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Va Accreditation As A Claims Agent?


Cruinthe

Question

Does anyone know the regulations, if any, regarding accreditation by the VA as an agent?

I checked the VA site, and the information there seems to pertain mostly to lawyers.

http://www4.va.gov/ogc/accreditation.asp

I know that service officers may represent a veterans up to the BVA, but I think only a lawyer can take an appeal to the CAVC.

So, does anyone know what the accreditation process is for DAV or VFW service officers?

Is there a written test administered by the VA?

I passed my National Veterans Legal Service Program certification, and they are the lawyers that the VA uses to train service-officers, so I am not overly worried.

But having the actual regulation in front of me would help.

Any input would be appreciated.

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Congratulations!

The accreditation regulations are here:

http://www4.va.gov/ogc/accreditation.asp

As I recall when I got my certificate from NVLSP ( gee that was 13 years ago and I need to take the newest course as a fresher)

it was required that anyone becoming fully accredited had to attend a 2 or 3 day seminar in Texas which I believe was overseen by NVLSP.

If that has changed that criteria the newer info on the seminar might be at the NVLSP web site.

"Is there a written test administered by the VA? " Good question- I will try to find an answer-

Don't hesitate to call the Office of General Counsel for any questions you have on this.Their accreditation expert used to be Mike Daugherty but I think he moved into a different OGC department.

The accreditation regs are basically the same in many respects for lawyers as well as VSOs and reps.

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I am not sure if this version is a little more upodated. This also includes a OGC phone contact number for questions:

"VA Published Accreditation Regulations

On October 12, 2007, VA published in the Federal Register final rule AM29, Accreditation of Service Organization Representatives and Agents, amending 38 C.F.R. §§ 14.629 and 14.633. The final rule will: (1) require veterans service organizations (VSO) to periodically recertify the qualifications of accredited representatives; (2) require VSOs to notify VA's Office of the General Counsel when a VSO's request to cancel a representative's accreditation is based on misconduct or lack of competence; and, (3) add procedures for suspension of accreditation and reinstatement following suspension.

After publication of the proposed rule, the President signed Public Law 109-461 amending chapter 59 of title 38, United States Code, governing the representation of veterans before VA. As a result of these amendments, proposed procedures for the periodic recertification of agents were dropped from the final rule.

In comments to the proposed rule, VSOs expressed concern regarding their ability to recertify representatives in a timely manner. To address this concern, the rule is effective 90 days from the date of publication, January 10, 2008. Moreover, compliance dates for recertification of accredited representatives will be phased in over a 15-month period according to the first letter of the last name of the representative and the first group of recertifications, for those representatives with last names beginning with the letters A through F, must be complete not later than April 9, 2008. For questions regarding this rule, please call VA's Office of the General Counsel at (202) 273‑6315.

(Link to full text of final regulation)

from: http://www.va.gov/ogc/accreditation.asp"

The OGC attorney I mentioned-as I recall-Mike Daugherty - was the author of this newer criteria in 2007 and I talked to him days after it went into the Federal Register.

I have often wondered if this was fully implemented by the OGC and vet orgs for re- certification.

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Thank you for the clarification, Berta. Great input, as always. When I took my first veteran client into the VARO to sign the 22a form, I showed my NVLSP certificate to the VA case manager and she just looked at it, then waved it away and said she didn't care about that. I am not overly worried about it myself, because I have already gotten one veteran from 70% to 100% T&P within 2 months of taking on her claim. I will stand on my accomplishments until the VA pushes the issue.

I would love to take an in-house training session, but the NVLSP test was 70+ questions, and it was pretty in-depth. I looked on the NVLSP webpage and all I can see it a brief mention of an upcoming "advanced training course", but not much else. I guess this is as good as it gets for now.

Gotta get back to whats important, helping veterans!

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Ok, the VA officially questioned me on my ability to become a veterans POA. I got a clarification from the NVLSP, and they said their course is just a prep for the VA test. Fair enough, but I suffer from TBI, PTSD, and CFS. My memory is shot to ribbons. I can pass a test, but only if I have plenty of time and a fairly stress free environment. I somehow doubt the VA will provide such an environment, more likely the VA will lob a few flash-bangs into the room and spike my coffee with LSD.

Anyhow, two card I have up my sleeve. One, I state clearly that I do not request nor accept payment of any kind for any service offered. Second, if I MUST take the VA OSC test, I will demand an environment that takes my service-connected disabilities into consideration, and I will take this one to the BVA or CAVC if need be. If someone wants to help their fellow veterans, and has a proven track record for getting results (on their own terms), we should not have to jump through the VA's flaming hoops.

Just my two cents. I will keep everyone advised.

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If you don't take money what can the VA really say. If I was in your shoes I would request in a nice way the accommodations that you want.

I am not 100% sure but I think that VVA offers training to become a Service Officer. If you are not going to be VVA Service Officer they charge but the most expensive would be the hotel and travel if the training was not in your city.

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I think I may do as you say and contact a service org. I am mostly averse to doing so, but VVA is a fairly decent group. I will most likely request the OSC for a test next month. We will see how it goes.

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