The average wait time for men and women leaving the military to begin receiving their benefits is about nine months.
Many of these new veterans have trouble finding good-paying civilian jobs. Some of them, struggling with the physical and mental injuries of combat, are barely getting by, if that.
It can be very tempting if someone claiming to be an advisor tells the veteran he or she can access the benefits they have earned faster -- if they just pay a fee.
But those "advisors" are running scams, said Tony DiFrancesco, the Director of Dauphin County's Office of Veterans Affairs.
Reports of such scams around the country, targeting old and young veterans alike, are rising at an alarming rate, said Commissioner George Hartwick III. While the midstate has yet to see a similar rise, District Attorney Ed Marsico warned veterans to be on guard against such unscrupulous actors.
It's understandable that veterans are frustrated about the delays at the federal level, DiFrancesco said. But spending money on someone claiming to "speed the process up" isn't going to help.
"If you go out and get a lawyer and pay him, it's not going to work any quicker," DiFrancesco said. "It's really not."