VA Advocate Tool Kit

Certification Issues

Attorneys and advocates wishing to handle VA cases must be accredited by the VA to do so. Learn more about the VA accreditation process here.   It can take several months for this process to be completed.

Attorneys wishing to appear before the U.S. Court of Veteran Appeals must be admitted to practice before the Court.  Learn more here.

Federal Statutes and Regulations

United States Code Title 38 (Veterans Benefits)

Code of Federal Regulations: Volume 38 of the Code (VA Benefits)

VA Legal Resources

A- Z Guide of VA terms and benefits: A short encyclopedia of Veterans' benefits and terms

VA forms: a searchable directory of all VA forms, including those available as fillable PDFs.

VA Administrative Handbooks: These may provide useful authority in advocating on behalf of a veteran whose claim (for any type of benefit/service) is before the VA.

Veterans Benefits Administration References:  The web-automated reference materials system (WARMS) used by VA staff in addressing compensation and pension, education, loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation and insurance. It includes the Adjudications Procedure Manual, known as the M21-1MR" manual.

Board of VA Appeals Decisions: This searchable database of BVA decisions can be sorted by topic or year issued.

Opinions of the VA General Counsel: Precedent Opinions of the Office of VA General Counsel are available according to the year in which they were issued.  They are searchable by topic if you modify the search engine functionality on the top right of the page to search "current site only."

U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals: The Court website includes Court forms, a searchable database of attorneys and advocates qualified to appear before it, and Court decisions and opinions.

Training Resources

Information about training programs, VA benefits manuals and other resources that may improve the quality of legal advocacy are provided here.

October 2012