Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard
Natasha

Please help with US Veteran's Affairs

Recommended Posts

Since I'm not American, I am little help to my Mexican (widow) friend who has being receiving a Veteran's Affairs pension (benefit from her dead American husband) since before I met her (1999). During that time there have been some ups and downs (bureaucratic bumblings) which I was always able to help straighten out.

Not this one.  She has not received a penny in over 5 months despite Aurora Michel  doing her best to work with US consul people. First the woman was told her "numbers" were wrong.  NOT WRONG.  She has all the right numbers and info.......

However, today she got the impression (talking once again with US Consulate in Guad) that the problem is  she does not have a U.S. bank account, and they have no way to send her the payments that used to come to Actinver/Lloyds via the U.S. bank connection they used to have. Am guessing this is due to the new FATCA rules???

This woman is in her late 60's and cannot work outside the home due to being full-time caregiver / attendant to her adult  epileptic (and some other issues) daughter who needs constant supervision. Even if she had the money (she does not) I doubt she could qualify for a visa to go to the US to open a US bank account, and even if she could go, her Mexican passport is outdated. She does have family here, but they are all laboring people and can only give her minimal support.  Meanwhile, she and her daughter both need medications.... and they need to EAT!!!

Does ANYONE out there have any suggestions I can pass along to help this lady? All help greatly appreciated!  Gracias

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to know a similar Mexican widow that also received a VA Pension. She just sent them the info about her Banamex account, and they deposit it every month. Doubt that has changes. They have a form that she downloaded on Internet and mailed to them to set that up. Doubt that process has changed. Spencer might help. Also, you can probably get help from the American Legion in Chapala. Worth asking about. It takes lots of time to get things corrected with the US government (sadly) and you would not believe how much thievery and dishonesty there is in that organization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Hud.  Interesting because earlier this evening I told her to go to Banamex tomorrow and talk to them...   If there's form she needs they will tell her and I'll download as she has no computer, internet, nor the skills. 

She's alredy tried American Legion. Don't know why that did not pan out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look up who is on the VA Affairs committees.  There is one in the House and one for the Senate.  It will list the members.

Look up their email addresses.  Compose a letter and send it to all the members.  

This is an election year.  You might find someone in that maze that needs a "feel good story" to tell the voters.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she were to sign up for an account with Intercam she can have her check sent to an intermediary bank in the US that Intercam uses for this purpose; then the money is transfered to her account at Intercam.  Easy, peasy.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sending letters to Congresspeople during an election year is always a good idea. Also she might try sending a letter to the Senator and Representative for the State and district where her husband last lived. She needs somebody to cut through the red tape.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the problem with the Legion was that she did not have an English speaker to help her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, it's hard to know how to assist your friend without a clear understanding of why her survivor pension benefits ceased.  I'm doubtful of the purported need for a US bank account to receive benefits.

If I were in her shoes, I'd probably bypass the US Consulate in Guadalajara and attempt to reach out directly to the VA Administration for information.  There is a toll free helpline for VA Benefits & Services that is staffed M-F between the hours of 8:00 am-9:00 pm ET:  1-800-827-1000.  (From Mexico, I believe that a caller may need to dial 001-880-827-1000 and possibly be prepared to incur international calling charges.)  I don't know how likely it is that one will get through to a real live human being capable of helping, but I'm thinking a call to this number is at least worth a try.

I'd attempt to explain as simply as possible that my VA survivor pension benefit payments ceased being direct-deposited to my Mexican bank account (or otherwise received) as of 5 months ago and that I wanted to know why.  I'd pass along all of the pension-identifying information asked of me.  And I'd make certain to inquire about what exactly I needed to do to get the payments reinstated.  I'd then proceed, as directed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Google " top ten places to get help for VA benefits". 10 Suggestions with phone numbers and web site links.

Also, the book " Veterans Benefits for Dummies" is available through Amazon and does ship to Mexico.

 

Best of luck. Thank you for caring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all who have replied!  Talked to USAA Bank this a.m.and they told me what I need to assemble (hope she has it all) so we try and can proceed with them.  Will report results!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible that the payments have not actually stopped, but that they are still being deposited into the US bank with which Actinver used to have an account.  That would explain why Aurora is/was involved in trying to get those funds.

If that is the case, not only will the lady have to change the deposits to a new bank, possibly USAA if she can open an account, but will also have to apply to the VA to retrieve funds from the other US bank and make up the back payments.

I think Natasha is on the right track. USAA will do everything they can to help.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point, RV !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The widow of a US Veteran is eligible for a USAA bank account.  Once established, she can do all of her banking online or by phone.

It would be great if someone could give her lessons on how to go online at a “cyber“, where she could handle everything; including printing out documents, if needed.  I have banked with them since 1959, by mail, phone and now internet.  Of course, she should be cautioned to guard her passwords closely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Social Security checks can be direct deposited in Mexican banks so I am sure  VA checks can be also. I don't understand why she hasn't opened a MX bank account and sent the routing number/deposit information to the VA for direct deposit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/va_search.jsp?NQ=URL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.benefits.va.gov%2Fpension%2Fspousepen.asp&QT=Appeals&submit.x=43&submit.y=15&submit=Search

Please read this!! Do it!

Always answer concisely and do not , not answer any questions! 

No does not always mean no, most of the denials are because of insufficient info and illegible writing.

Check and and recheck your dates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...