Veterans should not pay for help to get benefits

News for Immediate Release

May 3, 2011

DMVA: PA Veterans Should Never Pay for Help to Apply for Benefits

Harrisburg – Veterans, active military personnel and their dependants should never pay for help to apply for veteran’s benefits, according to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

“We’ve heard of several instances in which individuals or businesses are approaching veterans to offer assistance in applying for benefits for free, and then charging a fee for financial planning services,’’ said Brig. Gen. Mike Gould, the state’s deputy adjutant general for veterans’ affairs.

“I cannot stress it enough when I say that veterans should never pay for these services,’’ Gould added. “Free assistance is readily available from any accredited veterans service officer at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, their County Director of Veterans Affairs, or through a chartered veterans service organization such as the American Legion, VFW, DAV, or AMVETS — to name a few.”

County Directors of Veterans Affairs are accredited veterans service officers that provide veterans and their dependents assistance to identify and help determine eligibility for a wide range of veterans benefits, assist in the preparation of applications for county, state and federal veteran’s benefits and programs such as: the payment of burial allowances; ensuring grave markers and headstones are properly requested and placed; direct application for state programs like the Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program, Veterans Emergency Assistance, Blind and Paralyzed Veterans Pensions and the Education Gratuity Program; and federal health care benefits, service connected disability and non-service connected disability pensions, and survivor benefits.

For more information on other Veterans Service Organizations and to find out more about veterans benefits, visit the DMVA online at www.dmva.state.pa.us and click on Veterans Affairs or follow DMVA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/padmva.