Detailed Description of the Study Materials

Detailed Description of the Study Materials for the Accredited Agents Exam

Option 1 - (2019) Study Materials


Use this option if you only want purchase the study materials to prepare for the exam to become accredited. The study materials include the following:

- "Study Instructions for the Claims Agent Exam",
- "Training Manual for the Accredited Agents Exam",
- "Selections from Title 38 Code Of Federal Regulations", and
- 450 Practice Questions with answers

Option 2 - (2019) Study Materials and "How to Apply" book


Taking the exam to become accredited will not introduce you to the application forms nor help you understand the application process (this option will do all of this). Your purchase includes the following:

- Book: How to Apply for Dept. of Veterans Affairs Benefits for Veterans and Their Survivors (2019 Edition)
- "Study Instructions for the Claims Agent Exam",
- "Training Manual for the Accredited Agents Exam",
- "Selections from Title 38 Code Of Federal Regulations", and
- 450 Practice Questions with answers

1. “Study Instructions for the Claims Agent Exam” 4 pages

Instructions on how to apply for accreditation, a suggested coure of study, and what to expect from the exam.

2. “Selections from Title 38 Code Of Federal Regulations” 680 pages

This compilation includes applicable regulations that are covered by the accredited agents exam. We have included only those regulations that we feel apply to the test. Applicable regulations include sections of PART 1, PART 3, PART 4, PART 13 PART 14, PART 19 AND PART 20.

The response VA sends you for authority to take the exam consists of a letter that contains the information below. We have found that the test relies primarily on certain sections in parts of Title 38, Code Of Federal Regulations listed in the letter. We have not found very many questions – if any – taken from Title 38, United States Code. You need to understand that the regulations of Title 38 CFR are all derived from Title 38 USC. It’s the same thing but with more detail in the federal regulations as opposed to the US code.

Copy of Content of Welcome Letter from VA General Counsel

We have received your application for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accreditation as a claims agent. We are writing to the individuals you have given as character references. In addition, the examination is being sent to the VA Regional Counsel’s office in –

The topics which may be covered on the examination include compensation and pension programs, claim procedures, appeals, agents’ fees, and waiver of indebtedness. We recommend studying title 38, United States Code, chapters 1, 11, 13, 15, 51, 53, 59, 71, and 72, and title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 1, 3, 4, 14, 19, and 20. The questions on the claims agent examination are primarily based on information which can be found in these statutes and regulations. The examination is a closed-book examination consisting of 25 multiple-choice and true-false questions. The time allowed for taking the examination is 90 minutes. The passing score is at least 18 correctly answered questions.

Please call the Regional Counsel’s office in – to make an appointment to take the examination. After completion, the examination will be sent to this office for grading. You will be notified promptly by this office if your do not pass the examination. If you pass, we will advise you as to your accreditation as soon as we have received responses from the persons you listed in your application as character references. (Sample welcome letter from VA General Counsel after filing VA Form 21a.)

It is unfortunate that VA provides nothing for study except reference to the regulations. Not only that, you have to find your own source of regulations. Going into the regulations and trying to make sense of what they are saying is extremely frustrating. Many of the regulations represent changes over the years and it's hard to understand what is current and what is not.

Even though the welcome letter from VA directs you to study certain chapters of Title 38 of the United States Code, we have not found that this is necessary to passing VA’s exam. The referenced parts of Title 38 Code Of Federal Regulations in the welcome letter are sufficient material for passing the exam.

The study material we are providing you as well as the practice tests are to help you study for and have a greater chance of success for passing the accredited agents exam. Please know that we do not guarantee you will pass the accreditation exam based on using this material. On the other hand, without this material you would have a difficult time and a significant challenge preparing for and passing the test.

3. “Preparing for the Accredited Agents Exam –Practice Tests WITHOUT ANSWERS” 90 pages

This first spiral-bound book of practice questions contains the 6 sets of 75 questions for each set, WITHOUT ANSWERS – 450 questions in all (view samples).

4. “Preparing for the Accredited Agents Exam – Practice Tests WITH ANSWERS” 90 pages

This second spiral-bound book of practice questions contains the same 6 sets of 75 questions for each set provided in the first spiral-bound book, WITH ANSWERS – 450 questions in all (view samples).

5. “Training Manual for the Accredited Agents Exam” 534 pages

Chapter 1 – 38 CFR Part 1 – Claimant’s Rights and Debt Management; Page 1

  • Introduction; Pg. 2
  • Claimants Rights and Obtaining Records; Pg. 3
  • Basics of a Claim for Disability Benefits; Pg. 22
  • VA Debt Management; Pg. 33
  • Example of Filing a Waiver for Debt; Pg. 35
  • Citations in 38 CFR Part 1 Pertaining to This Chapter; Pg. 40

