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Get help with your decision review request

If you need help requesting a decision review, you may want to work with an accredited attorney, a claims agent, or a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representative. We trust these professionals because they’re trained and certified in the VA claims and appeals processes and can help you with VA-related needs.

What does it take to be an accredited representative or a VSO?

Accredited representatives and VSOs need to:

  • Pass an exam
  • Pass a background check
  • Take continuing-education courses to make sure they’re providing the most up-to-date information

Recognized organizations and individuals can legally represent a Veteran, service member, dependent, or survivor before VA. Non-recognized organizations and individuals can provide information, but can’t be representatives.

What does an accredited representative or VSO do?

Accredited representatives and VSOs work on behalf of Veterans and service members—as well as their dependents and survivors. They can help you understand and apply for benefits, like:

  • Disability compensation
  • Education
  • Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)
  • Home loans
  • Life insurance
  • Pension
  • Health care
  • Burial benefits

These trained professionals can also:

  • Help you gather supporting documents (like a doctor’s report or medical test results)
  • File a claim or request a decision review on your behalf
  • Provide added support, like helping with transportation to medical appointments or emergency funds

Note: Veterans Service Officers work for Veterans Service Organizations (both are called VSOs), as well as for local government offices.

What does it cost to use an accredited representative or a VSO?

In general, no individual or organization may charge you a fee to help you request a decision review. However, they may charge you for unusual expenses. VA-accredited claims agents and attorneys may charge for their services only after VA makes a decision about your initial claim. Make sure you ask up front about any fees that you’ll be charged. If you believe a claims agent or attorney charged a fee that’s too high, you can challenge it. 

Find out more in the “How to Challenge a Fee” guide (PDF)

How do I find an accredited representative or a VSO?

You can find an accredited representative or a VSO in 1 of 2 ways:

  • Go to eBenefits to find a local representative (including a recognized VSO, an attorney, or a claims agent) by state/territory, zip code, or the organization’s name. 
    Go to eBenefits
  • Or search the VA Office of General Counsel’s list to find VA-recognized organizations and VA-accredited individuals by name, city, state, or zip code. 
    Search the VA Office of General Counsel’s list

How do I get an accredited representative or a VSO to work on my behalf?

You’ll need to either use eBenefits or fill out a form and mail it in. Choose one of these ways:

  • Use eBenefits to let VA know you’ll be working with a representative or to change your current representation. 
    Go to eBenefits
  • To have a VSO help you, fill out an Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimant’s Representative form (VA Form 21-22). 
    Download VA Form 21-22 (PDF)
  • To have a claims agent or attorney help you, fill out an Appointment of Individual as Claimant’s Representative form (VA Form 21-22a). 
    Download VA Form 21-22a (PDF)

If you’re filling out one of the forms, you’ll need to mail it to your nearest VA regional office. Please speak to the service organization or representative before you send your request. 
Find a regional office near you

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