1. Complete a "Head to To" Intake Form by interviewing a veteran. Email the form to or [accredited Independent VA Claims Agents]OR, mail to 804 Narnia Lane NW Olympia WA 98502
  2. Draft an informal claim letter for the veteran using the information gleaned from the "Head to Toe" Intake Form. Email the informal claim letter as an attachment to or [accredited Independent VA Claims Agents]
  3. Read, re-read, and memorize the Timelines for VA Benefits
  4. Read ยง 14.629 Requirements for accreditation of service organization representatives; agents; and attorneys. Apply to become an accredited independent VA claims agent VA Form 21a
  5. Become familiar with TITLE 38--Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief CHAPTER I--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.
  6. Veterans Notice of Disagreement If your claim has been denied by the Regional Office or the rating is too low, or there are additional benefits due you, the first step in appealing to the Board of Veterans Appeals is to complete and file a Notice of Disagreement with the Regional Office. [Also see [PENSIONS, BONUSES, AND VETERANS' RELIEF]
  7. Download and study the following VA Forms that you will use in veteran advocacy.
    1. VBA-21-526EZ Fully Developed Claim Notice
    2. VBA-21-526c-Pre-Discharge Compensation Claim
    3. VBA-21-4138-Statement Support of Claim
    4. VBA-21-8940-Unemployability Increase
    5. Request Pertaining to Military Records-Standard Form 180
    6. Appeal to Appeal Board of Veterans' Appeals -VA Form 9
    7. Correction of Military Record (Discharge Upgrade Form DD149
    8. Application for Review of Discharge or Dismissal Form DD293
  8. Study The Appeal Process: article by Lena Swanson
  9. Study the Rating Disabilities:Title 38 of the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations
    (The Schedule for Rating Disabilities begins at 38 C.F.R. Part 4)
  10. Study the webpage and determine when you can use the unemployability claim
  11. You have completed the "PCL-M" with a veteran to determine if the veteran has PTSD. The PCL score needs to be 40+ to be considered by the VA. Study the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorder to determine the potential ratings of 0. 19. 30, 50, 70, and 100%.
  12. Mental disorders due to traumatic stress the rating agency shall assign an evaluation of not less than 50 percent and schedule an examination within the six month period following the veteran's discharge when a mental disorder that develops in service as a result of a highly stressful event is severe enough to bring about the veteran's release from active military service. Help the active duty service member to determine if they are scheduled to receive a 50 percent rating before they ETS.