Veterans Affairs along with the Pennsylvania Department of Military declare that no former servicemembers should ever be charged for assistance in finding or signing up for veterans benefits. Astonishingly, a growing number of businesses are charging veterans for help with their applications.
Many organizations exist to assist veterans in learning more about their VA benefits, and many do it free of charge as they should. A large number of these aid organizations are government-run, or founded by former servicemembers themselves. If a veteran is asked to pay, then he or she should inquire somewhere else.
Brigadier General Mike Gould, the Pennsylvania state deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs said, “I cannot stress it enough when I say that veterans should never pay for these services.” Gould went on to say, “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, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, or AMVETS to name a few.”
Numerous organizations have employees or volunteers, known as veterans’ service officers, who are trained to help former military members with their benefits. Assistance such as Veterans Emergency Assistance, Blind and Paralyzed Veterans Pension, Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption program are all veterans’ benefits that should have no inquiry or attainment fees. Also, the VA offers education and healthcare assistance that simply require a completed form before receipt of these benefits.
Servicemembers can find out more about their VA benefits entitlements by contacting their nearest veterans office.
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