Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R)
Since its inception, The American Legion has maintained an ongoing concern and commitment to veterans and their families. The Legion was instrumental in the creation of the U.S. Veterans Bureau, now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs, and has continued to be a watchdog and an advocate for veteran’s rights.
The American Legion’s Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation (VA&R) program provides a comprehensive network of American Legion Department Service Officers (see below) at the Department level to help veterans, their dependents and survivors apply for any Federal or state benefit to which they may be entitled. These are the individuals who should be consulted when any question arises regarding veterans’ benefits or claims for these benefits.
Department Service Officers
THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Texas Professional Service Officers are an important and vital link in THE AMERICAN LEGION’S nationwide network of volunteer and professional Service Officers.
Service Officers advise and assist veterans and other claimants in the preparation of basic VA forms and develop support documentation for such claims.
It is the responsibility of the Department Service Officers to be familiar with and proficient in VA laws and regulations. They must follow the policies and guidelines established by the VA & R Commission as outlined in the VA & R Code of Procedures.
The term “Department Service Officer” (DSO) includes all AMERICAN LEGION professional service officer employees of a Department or a State Veterans agency. The Department Service Officers are located in Waco and Houston.
The DSO is responsible for providing assistance and representation in any claim for VA benefits. It is essential, in order to avoid delays and potentially lost benefits, that all claims or correspondence submitted be directed to the DSO at the closest VA Regional Office.
It is important that no material or evidence ever be submitted directly to the VA. Should a benefit/ claim be denied, the DSO should be contacted as soon as possible, before initiating an appeal or taking further action on the claim.