How Do I Know If Someone Is Qualified To Help Me With My VA Application?

Applying for VA benefits can be both confusing and stressful. This is why it’s so important to make sure that the people who are helping you are both knowledgeable and qualified. Anyone can discuss VA benefits in general with a veteran. However, anyone who helps prepare an application for VA benefits or discuses specific information regarding a veteran’s claim must be accredited with the VA.
The VA recognizes three types of professionals who may become accredited with the VA: attorneys, agents, and representatives of service organizations. Those applying for accreditation must submit an application and must meet certain character requirements. Additionally, all professionals, except for attorneys, must pass an exam that tests knowledge about all types of veteran’s claims and benefits.
There is an exception for someone who wishes to help a veteran, on a one-time basis, with their application. For example, a daughter could help her veteran father with the application.
This system is in place so that veterans and their families receive quality assistance with their benefit claims. Unfortunately, we frequently hear of individuals or companies who aren’t accredited, but who claim to offer help with applying for VA benefits. Working with someone is not accredited is not advisable and can lead to problems getting the Veterans benefits you deserve.
For a better understanding of what types of assistance require accreditation, you can visit the VA Office of General Counsel at http://www4.va.gov/ogc/accred_faqs.asp.

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