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NVLSP 2007 1 PROPOSED RULES RE: ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION Impact on VSOs.

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Presentation on theme: "NVLSP 2007 1 PROPOSED RULES RE: ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION Impact on VSOs."— Presentation transcript:

1 NVLSP PROPOSED RULES RE: ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION Impact on VSOs

2 NVLSP LAW PERMITS ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION EARLIER LAW PERMITS ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION EARLIER Public Law , the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, permits claimants seeking VA benefits to hire and pay an attorney or agent after an NOD has been filed. Effective as to NODs filed on or after June 20, 2007.

3 NVLSP Highlights of the New Law The law eliminated prohibition on the charging of fees for services provided by an attorney or agent before the Board makes its first final decision in the case. The law eliminated prohibition on the charging of fees for services provided by an attorney or agent before the Board makes its first final decision in the case. Law authorizes VA to collect an assessment from an individual recognized as an agent or attorney under section 5904 in any case where VA pays the fees from past-due benefits owed to a claimant. Law authorizes VA to collect an assessment from an individual recognized as an agent or attorney under section 5904 in any case where VA pays the fees from past-due benefits owed to a claimant.

4 NVLSP Highlights of the New Law Authorizes VA to regulate qualifications and standards of conduct applicable to agents and attorneys. Authorizes VA to regulate qualifications and standards of conduct applicable to agents and attorneys. Adds 4 additional categories to the list of grounds for suspension or exclusion from further VA practice. Adds 4 additional categories to the list of grounds for suspension or exclusion from further VA practice.

5 NVLSP Highlights of the New Law Authorizes VA to review (and reduce) fee agreements between agents or attorneys and claimants Authorizes VA to review (and reduce) fee agreements between agents or attorneys and claimants Eliminates fee matters as grounds for criminal penalties under 38 U.S.C. § Eliminates fee matters as grounds for criminal penalties under 38 U.S.C. § Subjects VSO representatives to suspension on the same grounds as apply to agents and attorneys. Subjects VSO representatives to suspension on the same grounds as apply to agents and attorneys.

6 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations on the New Law

7 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations Forms required to represent veterans and other claimants seeking VA benefits Forms required to represent veterans and other claimants seeking VA benefits VA Form 21 ‑ 22aVA Form 21 ‑ 22a

8 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations Scope of representation Scope of representation Scope may be limitedScope may be limited

9 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations When fees can be charged When fees can be charged Accredited agent or attorney may charge fees for services after an NOD has been filed with respect to the caseAccredited agent or attorney may charge fees for services after an NOD has been filed with respect to the case

10 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations Accreditation of agents and attorneys Accreditation of agents and attorneys Testing requirementTesting requirement More complete background checkMore complete background check Receive a score of at least 75 percent on a written examination (applicants may not sit for the test more than twice in a six-month span)Receive a score of at least 75 percent on a written examination (applicants may not sit for the test more than twice in a six-month span)

11 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations Payment of fees Payment of fees Two types of fee agreements:Two types of fee agreements: Payment from past due benefits Payment from past due benefits Payment directly from the claimant Payment directly from the claimant

12 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations Maximum Fee that Agent or Attorney is Allowed to Charge Maximum Fee that Agent or Attorney is Allowed to Charge Fees must be reasonableFees must be reasonable Fees not exceeding 20 percent of any past-due benefits are presumed reasonableFees not exceeding 20 percent of any past-due benefits are presumed reasonable

13 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations Termination of Representation Termination of Representation Representation may be terminated at any timeRepresentation may be terminated at any time

14 NVLSP Proposed VA Regulations One-year Rule Eliminated One-year Rule Eliminated No requirement that attorney or agent be hired within a specific time frameNo requirement that attorney or agent be hired within a specific time frame


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