Veterans protection coalition awarded for elder abuse prevention efforts
News: 2017 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The San Francisco Veterans Benefits Protection Project (VBPP) received a 2017 Aging Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies for Aging (n4a) for its efforts to prevent and combat elder abuse. As a member of the VBPP coalition, the California Department of Insurance remains committed to protecting and educating seniors about fraud and scams.
VBPP was created in response to the devastating new form of elder financial abuse where financial predators target veterans with the sale of unsuitable deferred annuities and dangerous irrevocable living trusts in order to qualify the veterans for government benefits. This pension-poaching scam threatens the financial well-being of thousands of senior veterans across the country, despite recent legislation in California and other states to rein in the worst practices.
"This award recognizes coordinated efforts to protect elders," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I am proud to be part of a coalition whose goals are to detect fraud at early stages and fight pension-poaching scams that target elder veterans. Our department is committed to working with other California agencies to educate veterans and their survivors about potential rip-off schemes and to end scams targeting senior veterans across the state."
Following National Senior Citizen Day, Jones encourages elders and their loved ones to remember these tips when purchasing insurance:
- Obtain all proposals in writing.
- Don't be pressured into buying any insurance product. Take enough time to review the information before making any decisions.
- Do not sign anything you do not understand.
- Consider having a trusted family member, friend or advisor participate in discussions concerning the purchase of any insurance product.
- Make sure the agent, broker and insurance company are properly licensed to sell the product you are considering purchasing. You can verify a licensee status.
The award-winning coalition, led by the Institute on Aging's Elder Abuse Prevention Program, brings together a variety of organizations, including the California Department of Insurance, Office of the Attorney General, San Francisco Mayor's Office, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, San Francisco Adult Protective Services, San Francisco Department of Adult and Aging Services, San Francisco County Veterans Service Office, San Francisco Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission to educate and protect elder veterans.
- More information for seniors and loved ones: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0150-seniors/
- VBPP webpage is www.ioaging.org/vbpp
- Veterans interested in finding out more about the Veterans Aid and Attendance program should call the San Francisco County Veterans Service Office at (800) 807-5799. This office will help veterans apply for this program at no charge.
- Agency contacts for more information:
- Institute on Aging's Elder Abuse Prevention Program: (415) 750-4188, http://www.ioaging.org/collaborations-elder-protection/elder-abuse-prevention
- Office of the Attorney General: (415) 703-5837, https://oag.ca.gov
- San Francisco Mayor's Office: (415) 554-6131, http://sfmayor.org
- California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform: (415) 974-5171, http://www.canhr.org
- Human Services Agency of San Francisco: Office: (415) 557-5940, http://www.sfhsa.org
- San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission: (415) 554-6036, http://sfgov.org/vets/
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $394 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.