“Members of Congress and all citizens should understand how the VA “fiduciary” program really operates, not just how VA officials claim it works.
Today, elderly veterans will do without prescribed medicine, have the power to their homes threatened to be turned off, and be evicted, despite having thousands of dollars in the bank because a VA-appointed “fiduciary” would not provide those veterans with a single dollar more than VA approved for payment months or years ago.
Today, VA will ignore the expressed wishes of a veteran and the pleadings of his or her spouse, children, and caregivers and appoint a “fiduciary” to control the veteran’s finances, a “fiduciary” who has never met or spoken with the veteran or any family member.
Today, VA will demand physical access to an elderly veteran, the veteran’s home, and the entire family’s financial information.
Today, VA will ignore a valid Power of Attorney and disregard a State Court Order of Guardianship to assert authority over a veteran’s finances.
Today, VA will determine that a wife of more than 60 years with her full mental faculties is not qualified to make financial decisions for her veteran husband.
Today, VA will stop the direct deposit of the monthly benefits that a veteran relies upon for daily living expenses and authorize a person who has never spoken with, much less met, the veteran to seize all of the veteran’s bank accounts.
Today, VA will decide a veteran’s financial needs for the next three years based on a single hour-long interrogation by a VA “field examiner” who possesses no discernable expertise in finance, social work, mental health, or any other discipline reasonably viewed as pertaining to such a task.
Today, a VA-appointed “fiduciary” will sign a contract with VA that requires him or her to do only what VA tells him or her to do with a veteran’s money.
Today, VA will instruct that “fiduciary” to avoid meeting or even speaking with “their” veteran and to refuse to provide the veteran or family with any information about the veteran’s money.
Today, VA will withhold a 90 year old veteran’s benefits payments because his family refused to let VA invade his home or rifle through his family’s financial information.
Sadly, every one of the outrages described above has occurred in one or more of the cases in which I am involved – some more than once. Indeed, VA-appointed “fiduciaries” have – under oath – confirmed that these examples are in many ways typical of how the VA “fiduciary” program operates.”