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Veterans should never pay for help to apply for benefits, says DMVA

Image of the DMVA Minute Man statue

ANNVILLE, Pa. – Veterans, active military and their dependents should never pay for help to apply for veteran’s benefits, according to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

“Through the years we have seen businesses and individuals who offer ‘free’ help applying for veterans benefits, but in the end they issue a bill under the guise of financial planning or some other service rendered,” said Brig. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general. “Understanding and learning about benefits can be challenging at times, and the last thing our veterans and their families need to worry about is an unexpected charge for something that should be provided for free.”

General Carrelli said there is plenty of free assistance from accredited veteran service officers through credible organizations such as the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, county veterans affairs offices, American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, and many more.

Accredited veteran service officers provide veterans and their dependents free assistance to identify, determine eligibility for and apply for a wide range of benefits on the local, state and federal levels, including:

• payment of burial allowances,
• ensuring grave markers and headstones are properly requested and placed,
• the Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program,
• veterans emergency assistance,
• blind and paralyzed veterans pensions,
• the Education Gratuity Program,
• service connected disability and non-service connected disability pensions,
• federal health care benefits, and
• survivor benefits.

To locate your County Director of Veterans Affairs or for more information on other veterans service organizations and to find out more about veterans benefits, visit the DMVA online at http://www.dmva.pa.gov and click on Veterans Affairs, or follow DMVA on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/padmva or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/padmva.