SVSA Veterans Affairs Accreditation News

The Senior Veterans Service Alliance is pleased to keep accredited agents and attorneys informed of issues affecting your accreditation and your service to veterans.

GAO Releases Report Critical of VA's Accreditation Oversight

September, 2013

At the end of August, 2013, the GAO (Government Accountability Office) released its year-long investigation into the accreditation practices of the Office of General Counsel – a division of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Accreditation is a government license necessary to assist veterans with their claims. Without this authority, no one may assist a veteran in the preparation, presentation or prosecution of a claim for veterans benefits. The report from the GAO – commissioned by 4 senators who are responsible for veteran’s issues in the Senate – is highly critical of the oversight provided by the Office of General Counsel in granting accreditation authority and in administering ongoing accreditation requirements as well as the handling of complaints relating to individuals who are or who are not accredited. Review the entire Article...

VA Launches Incentive to Increase the Dollar Benefit for Disability Claims

August, 2013

On August 1, 2013 the Department of Veterans Affairs division of Veterans Benefits Administration announced a substantial two year-long incentive for veterans filing claims under the new fully developed claim system. This initiative takes effect on August 6, 2013 and runs through August 5, 2015. For first-time claims for disability compensation – using a fully developed claim – VA will grant an additional year of benefit, if the claim is successful. According to Thomas Day, chief training officer of the Senior Veterans Service Alliance, this is a substantial incentive to use fully developed claims. Mr. Day used an example of a veteran rated at 60% disability who would normally receive $12,312 in his first year of an award under the traditional claim procedure but who could receive $24,624 in his first year of an award using the fully developed claim process. Mr. Day also pointed out that for attorneys or agents who assist with appeals, this example may result in up to an additional $2,462 in fees for that attorney or agent who successfully represents the veteran using a fully developed claim depending on whether the incentive also applies to fully developed claim appeals. Review the entire Article...

Senior Veterans Service Alliance Introduces Fully Developed Claim Training

August, 2013

The SVSA (Senior Veterans Service Alliance) is proud to announce its new training for fully developed claims for accredited attorneys and accredited agents. The Department of Veterans Affairs is serious about using fully developed claims for the initial application for veterans benefits and has been in the process over the last year of training service officers of veterans service organizations (VSOs) to process these complicated claims. Up until now, there has been no such training for accredited attorneys and accredited agents. We at the SVSA are proud to train agents and attorneys in understanding this complex process of submitting fully developed claims. More about the training...