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Guide to Veterans Legal Issues - Benchmark Institute

Guide to Veterans Legal Issues Second Edition Authors Rosemary R. French, President Benchmark Institute Norma Bayes, Advocate Emeritus Publisher Benchmark Institute Guide to Veterans Legal Issues 2d Edition 1 2014 Benchmark Institute Contents _____. Three Guidelines for Legal Services Advocates .. 3. Overview .. 4. Demographics War Times The Department of Veterans Affairs State/Territory Veterans Affairs Offices County Veterans Service Officers The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act Military Knowhow and Jargon 7. Disability .. 7. Education .. 9. Employment .. 12. Health Care .. 15. Housing .. 18. Resources .. 21. Manuals Advocacy Organizations Government Agencies Articles Veterans Projects/Services in Legal Services Programs Pro Bono Resources National Directory Law Schools with Veterans ' Law Clinics Webinars Appendix: Referral Checklist for VA Cash Benefits .. 27.

Veterans Projects/Services in Legal Services Programs Pro Bono Resources – National Directory

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Transcription of Guide to Veterans Legal Issues - Benchmark Institute

1 Guide to Veterans Legal Issues Second Edition Authors Rosemary R. French, President Benchmark Institute Norma Bayes, Advocate Emeritus Publisher Benchmark Institute Guide to Veterans Legal Issues 2d Edition 1 2014 Benchmark Institute Contents _____. Three Guidelines for Legal Services Advocates .. 3. Overview .. 4. Demographics War Times The Department of Veterans Affairs State/Territory Veterans Affairs Offices County Veterans Service Officers The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act Military Knowhow and Jargon 7. Disability .. 7. Education .. 9. Employment .. 12. Health Care .. 15. Housing .. 18. Resources .. 21. Manuals Advocacy Organizations Government Agencies Articles Veterans Projects/Services in Legal Services Programs Pro Bono Resources National Directory Law Schools with Veterans ' Law Clinics Webinars Appendix: Referral Checklist for VA Cash Benefits .. 27.

2 Guide to Veterans Legal Issues 2d Edition 2 2014 Benchmark Institute Three Rules for Legal Services Advocates 1. Always ask: Is the client a veteran or a family member of a veteran? (Some baggage may attach to veteran ; if you feel that's operating, try military or service .). Use Appendix: Referral Checklist for VA Cash Benefits 2. Consider how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depression, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) may affect Veterans or their families in your own housing, public benefit and family cases. 3. Refer clients to competent advocates to pursue VA benefits for Veterans , their dependents and survivors. See Resources, especially Veterans Projects/Services in a Legal Services Program Guide to Veterans Legal Issues 2d Edition 3 2014 Benchmark Institute Overview Demographics of California Veterans expressed in charts and graphs are described on the CalVet Demographics web site.

3 4 Also see Veterans ' Cultural N early million military Veterans live in the United States. 1 They represent 13% of the adult population. The overwhelming majority of Veterans are men;. Competency: Combat to Community;. Demographics, Cultural Characteristics, Myths and Stereotypes about Veterans (2013) 5. described in Resources - Webinars, below. 2,248,579 million are women. Women today comprise 20% of active duty military members, War Times a huge increase from the past. Sixteen percent of Military service is classified as either wartime or Gulf War Veterans are women while only 5% peacetime service. Certain advantages accrue to served in the military in World War II and 3% in Veterans with wartime service. For example, Viet Nam. The increasing number of women in only Veterans with wartime service are eligible the military, serving in both combat and non- for non-service-connected disability pension combat roles, is an emerging issue .

4 2 benefits. See Laws, below. Elder Veterans number million or about 36%. Veterans are categorized by the war times in Fifty three percent of Veterans are 35 to 64 years which they served. War Times are the old. calendar periods with an official beginning and ending of that war time period. War times are The majority of Veterans today are white (80%), important because many VA benefits are specifically white males. With increasing dependent upon a veteran having served in a war numbers of minorities, the military is beginning time. to reflect the diverse population of the United States in general million ( ) African Currently, we are in the Gulf War Period , Americans; million ( ) Hispanics; which began on August 1, 1990 to the present. 333,000 ( ) Asian/Pacific Islanders; 185,000 Other war time periods relevant today are: (.8%) American Indian/Alaskan Natives. 3.

