Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans
VA Attorney Accreditation
Attorneys who want to assist with claims for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits before the Board of Veterans Appeals or VA Regional Offices must be accredited by the VA. Get an overview of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs appeals process.
From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website: “Accreditation means authority is granted by the VA to assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits. 38 C.F.R. Â§ 14.627(a). Unaccredited individuals may provide other services to veterans so long as they do not assist in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits.”
VA website links regarding the accreditation process
The initial accreditation requirements for attorneys include the following:
Application to VA General Counsel (see link above for VA Form 21a). The accreditation process can take from four to six weeks.
Self-certification of admission information concerning practice before any other court, bar, or state or federal agency.
Affirmative determination of character and fitness by VA (presumed by VA based on State Bar membership in good standing).
Notice: Attorneys must be accredited with the VA prior to completing required CLE. Complete 3 hours of CLE during first 12-month period following date of initial VA accreditation. Course must be approved by any state bar association and must cover the following topics at a minimum: 1) Representation before VA, 2) Claims procedures, 3) Basic eligibility for VA benefits, 4) Right to appeal, 5) Disability compensation, 6) Dependency and indemnity compensation, and 7) Pension. Must certify in writing to Office of General Counsel upon completion.
Complete additional 3 hours of qualifying CLE on veterans benefits law and procedures (not later than 3 years after initial accreditation and every 2 years thereafter). Certify completion of post-accreditation CLE requirements in writing to Office of General Counsel upon completion.
Annually, submit to VA information about any court, bar, or federal or state agency to which attorney is admitted to practice or appear, and certification of good standing.
NOTICE: Attorneys must be accredited with the VA prior to completing required CLE.
For a list of VA Accreditation Courses/DVDs, please click here.