Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Legal Help for Veterans

Free or low cost legal help is always in demand, but veterans bring their own issues to the table--the need to know their rights about their benefits and other issues unique to them.  Some organizations and websites exist to try to fill that need. 

Stateside Legal is a project of Pine Tree Legal Assistance of Maine and the Arkansas Legal Services Partnership, and it has different avenues of assistance.  It has canned information on specific topics, like health, education benefits, re-employment, and more.  It has links to lots of organizations that deal with veterans's issues, both legal and financial assistance.  It also allows you to fill in a little information about yourself at the top of each page, put in some key words about your legal issue, and generates some information about your legal problem.

There is also the GI Rights Hotline (the number is 1-877-447-4487).  The website provides contacts for regional help in many areas of the country.  The American Bar Association also provides a state-by-state listing, through their Homefront Program, of attorneys that provide legal assistance specializing in veterans's affairs, and in general law.  

Another nonprofit group that represents veterans (and those entitled to veterans benefits) in benefits hearings is the Veterans Advocacy Group (VETLAG).   They do not do other legal work.  However, they have list other groups that do.

Finally, the Veteran's Adminstration accredits attorneys, claims representatives and VSO (veteran's servce organizations) in dealing with legal affairs.  These are NOT NECESSARILY LOW COST, it merely marks them as groups that are recognized by the VA as having some specialized knowledge of veteran's legal affairs.  It will at least give you a start in finding someone specialized in what you need to know.

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