Chapter 2 – 38 CFR Part 3 – Adjudication General Rules and Procedures; Page 47

  • Introduction; Pg. 48
  • Definition of a Veteran; Pg. 49
  • Other Groups Eligible for Veterans Benefits; Pg. 50
  • Requirements for Receiving VA Benefits; Pg. 52
  • Active Duty, Active Duty for Training and Inactive Duty for Training; Pg. 52
  • Period of Active Duty Service; Pg. 53
  • In the Line of Duty and Willful Misconduct; Pg. 54
  • Character of the Discharge; Pg. 56
  • Appealing the Character of the Discharge; Pg. 58
  • Providing Proof of Service; Pg. 59
  • Definition of a Surviving Spouse and Child; Pg. 61
  • Providing Evidence of Death for Burial and Survivor Benefits; Pg. 62
  • Understanding Marriage Issues, Evidence of Marriage and Evidence of Death; Pg. 63
  • Submitting an Intent to File – VA Form 21-0966; Pg. 76
  • VA’s Duty to Assist; Pg. 78
  • Verification of Active Duty Service; Pg. 80
  • The Importance of Submitting a Fully Developed Claim; Pg. 82
  • Online eBenefits Claims versus Mailed Paper Claims; Pg. 86
  • Claim Forms to Be Used after March 24, 2015; Pg. 94
  • Priority Claims; Pg. 102
  • Understanding Effective Dates; Pg. 106
  • Signatures and VA Power Of Attorney; Pg. 119
  • If the Claimant Dies While the Application Is Pending; Pg. 123
  • How the Regional Office Handles a Claim for Accrued Benefits; Pg. 132
  • Directed Study in 38 CFR Part 3 for This Chapter; Pg. 145

Chapter 3 – 38 CFR Part 3 – Adjudication Rules for Specific Benefits; Page 149

  • Introduction; Pg. 149
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension; Pg. 151
  • Description of Disability Compensation; Pg. 191
  • The Requirements for Entitlement to Disability Compensation; Pg. 194
  • Selected Disability Compensation Claims from 38 CFR Part 3; Pg. 201
  • Individual Unemployability 38 CFR 3.14; Pg. 205
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Pg. 206
  • Ratings for Special Purposes – Special Monthly Compensation; Pg. 216
  • Ratings for Special Purposes – Aid and Attendance and Housebound; Pg. 220
  • Ratings for Special Purposes – Incompetency; Pg. 230
  • Ratings for Special Purposes – Section 1151 Claims; Pg. 230
  • Special Benefits; Pg. 234
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC); Pg. 238
  • Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation; Pg. 244
  • Burial Benefits; Pg. 247
  • Directed Study in 38 CFR Part 3 for This Chapter; Pg. 255

Chapter 4 – 38 CFR Parts 4, 13 – Disability Rating Decisions; Page 257

  • Introduction; Pg. 258
  • Overview of Concepts Covered in This Chapter; Pg. 259
  • Paper Claim Folders and eFolders in the Regional Office; Pg. 264
  • The Veterans Service Center in the Regional Office; Pg. 265
  • Evaluation of the Evidence Submitted to the Regional Office; Pg. 273
  • Understanding the Disability Rating System; Pg. 282
  • VA Fiduciary Program; Pg. 291
  • About the Fiduciary Program from; Pg. 292

Chapter 5 – 38 CFR Part 14 – Authority for Claim Representation; Page 301

  • Introduction; Pg. 302
  • The Requirement for Accreditation; Pg. 304
  • How to Become Accredited; Pg. 310
  • The Issue of Charging a Fee; Pg. 312
  • When Fees Can Be Charged; Pg. 322
  • Providing Fair and Ethical Representation for Claimants; Pg. 329
  • Recent Government Response to Abuses in Representation; Pg. 340

Chapter 6 – 38 CFR Parts 3, 19, 20 – Adverse Actions and Appeals for Legacy Claims and Legacy Appeals; Page 355

  • Introduction; Pg. 356
  • Understanding Development Letters (Section 5103 Notices); Pg. 357
  • Adverse Actions with Legacy Claims; Pg. 360
  • Appealing an Adverse Decision; Pg. 364
  • The Steps in the Legacy Appeal Process; Pg. 366

Chapter 7 – 38 CFR Parts 3, 19, 20 – Unfavorable Decisions under the Appeals Modernization Act of 2017; Page 373

  • Introduction; Pg. 374
  • The Backlog with Appeals; Pg. 375
  • Overview of the Modernized Review System; Pg. 384
  • New or Revised Regulations Pertaining to the Modernized Review System; Pg. 398
  • Implementing the New Review System; Pg. 406

Chapter 8 – Veterans Benefits and Issues Not Included on the Accreditation Exam; Page 411

  • Correction of Military Records; Pg. 412
  • Military Retirement Survivor Benefits; Pg. 431
  • Veterans Healthcare; Pg. 441
  • State Veterans Benefits; Pg. 457
  • National Care Planning Council List of State Veterans Homes; Pg. 471
  • Education Benefits; Pg. 478
  • Loan Guarantee Program; Pg. 490
  • Housing Support for Disabled Veterans; Pg. 496
  • Vocational Rehabilitation; Pg. 499
  • Service Members Group Life Insurance (SGLI); Pg. 511
  • Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI); Pg. 513
  • Family Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI); Pg. 516
  • SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI); Pg. 519
  • Service Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI); Pg. 520
  • Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance; Pg. 521
  • Survivors and Dependents Education Eligibility; Pg. 522
  • Survivors and Dependents Employment Services; Pg. 527
  • Survivors and Dependents Health Care; Pg. 527
  • Survivors Home Loans; Pg. 528

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