How to become a certified va claims agent
What’s it? VA Accreditation program?
It is the VA accreditation program is designed for the purpose of ensuring it is that Veterans and their families get the proper representation for your VA entitlements. VA accreditation serves only one goal of creating, representing and defending the claims of people before VA.
What is the time when VA accreditation needed?
A person must generally be certified by VA to aid the claimant with the preparation
the presentation and submission of a claim to VA benefits, all with no charge.1 VA accredits three types of people for this purpose:
Veterans from VA recognized veterans service organizations (VSO)2
attorneys (accredited in their own capacity but not through the law firm)
Agents for claims (accredited in their own capacity and not through an organisation)
How can I apply to be a lawyer or claim agent with VA accreditation?
Step 1: > Complete VA Form 21a
Make sure that you fill out every section of the form.
Second Step: It is suggested to include any documents you require to VA Form
21a.We recommend you include a recent document of satisfactory standing issued by each state courts, bars and Federal agency or State agencies in which you have been accepted. (This applies to lawyers and claim agents).
For VA Form 21a, in the event that you choose to answer “yes” to question 13A, 14A, 15A 16-17-18, 20 22A, 23A or 24A Please attach a thorough explanation of the circumstances surrounding it.
- Upload Your VA Form 21a as well as any other attachments to OGC(Please only select one option for submission):
Mail: Office of the General Counsel (022D), 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC20420. Fax: (202) 495-5457.
VA regulations permit a one-time exception to the general rule. This permits VA to allow an individual to prepare the claim, present it, and then prosecute one claim with no approval. The assistance is at no expense to the applicant and is subject to rules of representation and cannot be used to circumvent accreditation conditions.
To request certification as representative of a VSO representative, get in touch with the official who certifies the organization.
Q1 What is the time it will take to complete my application?
A1: Attorney applications typically require between 60 and 120 days from the time of submission. Since there more steps involved in claims agent applications, these applications can take on average one year to be processed.
Q2: If I’m recognized in the field of claims or attorney services, what should I do to ensure that I maintain the VA accreditation?
A2 It is required that you: (1) Complete 3 hours of ongoing educational (CLE) requirements within the first 12 months following your the initial accreditation by VA and another 3 hours of CLE no more than 3 years after the date you were accredited and every two years after that; (2) You must provide an original copy of your training certificate or write a letter certifying to the VA’s Office of the General Counsel that you have completed the required CLE and the CLE title and date, time and trainer; (3) submit each year a certificate of good standing with any bar, court, or Federal or State agency which you have been legally licensed to practice.
Q3: Can I get recognized as a veteran advocate for their claims if I’m an employee of the Federal government?
A3: No. A person employed by the Federal government can’t generally provide representational services to VA. However, if currently serving in the Reserve section or the Armed Forces, you are not considered to be a Federal employee if you are not currently on active duty or on active duty to train.
Q4: Can an approved claim agent or attorney charge fee for the preparation of for an Initial VA claim?
A4: No. A licensed lawyer or claim agent is able to typically charge claimants a fee only after an organization of initial jurisdiction (e.g. an VA Regional Office) is issued with a ruling on a claim. A Notice of Disagreement has been submitted and the agent or attorney has executed a power of attorney and an agreement for fees with VA.
Q5:If I provide advice to the family members of veterans regarding VA benefits, but I do not submit their claims on their behalf should I be accredited?
A5: Yes.You must have a valid accreditation to assist in the preparation, presentation or even the prosecution of the VA Benefit claim.The act of advising a claimant about particular benefits or instructing the claimant on how to complete the application even if you’ve did not ever put pen to paper, is considered to be claims preparation.
Q6: Should I use my VA certification be used to promote or to promote my other interests in business?
A6: No. VA Accredits individuals for only the reasons of ensuring that VA clients receive a responsible and competent representation when preparing and prosecuting claims in front of the Department. You are not permitted to make use of your VA accreditation to promote any other companies, including referral business, financial services or home care businesses. If VA decides that an accredited representative or attorney uses VA accreditation for a wrongful motive, VA may suspend or end the accreditation. VA could also cooperate with the authorities of state law enforcement in the event it is believed that an individual’s actions could affect the state’s laws.
Question 7: Do you have any standards of conduct I have to be adhering to as an accredited individual?
A7: Yes. You must comply with the conduct standards set forth within 38 C.F.R. SS 14.632 and described in the fact sheet that reads “How to File a Complaint Regarding Representation.”
Question 8: Should I break the rules of conduct, or engage in illegal or unethical behavior What will happen?
A8 In the event that VA finds that an accredited person has not complied with the standards in conduct VA could suspend or terminate his accreditation. VA can communicate the suspension or cancellation of VA accreditation to any organizations, courthouses, bar associations or other agencies to which you have been admitted and also to the employers of your organization. Additionally, VA may collaborate with police authorities of the state in the event it is believed that an person’s actions could have consequences according to state laws.
Q9: What do I do if I have questions about my VA certification?
A9: You may submit inquiries regarding VA accreditation to [email protected].