How to Apply
To become a fiduciary for a family member or friend, submit a request with the beneficiary‘s name and VA file number, and your name and contact information to the VA regional office nearest you.
To become a professional fiduciary, submit your resume with cover letter to the following e-mail address: VA_Fiduciary@va.gov. Include your name, the name of your organization (if applicable), mailing address, and e-mail address with your request.
The fiduciary selection is based on an assessment of the qualifications of the proposed fiduciary. When seeking a fiduciary the following individuals may be considered:
- A spouse or family member
- Court-appointed fiduciaries
- Another interested party, or
- A professional fiduciary
An assessment of the qualifications of a proposed fiduciary includes, but is not limited to:
- The willingness to serve and abide by all agreements
- An interview with a VA representative
- Credit report review
- An inquiry into the criminal background, and
- Interviews with character witnesses
Any individual appointed as a VA fiduciary is responsible for managing the beneficiary‘s VA income and ensuring the beneficiary‘s just debts are paid. Additional, responsibilities of the fiduciary include, but are not limited to the following:
- Utilizing the funds for the daily needs (e.g., food, clothing, housing, medical expenses, and personal items) of the beneficiary and his/her recognized dependents.
- Never borrowing, loaning, or gifting funds belonging to the beneficiary.
- Reporting any of the following changes to the Fiduciary Activity immediately:
- Change in address or phone number of the beneficiary or fiduciary
- Change in income or dependents
- Incarceration of the beneficiary
- Hospitalization of the beneficiary in a VA or state facility, and
- Death of the beneficiary or the beneficiary’s dependents
- Establishing a properly titled bank account as follows: (Beneficiary’s Name), by (Fiduciary’s Name, Federal Fiduciary).
- Never commingling the beneficiary‘s funds with those of another.
- Never withdrawing cash from the beneficiary’s account by counter check or ATM withdrawal.
- Timely submitting periodic accountings when required.
- Keeping accurate, complete records and receipts, regardless of any requirement to submit periodic accountings.
- Conserving excess funds in a federally or state insured interest bearing account or United States savings bonds.
- Registering saving bonds to reflect proper ownership and the existence of the fiduciary relationship, as follows: (Beneficiary‘s Name), (Social Security No.), under custodianship by designation of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Reporting any event that affects the beneficiary‘s payment or entitlement to benefits and promptly returning any payment that the beneficiary is not due.
- Notifying VA of any changes or circumstances that would affect your performance as a payee or your decision to continue to serve as a payee (e.g., you sell or transfer your business).
- Returning any funds owned by the beneficiary to VA if you stop serving as the fiduciary.
- Notifying the VA if the beneficiary‘s condition improves to a point where you believe he or she no longer needs a fiduciary.
- Protecting the beneficiary‘s funds from the claims of creditors since the beneficiary‘s funds are protected by law.
Periodic Onsite Review
Onsite reviews are intended to ensure fiduciaries are performing their duties satisfactorily and to protect beneficiaries from misuse of their benefits by the fiduciaries. The onsite review strengthens VA’s oversight of fiduciaries and supplements the field examination and accounting process.
- Under 38 U.S.C. 5508, VA must conduct periodic onsite reviews of any fiduciary who is located in the United States and serving more than 20 beneficiaries and who has total VA funds under management for beneficiaries in excess of $50,000, as adjusted by VA under 38 U.S.C. 5312.
- The current threshold for periodic onsite reviews is $63,480, effective December 1, 2016.
In addition, VA may conduct onsite reviews of fiduciaries as necessary to ensure the well-being of beneficiaries or prevent exploitation of beneficiary funds.