘passive aggressive penalty box’ & place you back to the bottom of the stack; elongating your process time.

      This is how it was explained to me some 5-6 years ago by an individual in the know at the Chicago processing office. It’s disheartening to know/hear that this kind of game is played – this small fish/dick in the pond, childish foray, but that may indeed still be what is happening.

      Sure, their making strides to advance the process, but to bring up this tidbit of information to a supervisor or investigative team would only have their own group “rally the troupes”, synchronize their stories & BS their way out of it as they always have.

      I would say given that we are still hearing horror stories of soldiers/sailors coming home to elongated wait periods for disability income/ratings is more than a bit of proof.

    • Doesn't sound like the military caused any of your problems

    • Well. i wasin the same boat. i had tocontact my congress man andhad every one that i knew write a letter on my conditions : NOW and Before Service, it also helps to keep all your records in order , and dont miss any appointments and if you have to submmit any records , make a copy keep it and then make another copy and sent it your self "registered mail" and call every month and ask for a "STATUS PROGRESS". The good thing is that they have to consider the original date you opened the claim, i received over 3 yrs retro.
      Good luck and remember , your the best person to help you, dont depend on agencies nor political candidates,, follow up, follow up.

  33. while I agree these are very bad and low breed people; they did serve. I know men that women pay them to get them pregnant. What all has our government done to help all those sob cowards that fled to the open arms of the Canadians? There are so many hogs just in our so call public elected service. What ass h cast the first stone? Floyd

  34. The VA system is no different than the rest of the U.S. Government. A corrupt machine perpetrating fraud and treason upon the American people. Look at agent Brain Terry in the Fast and Furious Gun Running. People in the Government can kill American citizens at the highest levels and get away with it. As one member of the Fast and Furious debacle stated "You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet" In other words having a few Americans killed in a incompetent government program is acceptable. So the VA system is no different it is corrupted to its corp run by thugs and incompetence. The VA can kill you and get away with it. The VA even advertises come work with us and you don't have to worry about malpractice insurance. The sad part is people in the VA (former military) are treating those non VA employee veterans as if they are some worthless piece of trash. It shows the seriousness of the problem, its cannibalism a system where people are devouring there own within a out of control system.

    • jacquesdaspy says:

      The doctors at the VHA are "suit" proof. I have never received a medical proceedure at the VA that wasn't screwed up to some extent or other. If you bring a screwup to the attention of a VA doctor, they get so pissy that you would expect them to throw down on the floor and then throw a tantrum.

    • Ben, I do not know what events have so soured you on the VA. I do know that i personally,for almost 60 years have recieved the very finest care and aid from the VA. (I minor exception in the Buffalo VAMC half a century ago.) The personnel at the Phoenix VAMC, VA Regional and, especially the dedicated staff at The DAV, have all been exceptional in their care, concern, and consideration for me and every other veteran whom I have observed. Take out the 2 scoundrels I have encountered since I started using the VA in 1954 and hundreds of VA personnel have been totally dedicated to serving the veteran to the very best of their ability and budget limitations. Hooray you VA staffers in all positions and at all levels. Keep up the wonderful job.

      • ibsteve2u says:

        His sticking "Fast and Furious" into a a conversation about veterans' benefits indicates that his orientation isn't veterans but using veterans as a political tools against the non-right.

      • IDMTmedic says:

        Are you the same Charles that I know? Retired in 95? No complaints about Tricare or anything else? VA?

        • IDMTmedic says:

          Yea what I thought. Happy as a clam. I am Charles and have no complaints. 60 years and outside of those few scoundrels it's been wonderful regardless of those thousands of others that suffer. But, I will spew the party line because that is what I do. Ever hear that term institutionalize? It's me. I'm a socialist at heart because I can't possibly believe the government will screw me. They treat me well and I refuse to believe that others have any issues with the status quo. It's just not true. Everything is AWSOME! I mean just look at the posts. Thank goodness I am blessed. Your all crazy about the VA. Makes no sense. It's a well oiled machine and it will only get better. Sigh, I am just happy to share my blessed experiences with you. God bless you. Ohhh and if you don't mind please please ask "retiree" if he could post some "facts" regarding veterans waiting times for benefits. Thanks sooooooo much. Don't worry investigating funds will NOT include congressman.

