VA Benefits Participant Guide.pdf

The va office of general counsel accredits chartered

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The VA Office of General Counsel accredits chartered organizations through an intense process that requires approval by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Once accredited, VSOs routinely participate in extensive training programs and receive comprehensive continuing education to maintain the most current information concerning Veterans’ benefits. VSOs are trained and knowledgeable in all areas of Veterans benefits. VSOs, together with state, county, and local Veteran Service Representatives (VSRs), help Veterans, their families, and survivors understand and navigate benefits programs such as compensation, survivor benefits, pension, health care, education, vocational rehabilitation and employment, home loans, life insurance, and burial benefits. They will also assist claimants with health care eligibility, VA Home Loan Guaranty, and other Veterans benefits, including those offered by the state. These services are provided free of charge by chartered VSOs. There are many VSOs across the country that can help you fill out VA forms, tell you about VA benefits, and provide other forms of assistance. VSOs are either “recognized” or “nonrecognized.” A recognized organization can legally represent you before VA, while a nonrecognized organization cannot represent you before VA, but can provide you with information. If an organization’s help requires unusual expenses, such as extensive photocopying, you should inquire about its policies for reimbursement. Most organizations that provide these services are free. Check with the organization for specifics.
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Participant Guide – Version 1.1 39 If you want to appoint a recognized VSO as your representative, that organization or VA can provide you with VA Form 21-22, Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimant’s Representative, which acts as a limited power of attorney (POA). This limited POA allows the VSO to represent you only for VA-related claim issues. Find the form at . How to Locate a VSO Search the database at . This database includes all recognized VSOs as well as accredited national, state, and local VSO representatives, attorneys, and claims agents. Search on the eBenefits portal to find a VSO near you. o Go to eBenefits at and click Manage Your VA Representative. o On the next page, you can choose Representative Request (to find a claims agent, attorney, or VSO to assist you) or Representative Search (to search by state, city, ZIP code, or the name of a VSO). o Your search results will include the VSOs in a geographic area in alphabetical order. Some VA Medical Centers, VA Regional Offices, or military installations have VSOs on premises. Veteran Peer Groups There are more Veteran Peer Group organizations to help support you than we can mention here.
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  • Winter '19
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs

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