Practice Before the Department of Veterans Affairs
Effective July 1, 2008, any attorney wishing to assist claimants in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for VA benefits must be accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for that purpose.
The initial accreditation process consists of application (VA Form 21a) to the General Counsel of the VA, self-certification of admission information concerning practice before any other court, bar, or State or Federal Agency, and a determination of character and fitness. To download the Appointment of Individual as Claimant’s Representative Form go to: www.va.gov/va forms. The General Counsel will presume an attorney’s character and fitness to practice before the DVA based on State Bar membership in good standing unless the General Counsel receives credible information to the contrary.
As a further condition of initial accreditation, attorneys are required to complete at least 3 hours of qualifying continuing legal education (CLE) during the first 12 month period following the date of initial
accreditation by DVA. To qualify, a CLE course must be approved by any State Bar Association, and at a minimum must cover the following topics: representation before the DVA, claims procedures, basic eligibility for VA benefi ts, right to appeal, disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation and pension. To maintain accreditation, attorneys must complete an additional 3 hours of qualifying CLE on veterans benefits law and procedure not later than 3 years from the date of initial accreditation and every 2 years thereafter.
The Pennsylvania Bar Institute is pleased to present this training requirement. Join our expert faculty as they present a program that will meet and surpass the requirements set down by DVA.
Recorded in October 2018.