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     November 22, 2022
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     May 22, 2018
  • Katy Whalen posted an article
    Hundreds of veterans advocates from around the country are gathering... see more

    Hundreds of veterans advocates from around the country are gathering in person at The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati for NOVA's 2022 Fall Conference, which began this morning. 

    Special thanks to all of our presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees!

    For more information about the conference, please click HERE.

  • Katy Whalen posted an article
    In light of recent VA access regulatory updates, the role of your staff... see more

    In light of recent VA access regulatory updates, the role of your staff – and your role supervising your staff – is more important than ever.  Our webinar series is designed to help you onboard and train new and existing staff.  It also serves as a refresher for attorneys and agents.  Join us for one session or all!  See the special offer below!
     

    Session 1 - How to Obtain Access and Supervise Staff: December 13, 2022, at 2:00-4:30pm ET.  The new regulations allow for an unaccredited support-staff person, including a legal intern, law student, or paralegal, to have access to VBMS under the supervision of an accredited representative.  Learn how to efficiently gain access (with a VA Change Management Agent available to answer questions), get the most out of QuickSubmit, and ethically supervise staff members (and new attorneys). 

    • Hour 1 covers VBMS/QuickSubmit, presented by Glenda Herl and Tamesha Larbi.  Wichita CMA, David Jackson, will take questions.
    • Hour 2 covers ethical supervision, presented by John Tucker. 

     

    Session 2 - VA Structure, Benefits, Claim Procedure, and Basic Eligibility: January 18, 2023, at 2:00-3:30pm ET.  Presented by John Tucker, this session will provide an overview of VA and the claims process (and covers one hour of the standard VA accreditation program).
     

    Session 3 - Understanding Representational Forms and Fee Agreements: February 1, 2023, at 2:00-3:30pm ET.  Judy Donegan will provide an overview of all necessary representational forms and best practices surrounding fee agreements. 
     

    Session 4 - Understanding VA Forms: February 16, 2023, at 2:00-3:30pm ET.  Presented by Glenda Herl, this session will do a deep dive into important VA forms so you and/or your staff understand their proper uses. 
     

    Speaker bios can be found HERE.


     

    To read more and sign up today, Click HERE!

  • Katy Whalen posted an article
    Senior members of the SVAC, introduced legislation to hold unaccredited entities that target... see more

    WASHINGTON–– U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), senior members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced legislation to hold unaccredited entities that target men and women who served in uniform accountable for their predatory practices. The Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding (GUARD) VA Benefits Act would reinstate criminal penalties for unaccredited claim representatives who charge unauthorized fees while helping file a disability claim.

    Current law prohibits unaccredited individuals and businesses from charging a fee for assisting a veteran in the preparation, presentation or prosecution of a VA benefit claim. However, the VA and other federal agencies are limited in their ability to enforce the law because criminal penalties were eliminated from the statute nearly 20 years ago.

    “Ensuring veterans have the resources to make informed decisions about filing VA claims is an important part of helping them access the benefits they’ve earned. They also deserve to have trusted and reliable advocates working on their behalf, which is why we must hold accountable those aiming to make a profit off their service. I’m proud to join Senator Blumenthal to strengthen education of the claims process and hold bad actors responsible for their predatory practices,” said Boozman.

    “This measure ensures veterans can access their rightfully-earned benefits free of charge,” said Blumenthal. “Stronger safeguards are needed to protect those who served our country from wrongdoers hoping to cash in on the onerous claims process. Holding profiteers accountable through criminal penalties is an important step that will support our heroes. I’m proud to join Senator Boozman in this effort to prevent our veterans from being exploited.”

    The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Braun (R-IN).

    The bipartisan measure has the support of numerous veterans advocacy organizations. Here is what they are saying about the GUARD VA Benefits Act:

    “The Military Officers Association of America wholeheartedly supports the GUARD VA Benefits Act,” said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO. “Veterans deserve better than having a target on their back by predatory claims sharks looking to profit off their service and conditions. MOAA thanks Senators Boozman and Blumenthal for their bipartisan leadership on this bill and their commitment to ensure veterans are protected from scammers with accredited and accountable representation.”

    “For many of our nation’s disabled veterans, VA disability compensation can be the difference between making ends meet and more severe outcomes such as homelessness. That’s why it’s so vitally important that veterans are properly represented by accredited individuals and institutions when applying for VA benefits. DAV applauds Senator Boozman and Senator Blumenthal for introducing this legislation, which will help ensure disabled veterans receive VA-accredited representation while deterring predatory practices that seek to bilk our nation’s heroes of their earned benefits,” said DAV National Commander Joe Parsetich.

    “The VFW strongly supports the GUARD VA Benefits Act which would put guardrails in place to protect veterans from entities seeking to take their hard-earned benefits. Reinstating penalties for people charging unauthorized fees relating to veteran claims is a necessary action to prevent claims sharks from preying upon veterans. The VFW thanks Senators Boozman and Blumenthal for their continued bipartisan support for service members, veterans, and their families,” said Pat Murray, VFW’s National Legislative Director.

    Introduction of the GUARD VA Benefits Act builds on the senators’ commitment to protecting veterans filing VA claims. In September, Boozman and Blumenthal introduced the Veterans Claims Education Act of 2022. This legislation would improve educational resources for veterans filing an electronic benefits claim to steer them toward VA-accredited entities and limit the threat posed by for-profit entities that try to take advantage of the men and women who served in uniform by charging unnecessary and costly fees.

    Companion legislation for both initiatives have been introduced in the House of Representatives.

    Click here to read the GUARD VA Benefits Act.


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    November 15, 2022

    Contact: Boozman, Sara Lasure or Matthew Wester (202) 224-4843

    Blumenthal, Karolina Wasiniewska (202) 224-0335

     

  • Michael Haygood joined National Organization of Veterans' Advocates, Inc. .

     November 11, 2022
  • Caprice Benoit joined National Organization of Veterans' Advocates, Inc. .
     November 09, 2022
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     November 05, 2022
  • Jackie Sikes joined National Organization of Veterans' Advocates, Inc. .
     November 03, 2022
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