VA claims are many times a complex nightmare to handle. I am sure that most non-attorney reps do a good job. But many are overworked, and many do not pay attention to details - and if they miss something, it is hard to sue them for malpractice.
You might wish to ask these questions to an attorney who can explain the differences and answer your case specific questions in person. You can find an attorney who will answer questions about veteran benefits at http://www.vetadvocates.org/directory2.html
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.
I am not familiar with the companies you've referenced, but generally speaking, only accredited representatives may charge fees for representation in the VA Claims process. Additionally, fees may only be charged AFTER the VA has issued an inital decision on the claim, and the veteran has filed a Notice of Disagreement with the VA. Any advice and/or review of the initial claims application would be likely construed by the VA as assistance in applying for VA benefits, for which compensation is specifically not allowed. See 38 C.F.R. 14.636.
Also, please see this link for answers to FAQs regarding compensation for representatives at the VA. http://www.va.gov/ogc/accred_faqs.asp
Disclaimer: Transmission or receipt of information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.