Thursday, May 22, 2008

veterans - representation of claimants - accreditation - atty. fees - disagreement

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations governing the representation of claimants for veterans benefits in order to implement provisions of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, and to reorganize and clarify existing regulations.

As amended, the regulations establish the procedures and rules necessary for VA to facilitate the paid representation of claimants by accredited agents and attorneys after a Notice of Disagreement has been filed with respect to a case.

The purpose of these regulations is to fulfill Congress’ direction that agents and attorneys may be paid for services rendered after a Notice of Disagreement is filed with respect to a decision by an agency of original jurisdiction while ensuring that claimants for veterans benefits have responsible, qualified representation.

DATES: Effective Date: The final rule is effective June 23, 2008.