And one of the hardest things that a Veteran runs into is obtaining the benefits promised to them from the very beginning of their signing up to serve our country. It is hard to know all the things you need to do, the forms to fill out and all the documentation you need to keep it all straight. But I have found help for them and the veterans you may know.
Joseph McCarthy’s job isn’t unique, or widely known, but it’s still perhaps one of the most important jobs one can find. He helps wartime veterans get their VA pensions. Joseph Scott McCarthy is a veteran advocate with more than eight years’ experience working with Aid and Attendance and Housebound pensions. With the help of veteran service officers at the American Legion, county veteran service officers, and VA personnel, he has educated and guided thousands of veterans and their surviving spouses through the VA pension process.
For many, especially for those who are injured or disabled this is no easy thing to accomplish. Over 1.5 million wartime service veterans and their surviving spouses are eligible for billions of dollars a year in the form of VA pensions to help pay for assisted living and home care. Many leave their share of the money unclaimed due to their lack of knowledge regarding how to get what’s coming to them.
Over the years Joe has helped thousands of servicemen and women and their surviving spouses achieve success and jump through all the hoops and hurdles necessary to receive their VA pension benefits.
His new book Checks for Vets captures what he knows and puts it all together in a standalone guidebook to help take the mystery out of the bureaucratic process and help people get the maximum benefits that they are eligible for.
McCarthy says that to successfully receive pension benefits requires that you submit several forms of proof to the government.
If you are a wartime service veteran or the surviving spouse of one, you must meet eligibility criteria to receive one of these pensions, such as having met active military service requirements and had an honorable or general discharge. You also have to show a limited income (such as from social security and a small pension), and that you are disabled and have care needs because of your disabilities.
McCarthy has several crucial recommendations to those who are ready to go through the filing process:
Obtain the veteran’s discharge record. Locate and get a copy of your discharge record because you must have it to file a pension application.
Locate other important documents, such as marriage and death certificates. You will need these documents to support your claim.
Locate and select a veteran service officer in your local area. A veteran service officer is a great resource for filing pension claims. There is no fee for their services and you do not need to be a member of their organization.
Identify suitable assisted living facilities or homecare agencies. Plan ahead; don’t wait until you have an immediate need for care. These facilities offer tours and an explanation of services to help you decide if the care provider may be right for you. Care providers will provide you with information you will need to support your claim.
Don’t use outdated pension claim forms. Use only the most current forms so that you only have to fill in the forms once.
Don’t make errors when completing claim forms. Do it right the first time. Errors will cause delays in the processing of your claim.
Don’t pay for prescription medications. Veterans can apply for free health benefits which can save hundreds of dollars per year.
McCarthy says that if you take the right steps and prepare the applications properly, you’ll get the best response in the shortest period of time.
I am going to be sharing my copy of Checks for Vets with our local county veteran service officer aid in town.