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Help From a Veteran

Old 07-15-2009, 11:13 AM
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My dad is a retired Naval Aviator and as such was receiving military retirement benefits. He suffered a stroke a couple of weeks ago and as a result is unable to handle his own affairs anymore. My Dad was smart enough to give my brother Durable General Power of Attorney to handle any decisions regarding medical or financial matters. We are in the process of trying to get things in order and one of the things we are trying to straighten out is his military retirement. His finances are so messed up that we have opened a new account and want to have his benefits deposited into this new account. After 2 hours on the phone today with toadies at the Veterans Admin., all I have gotten out of them is that they do not recognize Power of Attorney documents (funny, everyone else we have dealt with does) and that my brother must become a Fiduciary in order to make any changes. Great, now we are getting somewhere except that I cannot speak to a human to find out how we go about this. The VA 800 number has loads of options, but none that specifically address this issue and I cannot get a human that does. The only human I have spoken with referred me back to the 800 number and told me which options to select except that NO SUCH OPTION is available.

Does anyone out there have any knowledge or experience in this area? If so, please let me know.

Thank you
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:38 AM
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Call the VA back one more time. Explain what you have been through so far and that you are not getting the right answers. When they give you the runaround, which they most likely will, ask for his/her name and tell that person that you are at the end of your tether and feel you need to call your senator's office and ask their staffer to intervene.
In my experience they absolutely hate having politicians make points off of them, and I believe you will get the response you want.

Last edited by Menzies; 07-15-2009 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:42 AM
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First, I'm sorry for your situation. I lost my dad to a stroke. Hard to believe it's been 11 yrs.. I'm not a legal pro but I can't see why that document is not recognized. I recommend that you go to the nearest Va office in person with the document and keep insisting on seeing the next supervisor up until you get results.
Mike
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:42 AM
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Have you tried to do anything online?
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:33 PM
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Contact your congressman. One thing they are there to do is to make federal bureaucracies work for their voters.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DFreedom View Post
My dad is a retired Naval Aviator and as such was receiving military retirement benefits. He suffered a stroke a couple of weeks ago and as a result is unable to handle his own affairs anymore. My Dad was smart enough to give my brother Durable General Power of Attorney to handle any decisions regarding medical or financial matters. We are in the process of trying to get things in order and one of the things we are trying to straighten out is his military retirement. His finances are so messed up that we have opened a new account and want to have his benefits deposited into this new account. After 2 hours on the phone today with toadies at the Veterans Admin., all I have gotten out of them is that they do not recognize Power of Attorney documents (funny, everyone else we have dealt with does) and that my brother must become a Fiduciary in order to make any changes. Great, now we are getting somewhere except that I cannot speak to a human to find out how we go about this. The VA 800 number has loads of options, but none that specifically address this issue and I cannot get a human that does. The only human I have spoken with referred me back to the 800 number and told me which options to select except that NO SUCH OPTION is available.

Does anyone out there have any knowledge or experience in this area? If so, please let me know.

Thank you
I see you're in Columbia, SC....you may want to call the JAG office at Ft Jackson for some advice....quite a few lawyers with experience in these matters in military towns...the VA does one thing very, very well....turn off, and subsequently, run off most eligible military veterans.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:34 AM
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Here is the address for the local benefits office in Columbia. 6437 Garners Ferry Road
Columbia SC 29209and the number is 1-800-827-1000. I would go to the office in person with your paperwork. It is hard to blow someone off in person easy on the phone. SC also runs a state VA office and sometimes you get more help from them. Their counselors will work with the VA to help. Their number is 803-576-1905.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:00 AM
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The VA office just moved out to the VA hospital area it is on the west side of the property, the side towards the city. Get all of your documents and go to the office that is what is there for.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:59 AM
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Thanks Folks, all good information and I really appreciate it. Say what you want about old Strom Thurmond but if he were alive today I could get this problem fixed in less than an hour.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:22 AM
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It does not matter who you see at VA when it comes to someone signing. They want the veteran to sign no if and or buts. What you have to do is have your father sign with an X if tha's all he is able to do. You will need wittness's to this process and they also have to sign also alone with the POA. Your dad is also able to get another benafit. It's called Aid and Assistance. It's for any wartime area vetern AND there spouse. If any service person was on active duty for only one day during any war(ie-ww1,ww2,Korea,Vietnam,etc) they are eligible for over $1000.00 per month in tax free money all you need is there DD214. I'll try to find the web site and post back
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