The VA 21-22 Forms are used for collecting information about the claimant’s representatives. A person claiming U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (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.
Fillable versions of the VA 21-22 Forms are available for download below. This series includes two forms:
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.
Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) were established to advocate on behalf of veterans and provide veteran-specific resources. Many are officially recognized by 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.
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 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.