38 CFR § 14.627 - Definitions.

§ 14.627 Definitions.

As used in regulations on representation of VA claimants:

(a) Accreditation means the authority granted by VA to representatives, agents, and attorneys to assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for VA benefits.

(b) Agency of original jurisdiction means the VA activity or administration that made the initial determination on a claim or matter or that handles any subsequent adjudication of a claim or matter in the first instance, and includes the Office of the General Counsel with respect to proceedings under part 14 of this chapter to suspend or cancel accreditation or to review fee agreements.

(c) Agent means a person who has met the standards and qualifications outlined in § 14.629(b).

(d) Attorney means a member in good standing of a State bar who has met the standards and qualifications in § 14.629(b).

(e) Benefit means any payment, service, commodity, function, or status, entitlement to which is determined under laws administered by VA pertaining to veterans, dependents, and survivors.

(f) Cancellation means termination of authority to represent claimants.

(g) Chief Counsel includes a designee of the Chief Counsel.

(h) Claim means application made under title 38 U.S.C., and implementing directives, for entitlement to VA benefits, reinstatement, continuation, or increase of benefits, or the defense of a proposed agency adverse action concerning benefits.

(i) Claimant means a person who has filed or has expressed to a representative, agent, or attorney an intention to file a written application for determination of entitlement to benefits provided under title 38, United States Code, and implementing directives.

(j) Complete claims service means representation of each claimant requesting assistance, from the initiation of a claim until the completion of any potential administrative appeal.

(k) Cross-accreditation means an accreditation based on the status of a representative as an accredited and functioning representative of another organization.

(l) Deputy Chief Counsel includes a designee of the Deputy Chief Counsel.

(m) Facilities means equipment and furnishings that promote the efficient operation of an office, and adjacent accommodations, which are needed to facilitate access to office space.

(n) General Counsel includes the Deputy General Counsel for Legal Policy if designated by the General Counsel. When so designated, references to “the General Counsel or his or her designee” may further include a designee of the Deputy General Counsel for Legal Policy.

(o) Recognition means certification by VA of organizations to assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for VA benefits.

(p) Representation means the acts associated with representing a claimant in a proceeding before VA pursuant to a properly executed and filed VA Form 21-22, “Appointment of Veterans Service Organization as Claimant's Representative,” or VA Form 21-22a, “Appointment of Individual as Claimant's Representative.”

(q) Representative means a person who has been recommended by a recognized organization and accredited by VA.

(r) Service means the delivery of a motion, response, or reply to a person or entity to which it is directed. Proof of service consists of a statement by the person who made service certifying the date and manner of service, the names of the persons served, and the addresses of the place of delivery. For service by mail, proof of service shall include the date and manner by which the document was mailed.

(s) State includes any State, possession, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, and the District of Columbia.

(t) Suspension means temporary withholding of authority to represent claimants.

(u) Tribal government means the Federally recognized governing body of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or Regional or Village Corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 5902, 5903, 5904)
[53 FR 52419, Dec. 28, 1988, as amended at 68 FR 8544, Feb. 24, 2003; 73 FR 29870, May 22, 2008; 82 FR 6272, Jan. 19, 2017; 82 FR 26753, June 9, 2017]