Legislation Would Impose Asset-Transfer Rules on Veterans Applying for Pension Benefits
July 13, 2012
Legislation recently introduced in Congress would require the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) to impose rules on the transfer of assets by veterans applying for pensions.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), calls for a three-year "look-back" period, similar to that of Medicaid, to determine if an applicant has transferred assets prior to applying for pension benefits in order to qualify. Applicants who transfer assets would be subject to a penalty period during which they would not be eligible to receive benefits.
A report released in June by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) called for stricter oversight by the VA of its non-service connected pension program. According to the report, the VA's design and management of the program "do not adequately ensure that only veterans with financial need receive pension benefits.
For the full GAO report, go to http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-540.
For bill S. 3270, go to http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3270/text.