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Veterans' pension benefits : improvements needed to ensure only qualified veterans and survivors receive benefits : report to Congressional requesters. Preview this item
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Veterans' pension benefits : improvements needed to ensure only qualified veterans and survivors receive benefits : report to Congressional requesters.

Author: Daniel Bertoni; United States. Government Accountability Office.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : U.S. Govt. Accountability Office, [2012]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The VA pension program is intended to provide economic benefits to wartime veterans and survivors with financial need. GAO was asked to examine (1) how the design and management of VA's pension program ensure that only those with financial need receive pension benefits and (2) what is known about organizations that are marketing financial products and services to enable veterans and survivors to qualify for VA  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Daniel Bertoni; United States. Government Accountability Office.
OCLC Number: 795027521
Notes: Title from cover screen (viewed on June 9, 2012).
"May 2012."
"GAO-12-540."
Description: 1 online resource (ii, 64 p.) : ill.
Details: System requirements: Adobe Reader.; Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Contents: Background --
VA pension program design and management do not ensure only those with financial need receive benefits --
Many organizations help VA pension claimants transfer assets to qualify for benefits --
Conclusions.
Other Titles: Improvements needed to ensure only qualified veterans and survivors receive benefits
Veterans' benefits

Abstract:

The VA pension program is intended to provide economic benefits to wartime veterans and survivors with financial need. GAO was asked to examine (1) how the design and management of VA's pension program ensure that only those with financial need receive pension benefits and (2) what is known about organizations that are marketing financial products and services to enable veterans and survivors to qualify for VA pension benefits. GAO's study included a review of VA's policies and procedures, site visits to VA's three Pension Management Centers, and online research and interviews of organizations that market financial and estate planning services to help veterans and survivors qualify for VA pension benefits. Congress should consider establishing a look-back and penalty period for pension claimants who transfer assets for less than fair market value prior to applying, similar to other federally supported means-tested programs. VA should (1) request information about asset transfers and other assets and income sources on application forms, (2) verify financial information during the initial claims process, (3) strengthen coordination with VA's fiduciary program, and (4) provide clearer guidance to claims processors assessing claimants' eligibility.
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