5 World War II: September 15, 1940 July 26, The highest numbers of Veterans live in the 1947. South, followed by the Midwest, the West, and the Northeast. The highest percentages of Korean War: June 26, 1950 February 1, Veterans are located in Alaska (17%) and 1955. Montana (16%). Six states have more than one million Veterans : California ( million); Vietnam War: August 4, 1964 May 8, 1975. Florida ( million); Texas ( million); New York ( million); Pennsylvania ( million); Thirty percent of all living Veterans today, and Ohio ( million). million, served in the Viet Nam war. Twenty percent, million, served in World War II. Three fourths of all Veterans served in some period of wartime. And many Veterans have 1. The National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics (NCVAS). 4. collects and analyzes key statistics on Veteran population and VA programs 2. VA has set up several information portals focusing 5.

6 On women, for example, Center for Women Veterans and Women Veterans Health Care grams/advet11/ 3. Id. Guide to Veterans Legal Issues 2d Edition 4 2014 Benchmark Institute served in more than one wartime period such as Services and benefits are provided through a WWII and Korean War. nationwide network of 153 hospitals, 956. outpatient clinics, 134 community living centers, The Department of Veterans Affairs 6 90 domiciliary residential rehabilitation The Department of Veterans Affairs, a Cabinet treatment programs, 232 Vet centers, 57. level department, is the second largest federal Veterans benefits regional offices, and 131. department, consisting of three administrations: national cemeteries. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) State/Territory Veterans Affairs Offices provides health care for some Veterans States also have various programs for Veterans that vary by state.

7 8. Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). administers programs that provide financial and California Department of Veteran Affairs other assistance to Veterans , their dependents, (CalVet) 9 provides several programs including and survivors including Veterans ' compensation, services for homeless people, women and Veterans ' pension, survivors' benefits, parolees; tuition waivers for dependents and rehabilitation and employment assistance, non-resident vets, veteran homes, and education assistance, home loan guaranties, and employment assistance. These services are life insurance coverage 7 described on CalVet's website and California Office of Disability Assistance oversees Veterans Resource Book. 10 Cal Vet District disability Compensation Service, Pension offices help Veterans and their dependents to and Fiduciary Service, Insurance Service, obtain federal disability and pension VA.

8 And Benefits Assistance Service. benefits through applying and representing claims. 11. Office of Economic Opportunity oversees Education Service, Loan Guaranty Service County Veterans Service Officers (CVSOs). and Vocational Rehabilitation & In concert with the VA, CalVet, veteran service Employment (VR&E) Service organizations, and veteran advocates, County Veterans Service Officers provide services and Office of Field Operations oversees advocacy to Veterans , their dependents and Four area offices survivors. County Veterans Service Offices are -Eastern Area, Detroit, MI; often the initial contact for Veterans . 12. -Southern Area, Nashville, TN;. 8. -Central Area, Muskogee, OK; Links at -Western Area, Phoenix, AZ; 9. Regional Offices (ROs). Records Management Center and 10. Appeals Management Center (processes most appeals that have been returned to VBA by eteran_%20 Resource_% #search=C.)

9 The Board of Veterans Appeals). alifornia%20 Veterans %20 Resource%20 Book%2E. 11. National Cemetery Administration 12. California Association of County Veterans Service Officers lists officers, their contact information, office locations and hours of operation at 6. VA Organizational Briefing Book % See Resource below. California Association of 7. The Veterans Administration describes its programs County Veterans Service Officers at Guide to Veterans Legal Issues 2d Edition 5 2014 Benchmark Institute The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act _____. The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) 13 Practice Point: Use the department of Defense provides a wide range of protections for website to find out whether an individual has individuals entering, called to active duty in the active duty status to qualify for provisions under military, or deployed servicemembers. It SCRA.

10 16. postpones or suspends certain civil obligations _____. to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on family Military Knowhow and Jargon members of those deployed servicemembers. A helps service members, few examples include these obligations: Veterans , their families and advocates to access benefits, better understand Issues and find free Outstanding credit card debt Legal help. It indexes the best Legal information Mortgage payments (including in an easy to use site. foreclosure). Pending trials Stand-out features include this information: Taxes Interactive forms Terminating leases. Overview of key Issues -Benefits The SCRA covers all active duty service- -Consumer members, Reservists and the members of the -Employment National Guard while on active duty. The -Family Law protection begins on the date of entering active -Housing duty and generally terminates within 30 to 90 -Taxes days after the date of discharge from active duty.


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