Navy Mutual is the nation’s oldest federally recognized Veterans Service Organization (VSO), and since our inception, we have made it our mission to assist members of the uniformed services and their families in securing the benefits that service has earned them. In our role as a VSO, we assist these claimants in navigating the claims process from submission up to and including the appeals process at the Board of Veterans Appeals.
That assistance can take many forms.
- Determining eligibility: Through questions with the veteran, the survivor, or another point of contact, we determine what benefits can be sought and by whom. There are times when a claim cannot possibly be granted under existing laws and regulations. Other times, a survivor may not have been aware that they could apply for benefits based on their veteran’s service. We help these claimants understand what to expect and why.
- Providing guidance: Proving that a veteran’s disability or death is service-related can be a complicated and sensitive process. We can talk veterans or family members through the additional forms or documents that would be helpful, and often necessary, to support their claims.
- Assisting with the preparation and submission of claims: Knowing which VA forms are needed to apply for each of the available benefits can be difficult for someone who is not familiar with the process, and our VSO representatives can help with that. Knowing where those forms should be submitted can also be difficult to determine; we can help with that too.
- Monitoring the claims process: The claims process for the claimant, especially when the claimant is a survivor, can be opaque. VSO representatives can often get insight into that process as it is ongoing, which allows us to see if a claim is being neglected. That window can also provide reassurance that a claim is not being neglected or that a claim is being actively processed. Sometimes the VA will need more information, and with this window, we may be able to quickly act on any requests that come through to keep the process moving.
- Referring to outside resources as appropriate: Outside of VSOs, there are many agencies at every level of government and in the nonprofit sector that want to help veterans and their families or survivors. There are times when a veteran needs more than assistance filing a claim. We can provide information and education on what resources are available and provide points of contact who may be better situated to help them.
Our accredited VSO Representatives can assist Navy Mutual Members and their beneficiaries with applications for survivor benefits and programs offered through the different branches of the VA such as the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and National Cemetery Administration (NCA). These programs include but are not limited to disability benefits; pre-need eligibility; Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC); survivors’ pension; and burial benefits.
As a member of the uniformed services community, you and your family may be entitled to certain benefits. Navy Mutual has a team of advocates committed to ensuring that Members, beneficiaries, eligible survivors, and veterans understand and secure these benefits. Navy Mutual offers these services at no charge. Contact our Veterans Services team to learn more.
Navy Mutual Aid Association’s Department of Education and Veterans Services does not endorse or favor any commercial financial product or service or promote the services of any specific financial institution. Further, Navy Mutual Aid Association and its accredited VSO Representatives do not charge or accept a fee or gratuity for representation services rendered to claimants before the Department of Veterans Affairs. 38 C.F.R. §14.628.