A disturbing article in today's New York Times about how lawyers are ripping off Veterans that are applying for aid and attendance benefits in order to qualify and live in expensive nursing homes. Never pay a lawyer for representation in a VA claim unless the benefit has been denied by the VA and it is necessary to appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals or U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Lawyers are strictly prohibited by VA rules from representing veterans in aid and attendance claims for a fee prior to an appeal. VA rules only allow attorneys to represent veterans if it is necessary to appeal a denial of a VA benefit, and that includes a denial of aid and attendance. VA rules also provide that if a lawyer charges a fee to a veteran before there is a denial of a benefit, that lawyer should be disciplined by VA and loose their accreditation. How all of these lawyers are able to charge vulnerable veterans fees up front and not loose their accreditation? Its because of lax oversight by the VA.