Working with a Veteran Service Officer
Why Should I Partner with a Veteran Service Officer?
Filing a claim with the VA can be overwhelming for transitioning service members, veterans, and family members. Partnering with a Veteran Service Officer can be your best bet for guaranteeing that your claim is as thorough as possible, is processed efficiently, and provides you with prompt access to your benefits.
The Bureau's Veteran Service Officers – all veterans themselves – understand the issues that veterans face after service. They:
- Undergo rigorous education and training
- Are fully knowledgeable about Congressional laws that affect service members, veterans, and families
- Serve as a personal guide to help you better understand and navigate the VA's rules, regulations, and processes
Our highly-experienced Officers will also act as a liaison for you with the VA's regional offices and medical facilities. Through their years of expertise and dedicated advocacy for Maine's veterans, they have developed informal relationships with VA representatives that allow them to break through bureaucracy to get "insider" advice and guidance on claims, helping to eliminate any possible delays with your claim.
Why Have a VSO Submit My Claim vs. Doing it Myself?
When you partner with one of the Bureau's Officers, you are leveraging the skills, knowledge, and resources of someone whose primary job, day in and day out, is submitting VA claims. Not only are our VSOs up-to-date on all of the VA's processes, they have also learned – from filing hundreds of claims – the best ways for you to access the benefits you have earned.
All of our VSOs are accredited and have been approved by the VA to be assigned a Power of Attorney (POA) designation by their veteran clients. With POA representation, a VSO is able to:
- Initiate your claim to preserve an effective start date (Why is This Important?)
- Advise on specific records and evidence that you will need and guide you on where to find the necessary documents
- Review your application prior to submission to ensure that that there's no missing evidence or information that potentially delay your claim
- Receive the VA's decision on your claim 48 hours before you do to review it and ensure that it is correct. This will allow the Officer to correct any mistakes in the decision before you receive final notification.