Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Veteran's Benefits / Veterans Generally Need Accredited Help Filing For Benefits

Veterans Generally Need Accredited Help Filing For Benefits

Veterans may receive assistance from anyone at all in making claims for benefits – but only once.


After that, according to federal law, the person offering the help must be accredited as either an attorney, agent or representative of a service organization, as noted on the website longtermcarelink.net.

“Federal law dictates that no one may help a veteran in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of an initial claim for VA benefits unless that person is accredited,” according to the article.” The only exception to this law is that any one person can help any veteran, one-time only with a claim. To help any veteran a second time requires accreditation.

“In order to be accredited to help veterans with new claims, an individual desiring this certification from VA must submit a formal application, must meet certain character requirements and work history requirements and, except for attorneys, must pass a comprehensive test relating to veterans claims and benefits. There are also requirements for ongoing continuing education.”

This is not, the article points out, a prohibition on a veteran talking about his or her claim with a spouse, other relative or friends.

“The point at which discussion narrows down to specific information about the veteran’s service record, medical conditions, financial situation including income and assets and other issues relating to a claim specific to a veteran or dependent triggers accreditation,” according to the site.

The threshold for the VA, the story noted, comes once the veteran “has expressed an intent to file an application for veterans benefits.”

“It does not matter whether physical help with filing the claim is provided or not. The need for accreditation occurs at a much earlier stage than becoming physically involved in the claim. For a better understanding of how VA General Counsel interprets the need for accreditation please go to the VA Office of General Counsel Website — Frequently Asked Questions about Accreditation at http://www4.va.gov/ogc/accred_faqs.asp.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn