There are many service organizations which can help you fill out VA forms, tell you about VA benefits, and also provide a wide range of help for veterans and their dependents. Here is a link to a VA Internet website where you can get detailed information about various service organizations: http://www1.va.gov/vso/.
The website contains a list of both VA-recognized and non-recognized service organizations. A recognized organization can legally represent you before VA, while a non-recognized organization can provide you with information but cannot be your representative before VA.
You may choose any recognized organization to help you with your claim. You can contact the organization at its headquarters to see if there is an office near you, or you can call V A at its toll-free number 1-800-827-1000. VA can tell you if an organization is approved and has an office in the VA Regional Office nearest you.
Service organizations have trained personnel who can help you with your VA claim. Recognized service organizations may not charge for helping you with a VA claim and do not usually require you to be a member of that organization. However, if an organizationís help requires unusual expenses such as extensive photocopying, etc., you should inquire about its policies for reimbursement.
If you decide that you want to appoint a recognized service organization as your representative, that organization or VA will give you a VA Form 21-22, Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimantís Representative, to fill out. You should talk to the service organization you wish to represent you before you submit this appointment to VA.
Many state, county and local governments also have trained personnel in their veterans departments who can help. You can check the blue pages of your telephone directory for state, county or local agencies in your area. From the VONAPP Home Page, click on "State and County Organizations and Other Help" to see more information.