What Is VA Form 21-22 Series?
VA Form 21-22, Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimant's Representative and VA Form 21-22a, Appointment of Individual as Claimant's Representative are released by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to collect information about the claimant’s representatives. A person who is claiming VA benefits is able to authorize a representative to help with receiving VA benefits such as compensation, education, vocational rehabilitation and employment, home loans, life insurance, pension, health care, and burial benefits.
The VA rules allow for the following individuals to be a representative: a member of an accredited organization or a service organization recognized by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, an agent recognized by the VA, or a licensed lawyer. Agents and attorneys can charge a fee for their services. They are remunerated after the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) gives claimants their final decision about their application.
Appointment of Individual as Claimant’s Representative
Claimants can authorize a registered claims agent as their representative. Registered agents are non-attorneys who have been accredited by the VA to represent claimants in much the same way as service officers. Agents are generally individuals with experience in the VA claims process who are not employees of the Veterans Service Organization (VSO). Unlike service officers, however, agents may charge a fee for their services.
Another option for a claimant is to hire an attorney. Attorneys are now able to represent claimants for a fee after a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) has been filed. Many veterans have found that attorneys have the experience and training necessary to respond effectively to legal issues that develop during appeals. This becomes useful if a claim reaches the court, although claimants can still represent themselves in court.
Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimant’s Representative
VSOs were established to advocate on behalf of veterans and provide veteran-specific resources. Many are officially recognized by the Congress and are mostly private, non-profit organizations run by volunteers. Service officers, also known as service representatives, are individuals who are employees of a recognized VSO or a state or county department of the VA. Service officers have been “accredited” by the VA through their experience, education, and training to represent claimants in VA benefits claims. A major advantage of service officers is that their services are free-of-charge.
Use this form if you are a veteran claiming for benefits and wish to have a service organization assist you with your claim by appointing a representative.
This is an official form used by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) in order to select a claimant's representative and have their contact information on file.