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Vice President’s Report, January/February 2024 -   -  

Be Aware of Unaacredited Veteran Service Representatives

As we usher in a new year, it’s a time for reflecting and improving how we operate. Our goal is to enhance responsiveness to inquiries directed to our headquarters, a matter often referred to as “communication with the National Office.”

A recurrent concern is that calls to headquarters go unanswered. While I understand these frustrations, the fact is that our communications channels have significantly improved. Each complaint about unanswered calls is thoroughly investigated. I can personally attest to this, having been directly involved in follow-ups. Rest assured, our switchboard is manned throughout all business hours, ensuring there’s always someone to respond.

We’ve also made substantial improvements in our budgeting process. Through the diligent efforts of Phil Waite and the team, we’re on track to finalize our budget well ahead of the fiscal year’s end. I’ll have more updates on this as we progress.


A cornerstone of our advice has always been to find an accredited service officer to handle claims and appeals—ideally, a VVA service officer. If you opt for external assistance, try to make sure that your lawyer is accredited to manage VA claims and appeals.

The importance of this cannot be overstated, as highlighted by the Texas Attorney General’s recent lawsuit against a company called VA Claims Insider for deceptive practices, including misleading contracts that charge exorbitant fees for services that are not provided or are illegal.

It’s imperative to understand that claims assistance must be provided by accredited individuals, as mandated by federal law. This ensures that those offering legal help are trained, tested, and subject to oversight and disciplinary actions. Remember, credible organizations such as Vietnam Veterans of America offer these services free of charge.

Unscrupulous firms are out there, ready to claim a substantial portion of your benefits. Before engaging any legal service, verify the firm’s credentials and reputation. Should you need help, reach out to VVA headquarters or a trustworthy, accredited law firm.

Lastly, be cognizant of the fact that although unaccredited service representatives are prohibited from prosecuting claims, the penalties for such actions were removed in 2006. This change has allowed unaccredited individuals, posing as Veteran Service Representatives, to operate with virtual impunity.

This message is a call to vigilance: Be astute and cautious. Engaging with unverified representatives could lead to significant financial loss. Stay informed and safeguard your interests with diligence.




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