Is Alpha Affiliated with the Veterans Administration? And is that Important?
Recently, I got this e-mail from a fellow veteran:“I checked with the DAV of which I am a life member and they said to stay away from you and your organization as you are not affiliated with the VA. What say you to these allegations?”
This is my answer:
I’m not sure why DAV would advise you to stay away from us other than we are a leading competitor helping veterans all over the country win their disability claims.
It’s not important for Alpha as an organization to be accredited by the VA because the VA accredits each of our individual advocates who will be representing you. This is an advantage of working with an Alpha advocate. Each and every one of us receives the required training and passes the VA’s Office of General Council’s (OGC) accreditation test.
This is not true of organizations like the DAV. For them, they are accredited at the organization level. So a National Service Officer (NSO) with the DAV is not independently accredited through the VA, and is not required to pass the VA’s Office of General Council’s (OGC) accreditation test to represent veterans.
Again, all Alpha advocates are independently accredited by the VA, verifiable at the VA’s Web site www.va.gov. The VA certainly recognizes our advocacy services. The Advocate’s fee is subject to review by the VA’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC). The VA/OGC generally considers a fee of 20% of the retroactive award as a reasonable payment and we agree. Subject to the review of the OGC, and only if we win an appeal, your Alpha Advocate will be paid a one time fee of 20% of your retroactive award. We do not charge for initial applications.
I want to emphasize that Alpha advocates also undergo specialized training headed by an experienced former VSO who is also a DAV life member. All Alpha advocates, I’m proud to say, are highly trained in VA laws and regulations and we’re very dedicated to helping our fellow veterans get the compensation they deserve. And most of us are disabled too, so we know how the VA works.
Frankly, I’m very proud to be an Alpha advocate and I’d be proud to help you if you think you’re not getting the attention you deserve from the VA.
Thank you.– Robert, Alpha Advocate
Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.