Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Veteran Cultural Competency
November 10, 2014
9:00 AM Pacific
Webcast - Register Now!
Also presented in-person in San Francisco.
There are over 21 million veterans in the U.S; many of them are not aware of the benefits to which they are entitled. Medical and financial assistance are available to men and women who have served in the military, but some who can qualify are not receiving the benefits that they need. Attorneys can assist veterans with the problems that preclude them from receiving benefits, such as:
- Lack of proper paper trails to “service-connect” their injuries
- Ineligibility for benefits for those given less than fully honorable discharges for behaviors that were related to post traumatic stress disorder or minor disciplinary infractions.
Nearly 45% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seek compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for service related injuries. A stunning 30% suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of those who should receive benefits will be denied. All of them will wait months or years for the VA to issue decisions on their claims.
Learn how to navigate the VA claims process and to become an effective advocate for veterans in need. This all day program will provide an overview of VA disability law and military discharge review law. You will gain an understanding of different types of military discharges, why they are important, and how you can help veterans with less than Honorable discharges.
The three one-hour morning sessions provide the basics you need to represent veterans before the VA. The morning session fulfills the VA’s requirement for qualifying CLE within the first 12 months of your VA accreditation.
The 1:45 session, Veteran Cultural Competency: Combat to Community will help veterans’ advocates to understand the challenges that veterans face in their transition to a noncombat community, and provide tips on interviewing and providing legal services to veterans with disabilities.
The 2:45 to 5:00 sessions will provide attorneys with the tools that they need to assist veterans in upgrading their discharge status and removing stigmatizing information from their discharge documents. They will also cover the interactions between VA benefits and other public benefits, such as SSI and SSDI.
Who should attend
Attorneys seeking meaningful pro bono opportunities and any advocate who wants to help change the life of a veteran with a disability. Attorneys seeking to meet VA’s CLE requirements for new and continuing VA accreditation should also attend. Finally, attorneys who hope to expand their practice areas to include veterans’ cases where fees are available, should register for one or more of the sessions.
- Becca von Behren ~ Staff Attorney, Swords to Plowshares
- Devin Bissman ~ Equal Justice Works Fellow, Swords to Plowshares
- Michael Blecker ~ Executive Director, Swords to Plowshares
- Starlyn Lara ~ Women Veteran Program Manager, Community Educator and Outreach Program Manager, Swords to Plowshares
- Nicole M. Perez ~ Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
- Kate Richardson ~ Staff Attorney/Pro Bono Coordinator, Swords to Plowshares
- Theresa Mesa ~ Program Developer, Office of Legal Services, The State Bar of California
- Teresa Panepinto ~ Legal Director, Swords to Plowshares
- Program Attorney: Christina Thompson ~ Program Attorney, Practising Law Institute
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Practising Law Institute
More Information And Registration
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