An accredited representative is an individual who has undergone a formal training and application process and is recognized by VA as being capable of assisting claimants with their affairs before VA. Most accredited representatives work for veteran service organizations (VSOs) many of which are private non-profit groups that advocate on behalf of Veterans, Servicemembers, dependents and survivors. Accredited representatives may also work for state or county government entities.
The accreditation process includes a NACVSO-led week-long training course and an exam, as well as an application through NACVSO to VA Office of General Counsel (OGC) who does a background investigation. Yearly continuing education units are required to ensure VSOs are providing the most up-to-date information. Recognized organizations and individuals, whether congressionally chartered VSOs or VA accredited claims agents or attorneys, can legally represent a Veteran, Service member, Dependent, or Survivor before VA. Non-recognized organizations and individuals can provide information, but cannot be a representative.
What is the role of an accredited representative?
A VSO, along with state, county, and other local Veteran service representatives are trained to help you understand and apply for any VA benefits you may be entitled to including: compensation, education, vocational rehabilitation and employment, home loans, life insurance, pension, health care, and burial benefits. Additionally, your VSO can help you gather any evidence needed and submit a Fully Developed Claim on your behalf. Many VSOs provide their services free-of-charge, but they may request reimbursement for unusual expenses.
In addition to assisting Veterans and their families with VA claims, VSOs also sponsor a range of Veteran-centric programs such as providing transportation to and from VA medical center appointments, funds and volunteers for disaster relief, and grants. VSOs also advocate to Congress on behalf of issues facing Veterans and help support requests for resources needed by VA to better serve Veterans, their families, and survivors.


"A Veterans Service Organization, Focused on Your Benefits"