Service officers are
the key to the success of the VFW. They advocate for
veterans rights. Veterans need not be VFW members to take
advantage of this assistance, which is provided free of
The work of service officers involves important matters like
helping a veteran get outpatient treatment or gain admission
for inpatient care at a VA medical center. They assist
veterans and their families in filing for VA disability
compensation, rehabilitation and education programs, pension
and death benefits, employment and training programs, and
many other programs.
At times, the work is very complicated, requiring evidence
to prepare oral arguments for formal hearings on VA
disability or social
security benefits. And there are those
numerous occasions when VFW assistance helps lift a disabled
veteran's family out of the grip of poverty.
VFW service officers are skilled professionals, trained
experts in developing disabled veterans' cases by reviewing
current law, pertinent legislation, regulations
and medical histories. VFW service officers function as
attorneys-in-fact for the veterans and families they
represent. Their counseling on the full range of veterans'
benefits and programs provided under federal, state, and
local law is indispensable.
Service officers also review rating board decisions,
informing veterans and their families of the appeals process
and of their appellate rights. When needed, they request
hearings before the VA and the Board of Veterans Appeals
(BVA) to present oral arguments.
As part of the VFW’s continuing effort to ensure the service
officers are properly trained, VFW provides basic and
advance training to the VFW cadre of service officers,
claims consultants and other VFW-accredited representatives.
Dr. Abdul Muhammad