If you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may assist you in obtaining the benefits to which you are entitled. A VSO representative can help you with that.
In this article, we will explain what a VSO representative is, what they do, and how you can become one.
What does VSO stand for VA?
VSO stands for Veterans Service Organization.
The VA recognizes these organizations to help veterans and their dependents with their VA benefit claims.
Some examples of VSOs are the:
- American Legion
- Disabled American Veterans
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
They have passed an exam and a background check, and have received training on VA regulations and procedures.
How do I find my local VSO?
There are several ways to find a local VSO or a VSO representative near you. You can:
- Visit eBenefits and search for a local representative by state/territory, zip code, or organization’s name.
- Visit VA.GOV and select “VA Benefits and Health Care”, “Disability”, “View all in disability”, “Get Help filing a claim”.
- Search the VA Office of the General Counsel’s list to find VA-recognized organizations and VA-accredited individuals by name, city, state, or zip code.
- Use the directory of VA-recognized VSOs that are co-located with VA to find a VSO office in your local regional benefit office.
- Call 888-777-4443 and ask for help to locate a VSO.
How to become a VSO representative
If you want to become a VSO representative, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be an employee or a member of a VA-recognized VSO.
- Your VSO must recommend it for accreditation.
- You must have good moral character and fitness to represent veterans and their families.
- You must complete an application form (VA Form 21a) and submit it to the VA Office of General Counsel.
- Must complete 3 hours of qualifying continuing legal education (CLE) during the first 12-month period following your initial accreditation, and an additional 3 hours every 2 years thereafter.
- You must provide a copy of your training certificate or certify in writing your completion of the CLE to the VA Office of General Counsel.
- Annually submit a certification of good standing to any court, bar, or Federal or State agency where you are admitted to practice.
A VSO representative is a valuable resource for veterans and their families who need help with their VA benefit claims.
They can provide information, guidance, and representation on various types of benefits, such as disability compensation, pension, education, home loans, and more.
To become a VSO representative, you must affiliate with a VA-recognized VSO, pass an exam and a background check, gain accreditation from the VA, and complete ongoing training.
If you have an interest in becoming a VSO representative, you can contact your local VSO or visit the VA website for more information.
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