Who is the Best Representative for VA Claims and Appeals?

Navigating the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs claims and appeals process, with all its rules, forms, and steps, can be daunting.  


Choosing a representative is crucial; one who is accredited and understands your situation can be of great help with your VA claims and appeals. 


What is an accredited representative? 


An accredited representative—a professional whom the VA has officially recognized as a guide for veterans filing claims or appeals—is an invaluable ally in the complex world of VA benefits. A VA-accredited representative can help you understand and apply for any VA benefits you may be entitled to, including compensation, education, Veteran Readiness and Employment, home loans, life insurance, pension, health care, and burial benefits. Such a representative helps you understand the process, fill out the right forms, and make your voice heard. 


The VA accredits three types of representatives: Veterans Service Officers, attorneys, and claims agents. A qualified representative is one deemed by the VA’s Office of General Counsel to be competent and of good moral character. 


A Veterans Service Officer, or VSO, works for veterans-service organizations and often is him- or herself a veteran who understands what you’re going through and is dedicated to helping fellow service members. A VSO assists free of charge. 


A licensed attorney who is a member in good standing of at least one state bar is presumed fit to represent veterans in their claims.  


A claims agent who applies for accreditation must undergo a character review by the VA’s Office of General Counsel and pass a written examination on VA law and procedure. 


The Office of General Counsel maintains a list of VA-recognized organizations and VA-accredited individuals that are authorized to assist in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA benefit claims at https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp.   


There are also many other online resources available to assist you with finding a representative.  You can check your state’s veteran’s department to find an accredited representative near you.  You can also check out the directory of accredited representatives who are members of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates. 


For more information on VA accreditation, please visit https://www.va.gov/ogc/accreditation.asp. 


Making the right choice 


Should you go with an accredited attorney, claims agent, or a VSO?  


That depends. If you need legal advice or have a complex case, you may want an accredited attorney to help you. If you’re filing a relatively straightforward claim, however, you may find a claims agent or VSO is sufficient. Ultimately, the right representative is the one who best understands your situation and can most effectively advocate for you. 


Stay away from unaccredited people who claim to be authorized to prepare, present, or prosecute VA benefit claims, for they are in violation of federal law. 


How Vets National can help 


Vets National’s team of experienced professionals is here to offer guidance, advice, and advocacy. We’re committed to ensuring you receive the benefits you deserve. 


Are you ready to take the next step in your VA claims process? Contact Vets National today, at 877-777-4021. We’ll help you make sure your service is honored and your rights are upheld. 

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