Veterans Service Offices: The single largest category of VA help, by far, is county veteran’s service officers (“CVSOs.”) Nearly every county in the nation has at least one local veteran’s service office. These offices are not owned or operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
They are local county government offices staffed by county-paid employees who hold VA accreditation through organizations such as the American Legion, VFW, Vietnam Veterans, or that particular state’s department of veteran’s affairs. More benefit claims originate through local CVSOs than any other source. Unfortunately, these offices often suffer from a number of fairly glaring deficits when assisting veterans. The main one is lack of consistency. The level of knowledge concerning benefits varies tremendously from individual to individual and office to office.
Again, simply because an individual is VA-accredited does not mean they are knowledgeable or particularly effective as advisors or advocates. In many cases, the written test for accreditation is a twenty-five question, open book test with a passing grade of nineteen correct answers.