Elizabeth Warren: Let’s Stop Scamming Our Vets

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/41612846@N08/6146760219/in/photolist-anaKEt-93NfMD-dqn8HG-a5w6qY-a5wjYu-bJqYqr-eNdCnw-8Cyo2t-8Cyo2e-aT5Qya-dqn8CA-auAHGJ-aT5Qyv-aT5Qyr-aT5Qyc-aT5Qyi-aT5Qy4-auAHHY-auAHJE-81arkx-djED2x-djEAjV-djEzrv-djECKF-djECuH-djEBH8-djEBr7-djEB1e-djEzQ8-djEA3Y-djEAwu-djEBbZ-djEC8L-djEDj2-dqmZMH-6XeYH8-8F98bg-9eFHFY-d1397E-bMjRp6-aQm2UK-aQm2Ng-aQm3ez-aQm2Ca-aQEEsV-aQm3kg-aQprje-aQEEqg-aQm3WH-aQm4J4-aQpr8P">Courtney Sacco</a>/Flickr

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that would protect elderly veterans from financial scams and sketchy financial advisers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funds an assisted living program for certain low-income veterans, and for years scammers and faux investment consultants have preyed on elderly vets enrolled in it. Warren and Rubio’s bill, introduced Tuesday, would require the VA to crack down on these shady dealers.

“For thousands of our oldest veterans who need help with basic daily activities, the…program is a critical lifeline,” Warren said. “Unfortunately, scams are turning the program into something that can actually undermine the financial security of our older veterans and waste federal funds.”

Swindlers calling themselves “veteran’s advisers” often charge vets fees to help them obtain assisted living benefits, even though the application is free, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). “Investment advisers” also profit off the assisted living program. These advisers will counsel veterans who have too many assets to qualify for the program to stow some of their money in a trust or account that cannot be accessed for years, so that it appears the vets are poor enough to qualify. The result is that vets cannot access their savings, and investment advisers earn a healthy commission for their “advice.”

Warren and Rubio initially proposed the legislation in November as an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The amendment did not make it into the final annual defense bill, prompting Warren and her Republican colleague to introduce a stand-alone bill.

“This bipartisan proposal will help put an end to these financial scams and ensure that we honor our veterans’ commitment, sacrifice, and service to the nation,” Warren said.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate