Under Title 38 CFR Section 14.629, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) requires periodic renewal of your accreditation authority for the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for veterans through 3 hours of continuing legal education every 2 years.
For agents and attorneys already accredited with VA, we offer two approved 3 hour video courses (online and DVD) to meet your initial first year CLE requirements or any additional three hours on veterans benefits law and procedures required every two years.
Our 2017 VA Accreditation training course (study materials) pertaining to VA's Accreditation Exam, for individuals and non-practicing attorneys, includes the following:
- A Training Manual on veterans benefits for taking the VA Accreditation test (480 pages),
- A Study Guide (80 pages),
- Selections from Title 38 CFR Pertaining to the Accredited Agents Exam (648 pages),
- 375 Practice Questions with answers (76 pages), and
- Limited Phone Support to answer general questions regarding application, testing, and study.
The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes three types of individuals who have received certification (accreditation authority) from the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist with applications for veterans benefits.
- Accredited agents
- Accredited attorneys
- Accredited service officers from veterans service organizations
Anyone other than an attorney or a service officer with a VA recognized service organization must apply for accreditation authority as an "accredited agent."
The process is free. The applicant does an online search for "VA form 21a." The form is completed and sent in to the Office of General Counsel in Washington DC. Application requires listing 3 references who are not members of the family. VA will send a letter to each of these references to produce a written assessment regarding the applicant's character. All three of these character assessments must be in the file before VA will approve accreditation.
After approximately 90 days, VA will respond to the initial application for accreditation with a letter directing the applicant to call the closest regional counsel office and schedule the test. The applicant has up to six months to schedule the exam. The test will be proctored in that office. The exam is a paper and pencil exam consisting of 28 questions, about half of which are true and false and half of which are multiple choice. The candidate has 90 minutes to complete the exam. Most people who have gone through our study course are done in about 15 minutes.
In the approval letter to take the exam, VA will include instructions on what sections of US code and Code of Federal Regulations to study. This is approximately 1,200 pages of material and VA does not provide this material nor provide information on how to obtain it.
We have simplified the study process considerably by providing in plain, understandable English, information an applicant would need to know to answer questions on the VA accreditation test. We also supply 5 sample exams of 75 questions each -- 375 questions in all -- with and without answers, to help the applicant prepare for the accreditation test. Our success rate on passing the accreditation exam is about 95%. Those who have not passed the first time have a second chance within six months of application and all who have taken it a second time have passed it. On average, the required study time is about 40 hours of effort.
Within about three or four weeks after passing the test, the Office of General Counsel will send a letter to the applicant that that person is now an accredited claims agent with VA.
Care must be taken with this new authority. VA does expect accredited agents to help veterans with claims for benefits and when called upon to provide resources or referrals for appeals. An accredited claims agent is prohibited from using the accreditation as a means of promoting his or her business. General Counsel frowns on insurance agents becoming accredited solely to sell insurance products. VA will not provide accreditation if this is the purpose.
Within 12 months of receiving the accreditation letter, the accredited agent must complete 3 hours of continuing education relating to veterans law. In addition, within the first 3 years of being accredited, another 3 hours of continuing education is required. After that, 3 hours of continuing education is required every 2 years. We also provide 2 oustanding continuing education courses to help you meet your continuing education requirements. Unlike other courses, our training will actually teach you hands-on how to do just about any type of claim for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Request information in the form below or call (800) 989-8137 for pricing and more detail.