  35. chvietvet says:

    The is a huge amount of fraud in the VA pension system, but it is not the veterans who are getting the money. First, all of the funds not dispensed by the DVA each year are available to pay merit bonuses to the top VA executives and lawyers. Such bonuses start in excess of $35,000 per year, far more than many veterans can earn in that time. To make sure there is money in the budget, veterans' claims are allowed to remain unprocessed for years. That means that the merit bonuses are taken out of thousands of needy veterans' pockets. I ran across one claim in 2005 that had been filed by a vet injured by radiation during an atom bomb test in 1947, and the file is still open. (continued in next comment)

  36. chvietvet says:

    The VA can outwait the veteran, whose claim is terminated by death. Meanwhile, the top VA staff divides up his pension among themselves at the end of each year. Another veteran discovered that each application is given a file number, to which Congress budgets money. The name on the application is changed to one for which a VA employee can open a bank account in his own or a friend's name. The friend then collects the veteran's checks each month, while the veteran is told that his application is still being processed. The fraudulent payments continue going to the VA employee or his friends for five to ten years, after which the veteran's claim file is "found" and the pension is denied. I believe it was more than 20 years ago that VA employees were prosecuted for this scam, and many believed that this would end the fraud. Apparently, it has been going on all along. (continued)

    • jacquesdaspy says:

      Deny, deny, untill you die! The VA is a perpetual plan, or a burial plan staffed by incompetnt people that are not allowed to think. The VA has established "guidelines" in both the VBA and the VHA to eliminate that particular behavior.

  37. chvietvet says:

    Finally, the trick used by the VA employees for many years to keep veterans from getting the benefits they earned has been to put veterans' claims files through the paper wolf and then deny the pension. This makes plenty of work for VA lawyers, who earn more in a year than many veterans do in a lifetime. The next time you see a homeless vet begging for quarters at a freeway exit, just tell Senator Blumenthal to have a search made to find out where he is keeping his multi-million-dollar financial accounts. When we start the next war, I suggest drafting Senator Blumethal and sending him to fight. Then, he might start looking at more serious issues, like employment discrimination against veterans by the federal and state civil services and federal contractors.

  38. Old Dude says:

    Hey I remember a case of a Veteran's widow receiving Death Pension, which is payable to the widow of a war time veteran based on her income. After about tweenty years of receiving this income from the VA and the Income Verification Program kicked in the mid 1980's it was discovered that granny had $102,000.00 in interest from bank accounts. THe VA didn't go after her because her lawyer said it would look bad for the VA to chase an 89 year old widow…So she got away…Why are politicians always picking on the VA…How about Foreign Aid….They are using the money to kill americans…

  39. I WAS IN GUAM IN 1976, AND WORKED ON AN AIRCRAFT THAT FLEW THROUGH THE CHINESE BOMB TEST TO TAKE AIR SAMPLES. A LARGE GROUP OF US WERE CALLED INTO THE BASE THEATER AND GUARDS PLACED ON THE DOORS, AND WE WERE BRIEFED WE WERE ACCIDENTALLY CONTAMINATED. OUR PILOT ON THE 30 DAY TDY HAD STOLEN OUR RECORDS BEFORE THE TDY, WHICH WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE WITH US, LEFT THE RECORDS IN GUAM, AND I JUST RECOVERED THEM WITH THE HELP IF CONGRESSMAN CLIFF STEARNS. HE MADE TWO REQUESTS, ONE AT SAINT LOUIS, THEN TO THE DOD, AND WE FINALLY GOT THEM. I AM STILL TRYING TO GET IT INTO MY FILE THAT I WAS CONTAMINATED. ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET A COPY OF THE BRIEFING WE WERE CALLED INTO?????

  40. We all have heard terrible stories about abuses inflicted upon vets. Sorry to say, when examined thoroughly so many of them turn out to be untrue or gross exaggerations. Certainly, tho, many are true. Terrible and unjust things do happen when an agency is as huge as the VA. I wonder what the stories would be like if The USA did not have the VA. Recall when the troops under Gen. Doug MacArthur in DC openned fire on WWI vets marching to get the $300 bonus that had long been promised to them: how things have changed.

