Veteran Service Organizations

Many veterans are unaware of all the resources available to them to assist them in navigating the VA and applying for the benefits that they deserve. One of the best-kept secrets is veteran service organizations that exist free of charge to assist veterans in receiving their benefits through the VA. Many VSO’s exist as partnership agencies with the VA, to assist service members with claims and benefits, scholarships, training, counseling, and other related programs. Many VSO’s are recognized and approved by the VA Secretary for purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VSO’s can help the veteran with many things but many of the most common things they do are offer claims assistance, education, home loans, medical claims, career and transition assistance, job training, and even substance abuse counseling or referrals to the appropriate counselor needed. The reasons VSO’s are highly recommended is that they can help a transitioning service member maximize their VA benefits, or be able to answer questions that may arise. VSO’s can also serve as power of attorney for veterans who allow, and file disability claims on the veteran’s behalf. This service is crucial, because the VA requires certain forms to be filled out for certain benefits, the VSO has this knowledge and can save the veteran time when completing their claims.

It is very important when looking for VSO’s in your local community, that you ensure they are VA accredited and federally chartered. This is important because these types of VSO’s services are free of charge, any organization that does not fit that requirement may be able to charge the veteran and is not recommended by the VA. Some of the more common VSO groups that you may see in your local community are Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Veterans (AMVETS), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), American Legion, to name a few. If you want to learn where your local VSO’s are near you, you can go online at va.gov, or call 1-800-827-1000 and they will give you a list of VSO’s near you.

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