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This Memorial Day, Don't Forget Who We're Remembering


Two Houston money managers spend their free time on something more valuable than money: helping disabled veterans.

Washington spends $92 billion on corporate welfare (excluding TARP) as the federal government continues to subsidize some of the biggest companies in America. Boeing (BA), Xerox (XRX), IBM (IBM), Motorola (MOT), Dow Chemical (DOW), General Electric (GE), and others have received millions in taxpayer-funded benefits through programs like the Advanced Technology Program and the Export-Import Bank. In addition, the federal crop subsidy programs continue to fund the wealthiest farmers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks at its Washington, DC, headquarters.

And Congress spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it doesn't need and won't use.

But, while people have been given seemingly endless federal dollars to purchase new cars and appliances, disabled military veterans with pressing health-care needs continue to get the short end of the stick -- which is why Houston-based money management firm Krueger & Catalano decided to do something about it.

Founders Michael Catalano and Ryan Krueger have formed a new division of their company called K&C Benefit Partners, which provides pro bono assistance to veterans or their widows so they can begin receiving a benefit approximately two million of them are eligible for but only 143,000 currently get.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance Benefit has been offered since 1951 to help with in-home care and nursing-home or assisted-living facility expenses. It provides up to $1,949 per month, tax free, and is available to any veteran who's served at least 90 days of continuous, active-duty military service in which one of those days was during wartime; was not dishonorably discharged; and who's disabled or over the age of 65. (It's important to note that the VA regards any veteran 65 or older as disabled.)

So, why are 1,857,000 veterans in need not getting the money they're fully entitled to -- and fully deserve?

"If you order the veteran's benefits handbook, it's 76-pages-long with something like 44 pages of subnotes," Mike Catalano told Minyanville. "The benefit is on page 43, with a cursory explanatory paragraph, written in such dense legalese, if you're not an attorney, it's next to impossible to understand. Now, imagine you're a veteran with a psychological disability or you're 85 years old and suffering from Alzheimer's."
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