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Pension Poaching 2.0: Vet “Helper” Orgs Profiting Off Elder Vets’ Benefits

November 10, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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Pension Poaching 2.0: Examining Veterans “Helper” Organizations Profiting Off Elder Veterans’ Hard-Earned Benefits
In 2016, the Institute

In 2016, the Institute on Aging, in partnership with governmental and nonprofit partners, created the Veterans Benefits Protection Project (VBPP). The VBPP: 1) educates older veterans and their loved ones about veterans benefits scams, including how to avoid them; 2) directs older veterans who have already been scammed to legal and regulatory resources that can help; and 3) connects older veterans who wish to apply for veterans benefits to their local County Veterans Service Office. Like so many schemes targeting older adults, pension poaching has evolved in the years since we began our partnership. Due to revised qualification rules released by the VA two years ago, pension poachers are far less likely to pitch annuities and other financial products as a way of qualifying older adults for veterans benefits. The predominant form of pension poaching is now veterans “helper” organizations that partner with home care companies and assisted living facilities to profit off elder veterans’ hard-earned benefits. Our panelists will discuss what these schemes look like in the real world. They will also discuss steps you can take to help victims.

Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 12:30-1:30 PT

Place: online (After registering, you will receive the Zoom link for attendance)


This class will be appropriate for those in aging services, including: family therapists; social workers; nurses; elder-law practitioners; long-term care administrators; gerontologists, human resources professionals and others. But it will also be very helpful and of interest to the lay person. No previous knowledge of the content area is required.

By the end of this training, participants will be able to:

1) Understand what the VA Aid and Attendance benefit is (and is not).

2) Describe at least 3 parts of a typical pension poaching scheme involving a veterans “helper” organization and a home care company.

3) Describe at least 3 parts of a typical pension poaching scheme involving a veterans “helper” organization and an assisted living facility.

4) Explain the Veterans Benefits Protection Project, implementing at least 3 ways it can help you fight pension poaching in your own community.


Ray Flores, MBA, PMP, Executive Director, San Diego Veterans Coalition. Ray is a Navy veteran and international business executive with 25 years of experience managing Department of Defense software and engineering enterprise programs. A member of the County of San Diego’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, Mr. Flores serves as the Executive Director of the San Diego Veterans Coalition and promotes the success of organizations that support and serve active duty military and veterans. He promotes collaboration among service providers, advocates on behalf of veterans, and provides leadership which affect local change and serves as a national role-model for other communities to emulate.

Neil Granger, Neil Granger Insurance and Annuity Consulting. Neil is a 35-year veteran in the life and disability insurance industry. Neil specializes in consulting and outreach work in the areas of life insurance, annuities, and agent sales practices, especially as they pertain to seniors. Neil has worked on historic cases that led to significant recovery for victims (including $38 million in one case) and jail time for financial predators. Neil’s experience as an independent life agent and general agent, as well as his work with the California Department of Insurance, legislators, and both private and public attorneys, has given him specialized insight into the sales practices used by agents and carriers. Neil holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Riverside.

Chantelle Smith, Assistant Attorney General, Iowa Attorney General’s Office; Special Assistant United States Attorney. Chantelle is an assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and also serves as a special assistant United States attorney. She has been with the AG’s Office for twenty years and focuses on issues affecting older Iowans and veterans in addition to handling nonprofit and charitable trust matters. She heads the state’s Abuse in Later Life Coordinated Community Response Team and also represents the State Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Office. Chantelle is a member of the Iowa Supreme Court Access to Justice Committee and serves as co-chair of the Veterans Work Group. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law.


Shawna Reeves, MSW, Director of Elder Abuse Prevention, Institute on Aging. Shawna is an elder abuse expert who has worked in the field of elder justice for 15 years. Shawna has presented on frauds and scams throughout the country, worked on consumer protection legislation that has increased the financial well-being of elders, and authored several journal articles on elder financial abuse. She is currently the Director of Elder Abuse Prevention at the Institute on Aging. Shawna is an appointee to the California Department of Insurance Curriculum Board and a Steering Committee Member of the California Elder Justice Coalition. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Santa Clara University and her master’s degree in social work from Smith College.

If you seek 1 professional Continuing Education Unit, please note this in your reservation. There will be no charge for this.

Also note that BBS no longer delivers CEs. CAMFT does offer CEs to LCSWs.

For further information or cancellation (within 24 hours prior to event), in addition to questions, grievances, concerns, and special accommodations for disabilities, please contact Caitlin Morgan, Education Manager, Institute on Aging, at cmorgan@ioaging.org, or (415) 750-4114.

Continuing Education Information (1 Continuing Education Unit): BRN; CAMFT (serves LCSWs/MFTs/LEPs/LPCCs); MCLE (Attorneys/Fiduciaries)

All Continuing Education certificates will be delivered digitally, within 12 working days of the event. After the program, an evaluation-test will be provided to all CE registrants, who must turn in their evaluation by email, in order to qualify for a CE certificate.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), Provider # CEP13610, for 1.0 Contact Hours

CAMFT: Institute on Aging is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for this program. IOA maintains responsibility for the course and its content. Course meets the qualifications for 1.0 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. CAMFT provider number is #135377.

State Bar of California (MCLE) : Course meets the qualifications for 1.0 hours of continuing education credit for Attorneys & Licensed Fiduciaries (Provider #13264).


Institute on Aging


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