appointment of VSO as rep?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ForMyPop, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. ForMyPop

    ForMyPop Newbie

    I've been researching the VA A&A Pension Benefit, partly by reading this forum, for a few weeks now and am feeling almost ready to apply on behalf of my dad (93 yr old WWII vet).

    Inquiries to local veterans organizations have resulted in forms being mailed to us, including a 21-22.
    And I just can't figure if we should go that route. I certainly don't want to give all the responsibility away and not be in the loop. But I definitely don't want to screw anything up either.

    So maybe people here can comment on the pros/cons of having a local VSO represent us?

    Thank you very much.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    NO on the 21-22. You need to include 21-0845 Approved 3rd Party so the VA will discuss the application with you.

    Even if you have them help, you do not have to assign them as Claimant's Representative by signing the 21-22.

    You do need to get a complete copy of the application and all supporting documents, and you will want to mail it yourself - Return Receipt for proof of delivery.
  3. Max

    Max Hero Member

    I vote yes on the 21-22. All it does is allow that VSO to talk to VA on your behalf. It doesn't take away any rights from you. It also allows VA to cc the VSO on any correspondence. You can turn in both the 21-22 and the 21-0845.
  4. ForMyPop

    ForMyPop Newbie

    Thanks for your responses. One pro and one con on the 21-22. ;)

    (I think) I feel confident enough to prepare and file claim myself. He will be involved, but I want to take most of the burden of the details. So maybe I should be his representative with Form 21-22A?

    Thank you,
    a daughter who's a bit nervous and wants to get this right
  5. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    As the daughter, and doing this on your own, you do not need 21-22. Just the 21-0845.
  6. ForMyPop

    ForMyPop Newbie

    Thank you!!
  7. Lizzie

    Lizzie Thanks to all who serve and help.

    Whatever you do, don't work with a VSO!!! I could write a book about how my mom and I got thrown under the bus here in Florida... Anyway, Debbie is SO right. Do not go there. You can do it on your own. After almost 2 years, we are almost there with a call to our Congressman. Our service area is truly awful but it is not just the place but the overall philosophy of the bureaucracy. We have some new, IT savvy people in the top roles who are looking to fix things. Good luck! :)
  8. Max

    Max Hero Member

    As someone who works for the VA processing this claims, I can tell you that claims prepared by VSOs are almost always perfectly prepared and easy to process.
  9. Lizzie

    Lizzie Thanks to all who serve and help.

    Sorry, I don't mean to offend you or anyone else, but my experience and other's whom i know, point out the fact that VSO staff are not in a rush to help the neediest and are undertrained. That is a bad deal for our vets who served our country in harm's way.
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Offense not taking from Admin.

    It's not a perfect system, and the local level gets less training than one might expect.

    From my perspective, I deal with folks every day who were given incorrect information to include their loved one did not qualify, which was not the case.

    For those of us standing out here and not having the perspective of someone who is in the VA and very knowledgeable, sometimes there is a difference of opinions.

    No harm, no foul.
  11. Lizzie

    Lizzie Thanks to all who serve and help.

    I appreciate Debbie's comment. Truly, I wish the local system worked well all the time and correct information was given to those of us who are applying for benefits for vets and surviving spouses. Yesterday, I found out that my mom will begin receiving benefits this month, nearly 2 years after we started the process. I had been asked to send retroactive expense information in through my Congressman's office. I had decided that nothing else would work so I went through my Congressman. His staff has liaisons in DC and Philadelphia. My mom turns 90 next month and is in assisted living. She cannot cover her expenses and I have had to loan her money for rent and medical expenses. She incurred a sizable amount of medical expenses for a week in the hospital with pneumonia this past winter. I keep getting bills and debt collection notices and there is no way to pay them. In fact, since it seems that there is no retroactive payment, I do not know what to do. I get daily calls and letters and when I explain the low income situation, it seems that I must have talked to a brick wall. It seems that the award will cover part of the assisted living--less than half--and there will be no back payment to cover the hospital bills and the loans from me. I am approaching retirement myself and the loans are reducing my ability to secure my own golden years. Any ideas? Also, how would one approach the retroactive payment back to the establishment of the informal claim? I was told by the Congressman's office that my mother's claim was actually denied last year!!! No one bothered to tell me and it does not make any sense! I had been in touch with the VA during that time and rec'd letters that the claim was being processed, but it was taking time due to the huge number of claims in the system. Never did I receive any denial letter. Baffling. Any help is much appreciated. Would that be an appeal? Thanks to all.

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