News Release 1/6/14

MOAA attains VSO status to help file VA claims

MOAA has expanded its support of veterans, survivors and their families by adding VA claims assistance to its suite of transition services. The new status will be officially announced on Thursday, Jan. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at MOAA headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Retired Brig. Gen. Allison A. Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be the guest of honor.  

“MOAA felt we could not stand on the sidelines of the VA claims backlog without supporting the VA’s good-faith efforts by being part of the solution," MOAA President Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said. “We are helping to file fully developed claims, providing VA with the information they need to adjudicate the claim and shorten the wait time for the veteran. We are very proud to attain recognition as a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) and believe that providing this new service is meeting an important need of the military community.”

Due to the significant backlog of VA claims, causing disabled veterans long waits for benefits, the VA has invested in people, processes and technology, all of which is designed to process veterans’ claims more quickly and accurately. The claims process is complex and about 50% of veterans do not use a VSO for help. MOAA is seeking to serve the veterans who do not already have a representative and will provide detailed articles, worksheets and resources for self-help that are available free online at http://www.moaa.org/vso.  

MOAA has two full-time employees and 7 accredited representatives dedicated to the effort and though not as large as some of the other VSOs, 2,000 claims per year are expected to be completed. MOAA will begin taking claims in the National Capital area first. Through its claim representation efforts, the MOAA VSO staff is learning how to improve access to veteran and survivor benefits. MOAA has created a MOAA Claims Assistance blog and discussion forum to inform and educate the military community about veteran and survivor benefits. MOAA’s government relations team has made this issue a top priority and, as top advocates on the Hill, will provide comments and suggestions on proposed laws and regulations. 

Veterans in need of claims assistance do not need to be a member of MOAA or Voices for America’s Troops to take advantage of these services. Those interested can schedule an initial consultation by calling or emailing MOAA at 1-866-739-3046 (Staffed Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm Eastern) or vso@moaa.org. The claims service will be provided at MOAA headquarters office in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, and satellite office at the Pentagon. An appointment is necessary.

From MOAA’s Claims Assistance page:

Claims Process 

There are numerous ways to apply for VA disability benefits depending on the type of benefit you are seeking. Find more information on how to submit a VA claim, what to expect from the VA claims process, and where to find answers to frequently asked questions about VA claims.

Benefits and Eligibility 

There are many benefit programs offered by the VA. Each benefit has different eligibility criteria. If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible for a benefit you should contact a VSO or email us at vso@moaa.org.

Tips and Tools 

You should always seek the advice of a trained professional when filing a claim for VA benefits. If, after seeking advice, you decide to file a claim on your own, we have you covered. Use our checklists and fact sheets to determine what benefits you are eligible for and what evidence is required to file a successful claim. Send an email to vso@moaa.org if you have questions about filing your claim.