  41. Its fraud guys/gals! Go after the guilty, advocates that lie and those that are going along with it. The rest is just personal annecdotes with out any validation.

  42. I spent 21 years in the army and air force and when I retired I was put out with a o percent disability. I worked off an on for 18 years and through 4 Congressman trying to get a decent disability for severe back pain encountered in the military. I went form 10%, to 20% to 30% and finally t0 50%. Working with Congressman, neurosurgeons.and many VA doctors I was finally given 70%, which was graded to 100% unable to work. I spent a life savings, bankrupcty, foodstamps and all before I got the disability I deserved.
    THANKS TO THE GOVT FOR ALL THE SUPPORT I GOT IN 18 YEARS1111

  43. My neighbor who is the same age as mine was an electrician until he retired after 30 years of work. He decided to contact the VA and got a full disability of 3000/month and 25,000 in backpay plus his electrician union retirement check a month, He took that 25,000 out to Las Vegas and gambled it away. I refuse to talk to him anymore because his supposed VA 100% disability didn't prevent him from being an electrician for over 30 years. How the VA medicial system was bamboozled by him I have no idea.

    • He may have been dealing with the issues for years. Things like PTSD, depression etc can manifest in other ways. Maybe he worked for years but how is his personally life, marriage etc. I know it is hard to understand and I am assuming the best but many vets deal with the stuff for years, after failed marriages, isolation, hurt kids etc.

    • you are just hateful. I worked for 20 years for the state. Find out I have cancer caused by Dioxin when i was in vietnam. Applied for disability and got it. Your neighbor EARNED that money by sacrificing maybe you too should have had your ass shot at and dring water that contained cancer causing CRAP

    • One has nothing to do with the other. Let us say that he was a Vietnam vet and developed prostate cancer (latency period possibly 20-40 years). While undergoing treatment he is considered 100% disabled (due to a court case some twenty odd years ago).
      This is how he may have ended up in this situation. Disability is NOT means tested. You can be a multimillionaire and still collect disability from the VA. A pension is a different thing.

    • Did you serve if so you should understand he sold his soul for his country and had medical/mental problems during that time . if you didn't serve you already got paid a long time ago for doing nothing .what ever he did with his money was none of your business in the first place .

  44. When I applied The VA granted me a pension very shortly after applying the finding was total and permanent disability non-service connected it really helped out while my social security disability application went through the slow system almost three years before approval. The social security disability check was more than twice the VA pension which made me no longer elgible for the pension an the free meds so I had to pay it all back of which the VA deducted from my social security check well over 10 thousand dollars by taking out over two hundred plus per month which was my fault for not notifying the VA when I approved for SSDA and got two checks a month of which I spent til the next years means test when the VA demanded it all back it took a while but it is all paid back now.

  45. After what I went through during the process, to now find out there are well to do people out there using the system this way, it pisses me off.

    I went for years trying to survive on $974 basically leaving me to eat once every couple days and unable to pay even the basic bills to live… Finally my ratings came through but the nightmare I went through could have been averted possibly if the VA had more funds to work with.

    I have to wonder how much of the VA's budget is being spent and given to those who really do not need this particular help.. I also wonder how these vets themselves can feel good about what they are doing knowing there are MANY other vets who are struggling in the system just to live and eat.

    Due to the number of service connected injuries, I am rated 100% and IU as well.. but it took an one of the claims processors at the VA to get angry over what he saw in my records and what I was living like to get my claims finally processed and completed. If not for that processor that did that I would probably still be waiting unlike those who really do not need the low income benefit yet still go ahead and take it anyway..

  46. To fully understand the story you must understand a few things. Those who get paid for service connected disabilities are compensated for illness or injuries incurred while in the military and those getting the VA pension are compensated for NON service injury or illness and meet the financial requirements. These are two very different things.

    I see this often in my work at the VA and get frustrated with the potential fraud and these so-called benefit people who work the system.

    • Laptop died…continuing…Some statement here mentioned vets getting paid and still working. That is correct as not all disabilities stop someone from working and many may go unnoticed for years or worsen years later. I have a back injury that is not a huge issue now but if it gets worse I may get more $$. The injury I have was incurred during the first Gulf War in a vehicle accident that would otherwise not have happened if I was not in the service.

      The pension can be granted if assets are under or near $80 and there are enough medical expenses to offset other non VA income. This allows many stay in assisted living facilities rather than going to nursing homes.

      I have personally been asked to cover up or help hide assets in my job at the VA so beneficiaries can get the VA pension and Medicaid. It is frustrating but MANY and MOST of those I help need the help. (I have never helped or assisted those asking)

    • Jerry Ross says:

      Being a Veteran Service Officer I see the same things. It is frustrating to serve clients that are clearly better off financially than the picture they are portraying. Fortunately they are the ones required to sign the documents and they alone must answer up when they get caught.
      Hopefully the VA has the money to do a thorough investigation and the stomach to prosecute the offenders.

      Federal sentencing is full time; no time off for good behavior. Guess the feds will need a few more prisons to incarcerate the guilty.

      It all amounts to one thing – GREED. A sickness that apparently can't be cured.

  47. Disabled Vet says:

    The VA is a place that employs the system of fail upward. In other words if they have an individual that is lack luster in his or her performance it is extremely difficult to discharge that individual. So what occurs is that those individual are promoted upward to get rid of them. this results in the upper hierarchy being staffed by individuals that do not give a hoot about the Veterans and are only there to line their pockets at Veterans' expense.

  48. I just wish that something would/could be done for the rest of us honorably retired veterans so we could receive the disability allowance we've been awarded without having to forfeit a like amount from our retirement pay. It's called "Disabled Veterans Tax" folks and I'm currently losing $3,012 a year. I'm estimating that the system is into me at least $55K since I retired. Congratulations to those who do get their disability, you earned every penny of it and also the arrears you'll never see.

    • Check into a program called Combat-Related Special Compensation. It is intended to replace some or all of the retired pay withheld because of VA compensation. Use DD form 2860 and submit it through your parent military branch.

  49. Chancedog says:

    I am sad to hear a few of you on here. I spent the better of 19 years fighting the VA for every damn penny I get. I was Army Infantry. I gladly would give it all back just to be able to have a great career, retirement, and a decent income. I am not not combat related and never deployed, but have back, stomach, knees, feet, clavicle, sciatica, and PTSD. (call ptsd whatever you want, but after having the listed issues, something is wrong with my head and what happened) I just want to be healthy. I could make more money doing something else and would be happier. I hate my body, hate how it happened, and live with pain every friggin day. My family deals with this every day too. I take no less than 10 pills a day to include narcotics to dull the pain. Yes, I am at 100% and not because of unemployability, but because of my individual issues and how they add up (schedular). There are more issues to list, but I am done with the VA. I am grateful for a check each month because it does help, but I would just love to be normal. Not everyone scams the system. Unfortunately, the ones that do create a 19 YEAR fight with the VA. God bless all…I thank each and everyone of you that served. Thank you

  50. Most of you do not know what you're talking about. The one thing you should do is appoint a veterans service organization. Every VA Regional Office has several organizations. There is DAV, VFW, American Legion to name a few. My personal recommendation is Paralyzed Veterans of America. And no, you do not have to be paralyzed to be represented by them. All of these organizations a free. They do not get any part of your benefits for winning your case. And most do better than private attorneys. One other thing I can tell you (because I work for one of these organizations) is there are a large number of claims that have very little merit. These claims bog down an already over-burdened system. Let me give you a real example: a veteran who served state-side his entire time in the military claimed service connection for PTSD because he was afraid he might be deployed to a combat zone. Unfortunately, VA has to adjudicate this kind of a ridiculous claim and the veteran has the right to appeal it. So before you blame VA, take into consideration the fact that many veterans do claim things that are down right frivilous & it really does hurt the veteran who has a good and worthy claim.

  51. In reference to my comment about "Disabled Veterans Tax" and the response from Paul: Your response contains the very problem to which I refer….disability incurred due to combat or combat training is now received by those veterans to which it was awarded but those honorably retired veterans like me who are less than 50% disabled and as a result of or incurred in day-to-day performance of non-combat duties are still exempt from receiving concurrent compensation.

