Burnsville, MN – November 11, 2013 – This Veterans Day, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is reminding area veterans that it’s not necessary to pay outside organizations or individuals for assistance to receive their United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.
“We are aware that some organizations offer to assist veterans navigate the benefits process – for a fee,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “While this is not illegal, we’re simply looking to remind veterans there are organizations, as well as agencies and attorneys under contract with the VA, in place to help them free of charge.”
In Minnesota, veterans with any questions about their benefits should call the LinkVet line at 888-546-5838. Otherwise, any veteran – or family member or caregiver – residing in any other state can receive confidential support and guidance 24 hours a day, year-round, through the Veterans Crisis Line (800-273-8255) or by texting 838255. Veterans visiting the VA’s website – veteranscrisisline.net – can take advantage of online chat services or access helpful resources and information.
Other sources that offer free benefits counseling and assistance with filing for benefits include County Veterans Service Officers and various other Veteran service organizations, such as The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Minnesota and North Dakota’s Department of Veterans Affairs also offer such assistance free of charge.
The BBB launched a local Military Line program in May of 2012. Since then, they have traveled across Minnesota and North Dakota, visiting military installations, National Guard armories and military expos, offering fraud prevention trainings and programs designed to help service members and their families become wiser consumers.
This week, on Tuesday, November 12, BBB Military Line will appear at the MACV Standdown in Mankato, Minnesota. All veterans are invited to attend.
For more information on the educational programs and services BBB Military Line offers, contact Vicki Lokken-Paverud at 651-695-2428.