(a) Any person may be authorized to prepare, present, and prosecute one claim. A power of attorney executed on VA Form 21-22a, “Appointment of Attorney or Agent as Claimant's Representative,” and a statement signed by the person and the claimant that no compensation will be charged or paid for the services, shall be filed with the agency of original jurisdiction where the claim is presented. The power of attorney identifies to VA the claimant's appointment of representation and authorizes VA's disclosure of information to the person representing the claimant.
(b) Representation may be provided by an individual pursuant to this section one time only. An exception to this limitation may be granted by the General Counsel in unusual circumstances. Among the factors which may be considered in determining whether an exception will be granted are:
(1) The number of accredited representatives, agents, and attorneys operating in the claimant's geographic region;
(2) Whether the claimant has unsuccessfully sought representation from other sources;
(3) The nature and status of the claim; and
(4) Whether there exists unique circumstances which would render alternative representation inadequate.
(c) Persons providing representation under this section must comply with the laws administered by VA and with the regulations governing practice before VA including the rules of conduct in §14.632 of this part.
(d) Persons providing representation under this section are subject to suspension and or exclusion from representation of claimants before VA on the same grounds as apply to representatives, agents, and attorneys in §14.633 of this part.
(e) With respect to the limitation in paragraph (b) of this section, a person who had been authorized under paragraph (a) of this section to represent a claimant who later dies and is replaced by a substitute pursuant to 38 CFR 3.1010 for purposes of processing the claim to completion will be permitted to represent the substitute if the procedures of §14.631(g) are followed.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 5121A, 5903)
[68 FR 8546, Feb. 24, 2003, as amended at 73 FR 29872, May 22, 2008; 79 FR 52983, Sept. 5, 2014]