  52. HERB SONES says:

    I’m a homeless 73 years old vet. I make 873.00 per month in social security. I live with who ever will put me up. I have tried to get a pension. I was beat up twice and hospitalized for 14days, One guy got a court martial. & sent to Leavenworth for two years. One busted from Sergeant to PVT, with six months in the stockade. Never filed any VA claim until 2006 found out was released from Reserves on medical. Senator Rubio’s office has been trying to help. It has been over a year.

  53. Herb Sones says:

    The VA lost my records in a fire so I was turned down once and have refilled. Been a year so far this time. That must have been one hell of a fire as every vet I talk to has said their records were destroyed in a fire. I have contacted my Congresswoman, Senator and the President. To no avail. It takes almost 2 years to get a response.

  54. Looks like we are all in the same boat, file and wait…provide the VA with more and more documents, have a Vet Rep, write to Senators, wait and wait, over a year now. I am BLIND, have PTSD, MST, Arthritis, Asthma, Emphysema, COPD, IBS, Depression & Anxiety. I am in foreclosure and bankruptcy. I would be living under a bridge if I relied on the VA. I cannot get medical or mental health care from the VA. They constantly deny medical bills they are responsible for as they require us to go to an outside ER as the closest VA ER is 150 miles away. When I call the suicide hotline, they tell me to get a lawyer, I can't get an attorney as the V A has yet to issue a decision, a catch-22 so to speak. The only reason I do not kill myself is that the VA is killing me. The stress, getting me addicted to Vic oden… So if misery loves company, please know dear service-connected fellow veterans, you are not alone, nor is your case isolated. I will continue to pray for us all.
    Elizabeth Quinn
    719.275.4591

    • Herb Sones says:

      Liz thanks for your reply im sorry your getting the same old run around someday mabee they will need more young boys and girls for a war and know one will show up.If the people only knew what we go thur to get anything. I agree many milk the system but if your really in bad shape like you the Va should give you help at once.I had a doctor in las vegas tell me that some guys come in everyday i know there are some that just do milk it but some of us just need a little help.HERB

    • I'm so sorry Liz. You obviously need the help. I was married to a man who abused the system and took precious money and resources away from those who really needed it. I wish there was someone I could report him to. It's just not right!

  55. travis s. says:

    I feel for you my wife and i are making things work thank you for the men and women who got me the help we needed to live again thanks VA.

  56. Herb Sones says:

    vets what we need is someone that will lead us all to washington DC like they did for the first world war vets to get there benifits .know one cares why does it take two years or more to get a claim done?Then you got to get an attorney to help you then he takes most of your claim.where is mlk when we need him?i talked to one vet that was a pow and he had to get Jeb Bush to help him.I do belive they just want us all to die before we get anything and how the hell do they lose all our records can anyone help us.rvtravelingman1@yahooo.com

    • I tried to get help from the congressman and he said there is nothing I can do I filed a unemployability claim in nov of 2010 after finally getting my ss disability and the va still has done nothing it took them a year and a half just to get my file from ss so I am still waiting in the mean time I can not work and have a teen daughter to take care of. Good luck to you

  57. oliver watts says:

    i was kicked out the navy for pooping positive for cocaine and since the isuffered a severe stroke. since i have been trying to get my separation straight now i've been trying to get non service connected disability done will somebody help me.

  58. I personally know a person who completed two weeks of boot camp claimed a knee injury. Put on medical leave went AWOL then was released from the ca national guard. Did only 134 days in the service this includes partial boot camp, medical leave and AWOL.
    Later they returned to the VA and now is getting 80% disability. This person does not have a DD 214 claims the system lost it? She was never issue a DD 214.
    She now claims to be a Veteran has joined the DAV by using her VA card.
    DAV will not check her DD 214 as I requested them to.
    This person has emailed me that she did not have a DD214 and was never issued one. And I provided this to her local VA Rep. but he seems to care less
    She had told me one time that she was to receive medical care for her knee injury only, I do not see how she is getting 80%. Which she is because I have seen her checks.
    With her little time in the service, AWOL and getting out by her own request if she had received a DD 214 I would think it would be other than honorable?

    • DocBecky says:

      You would think that at 80% she would certainly be one that DC would be interested in investigating! Heck, when I got my increase from 30 to 70% for epilepsy they discovered they were still paying me for my then ex-husband. I owed 6 months of back pay and got a stern talking to!! I'd filled out the paper work for heavens sake and mailed it to Boston. I simply failed to follow up because I was finishing my finals for college. Oops. But they got their money and my check is right since then…wonder how so many slip through?

      THIS is what ticks me off the most! I need an electric wheelchair or scooter and they won't give me one due to seizures, she goes AWOL in Basic and gets 80% disability????? What's wrong with this picture???

  59. Frances Cooper says:

    my brothers son just turned 20 my brother was just reunited with him after 19 years my brother is a disabled vet. and gets his disability pension and has gotten it for 18 years is his son entitled to any back pay he told the military that he had a son when he received his pension?

    • Your brother would have only been entitled to back pay if he were providing financial support to his son and claiming him as a dependent. If such was the case, I would seek the help of a service organization.

  60. I am a female Korean veteran. early 50's.
    After learning that I could qualify for a pension being low income, over 65 years of age and having served during wartime. I qualified for them all. I put in for a pension in 2007 and am still trying to get one. They gave me over 2,000 in 2010 and then ordered me to return it. I did not have the money, so I took money out of an old IRA. This of course, became reportable as income which made me over the maximum amount of income allowed. I sent them letters explaining that amount should not be counted as income, however, I have not heard from them. I had breast Cancer in 2006 and was treated at Loma Linda VA in California. I had vocal chord surgery in 2011 and was very happy with the surgeon. My income is borderline and this 2,000.00 which they seem to use quarterly, makes a big difference. I am now 79 years old. How much longer can I wait???????? I hear male veterans bragging about how many thousands they are getting. I am currently getting $8.08 and have been told that in January 2013, that will stop. What can I do?

  61. I am a Vietnam Veteran and 65 years old and living in abject poverty, my teeth are falling out because the Veterans Admisistration has no Dental program for non-service connected Veterans. What did we do to be treated like second class citizens? Prisoners at least get medical and dental while incarcerated, are non-service connected veterans lower on the governments priorities then prisoners in Federal Prisons?

    • I would suggest you cancel your internet and pay a dentist instead. Then perhaps seeks help in terms of foundations or dental schools to get some care. And yes….the federal government has an obligation to provide basic human care to the incarcerated. If you think dentists that practice in prisons do so because they're well paid or highly skilled you would be very mistaken. Inmates receive dental basics only. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • ed lyles says:

        We were told by your and my Government we would always have free medical. Served 71-74

        • orphan ellie says:

          Worked at the VA for 35 years and heard a lot of that. However, dental services are scarce resources(not enough dentists want to work for the VA) and you need higher eligibility to qualify. Sorry.

    • Ed Lyles says:

      Sorry Dan, us Vets deserve better. I'am a Vietnam era Navy Vet (71-74). I've tried all day, calling & searching for Dental. I have a absess tooth, hurts like hell but can't get any help. No job, no insurance. Guss I'll call a dentist and see if we can work out payments. As you, when we joined we were told we would always be taken care of and medical was free lifetime for us. No trust in Government. In 10-73 I was on one of 60 U.S. ships off Israel coast. during war, no mention of this in my service record, alot of what was going on hidden from american public during this time. As you I could tell alot, Public doesn't know or lied too, not much you don't know when serving on 120 man destroyer escort, but who would believe us lying Veterns but other Veterns. God Bless Dan and my other Brothers, We will survive one way or other Ed Lyles, Sedalia, MO

  62. Kelly Beatson says:

    I am very thankful the V.A. Helped me with my leg injury, My eye surgery, pneumonia and many other things-there are times at some Va's you feel like a peice of meat. But there are times you feel treated well. As in all aspects of life. It wasent for my VA Pension I dont know what I would do-There are days I can Hardly walk. I cant see the greatest. I have double vision. Sometimes we should be thankful for the benefit we receive. Fill out the proper papers-get an amvets rep-you dont need an attorney-go to your appointments-see if you qualify.

  63. wifey1976 says:

    Is the current wife of a disabled vet who married him after a diagnosis of cancer in which he died 37days later entitled to any beneifits

  64. cornelio j osorio says:

    How can I check on My aplication for Pension I got to the va page they tell me got e benefits they run me around is there a sure way to do tjhis?