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|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.
|Notes:||Title from cover screen (viewed on June 9, 2012).
|Description:||1 online resource (ii, 64 p.) : ill.|
|Details:||System requirements: Adobe Reader.; Mode of access: World Wide Web.|
|Other Titles:||Improvements needed to ensure only qualified veterans and survivors receive benefits
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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