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How to avoid getting scammed when looking for a VA Lawyer or VSO

Lawyer

Either an attorney or a VSO is a legitimate option to help you through the VA disability claims process. They both follow a standard of conduct from the VA.

Unfortunately, there are predatory organizations out there that claim to be helpful legal alternatives for veterans. Some of these organizations or individuals even try to charge veterans exorbitant fees for information that’s readily available for free on the VA’s website. Some of these organizations also do a great deal of advertising, making them look legitimate.

If you want to avoid being scammed while trying to get help, watch for indicators that the organization wanting to represent you is suspicious.

Red flags to watch for:

  • Using the term “veteran consultant” or “veteran advisor”
  • Asking for log-in info (including your e-benefits account)
  • Asking for bank information
  • Confusing payment methods
  • Disclaimers that refer to a lack of accreditation
  • Making promises, especially those that seem too good to be true
  • Posting success rates
  • Using terms like “experts” or “specialize”
  • Charging fees for publicly available documents/forms

If you aren’t sure whether a person or organization is legitimate, you can look them up in the VA’s Accreditation Search Index. The index provides a downloadable list of VSOs, attorneys, and claims agents who follow VA standards in representing veterans. Avoid getting “help” from any person or organization that is not on the list.

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