There are a number of veterans service organizations (VSOs) available to veterans and individuals seeking assistance with VA claims. The Disabled Veterans Resource Center refers veterans to various organizations if they need these services.
Numerous private veterans service organizations are available to assist veterans with their claims. There are also state and county level organizations as well that are tasked with the duty of assisting the disabled veteran population.
Although these individuals play a valuable role in the veterans’ ecosystem, they have their limitations. They’re not lawyers and they often can only do so much. They are great with assisting veterans in filling out the proper forms and making the initial claims, but in particularly difficult cases, they are unable to appropriately secure the necessary evidence that is needed to ultimately win a claim. These organizations just are not set up to fund cases and hire expert witnesses on behalf of clients. Hiring and fronting the cost of experts is only done by top-tier law firms.
One of the other disadvantages of using a veteran service organization is that they cannot take your case on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims, which is a federal court and requires licensed attorneys. This is in addition to the fact that the veterans service officers are not capable of securing medical evidence in the form of medical expert to support your claim.
Unless a veteran knows of a medical expert that he can hire and has the upfront cash to pay such an expert, the veteran service organization is not in the position to advance the cost of that expert on behalf of a disabled veteran. The elite law firms that function in the space will often front the cost of these experts and also have access to the doctors that serve in these capacities as expert witnesses.
But finding the right lawyer can be challenging. Often, the lack of a medical nexus letter is the most common reason why veterans get their claims for compensation benefits denied.
Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs)
Congressionally Chartered and Recognized Organizations:
- African American Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association
- American Ex-Prisoners of War
- American GI Forum of the United States
- The American Legion
- American Red Cross
- Army and Navy Union, USA, Inc.
- Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America
- Blinded Veterans Association
- Catholic War Veterans, USA, Inc.
- Disabled American Veterans
- Fleet Reserve Association
- Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.
- Italian American War Veterans of the United States
- Jewish War Veterans of the USA
- Legion of Valor of the USA
- Marine Corps League
- Military Officers Association of America
- Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA, Inc.
- National Association for Black Veterans, Inc.
- National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, Inc.
- National Veterans Legal Services Program
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Polish Legion of American Veterans, USA
- Swords to Plowshares: Veterans Rights Organization
- TREA: The Enlisted Association
- Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
- Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition
- Vietnam Veterans of America
- Wounded Warrior Project
Congressionally Chartered but NOT Recognized Organizations:
NOT Congressionally Chartered but Recognized Organizations:
In addition, the VA recognizes the State Veterans Affairs organizations. Each of the States and Territories have a Veterans Affairs organization. These organizations assist veterans in many of the same ways as the private service organizations do.
Resources to find medical nexus letters
Most medical experts do not work directly with litigants or claimants in VA cases. Usually, these experts prefer to work directly with lawyers or law firms. Other expert services help lawyers find the right doctors for their cases and typically charge high prices. Then there are the individual providers that write medical nexus letters for veterans. The prices vary. Some are individual doctors and others are forensic consulting firms. Often, a veteran will not know which type of expert is best for his case, and that is why we recommend consulting with a firm that has experts in many specialties.
Here is a list of resources: