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Thom Stoddert inadvertently stated that Medicare has a five-year looking back window for benefits eligibility ("Elderly veterans exploited", guest op, Auburn Reporter, Aug. 16). Medicare is a benefit for which eligibility is contingent upon, and part of, Social Security benefits. The looking-back window of five years is for Medicaid payment. Medicaid is a federally subsidized program that is managed by the State of Washington.
Expert assistance with VA benefits is available free of charge from any one of many VA accredited service organizations such as the VFW or American Legion. If a so-called veterans advocate tries to charge a fee for services, please call the VA inspector general or the state attorney general. The VA allows attorneys to charge a nominal fee on appeals only.