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Accredited Representatives with the VA

by | May 31, 2024 | Firm News |

There are a lot of organizations that can be found online who represent Veterans in their pursuit of VA disability benefits. However, not all of these organizations are accredited to handle VA disability claims by the Department of Veterans Affairs. As with any certification, the VA disability accreditation shows that these organizations are well versed in the rule and requirements of the VA and that the organizations have been fully investigated to determine any potential deficiencies in their practices. Most importantly, these unaccredited organizations often charge fees which are unreasonable, and often times are frankly against the law. It is important to verify that the organization which you have hired is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Title 38, US Code, Section 5901 provides that “no individual may act as an agent or attorney in the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of any claim under laws administered by the Secretary unless such individual has been recognized for such purposes by the Secretary.”

Accredited attorneys are highly regulated in order to protect the Veterans that they represent. They must follow a certain standard of professional conduct. If an accredited attorney or agent violates those standards, the VA can cancel their accreditation. Furthermore, to become and remain accredited, attorneys must submit an application to the VA with evidence of good standing from bars, courts, and agencies to which they are admitted as well as having a requirement for continuing legal education.

The VA further protects veterans by regulating the fees accredited attorneys and agents may charge. A fee of 20 percent or less of any past-due benefits recovered by the accredited attorney is presumed to reasonable while a fee over 33 and 1/3 percent of any past-due benefits is presumed to be unreasonable.

There has been an increase in recent years regarding the number of organizations that are providing disability services for veterans without being properly accredited. The VA has taken steps to alert Veterans of potential scams in their disability representation.

Much like any accreditation, the VA disability accreditation provide veterans with assurances that they are being provided adequate representation throughout their disability claim. The accreditation allows the VA to both verify the conduct and character of the representative, ensure that the representatives focus is on the Veteran, a reasonable fee, and that the Veteran has some recourse against their accredited agent should any conflicts arise.

Each VA disability attorney at Gardberg and Kemmerly has been accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to represent Veterans’ disability claims. Veterans may search for accredited representatives at If an individual or organization is not accredited, the VA can provide no guardrails to the Veteran regarding adequacy of representation or unreasonable fees.



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