Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lawsuit against the VA Fiduciary Program and the veterans rights to appeal

William E. Freeman link to VA Watchdog Today article by Jim Strickland

William E. Freeman
Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs,

"The Freeman case stands to change the way the VA views fiduciary-related matters.

Currently, a veteran who has been found incompetent and appointed a VA fiduciary has no say in the appointment process nor any recourse whatsoever if he or she wants a different fiduciary, is having problems with the VA fiduciary, etc. This is because the VA currently interprets the law regarding fiduciary-related matters (38 USC section 5502) as being at the Secretary's discretion.

The Freeman case is important because it stands to show how fiduciary-related issues "affect the provision of benefits" to a veteran and therefore must be able to be reviewed by the Board of Veterans' Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Given that the VA's Fiduciary Program only has some 102,000 beneficiaries (according to VA OIG report from Mar 2010), the outcome of this case will not affect many veterans.

But, for this group of veterans, if the outcome is favorable for Mr. Freeman, then this case will improve all incompetent veterans' rights to say who can control their VA benefits."

Katrina Eagle, Esq.
President, National Organization of Veterans Advocates, Inc.


I really encourage all veterans and their family members to go to the link to VA Watchdog Today and read what Jim Strickland has written about this subject, all veterans who get benefits from the VA might one day be affected by the outcome of this court case and you should know what your rights are in dealing with the VA when they deny you appeal rights to a determination of incompentency and mandate a fiduciary of their choice and deny the veterans and their spouses of the right to manage theiir own funds, deny to pay bills, insurance policies, utility bills and provide the necessities of life that most people take for granted.

Some veterans die with tens of thousands of dollars in accounts that the families do not even know about and the veterans were denied funds to fix their vehicles, and in some cases buy their children health insurance, and even Christmas presents because the fidicuary could not be troubled.

This is important to all veterans as this could be you one day.

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