Legal action can remove barriers to treatment, housing, benefits and more. There is a common misperception that all of veterans’ needs are taken care of by the VA for life. The truth is that the VA does not provide legal assistance, and access to VA services can be a complicated and lengthy process—not every veteran will qualify. Community partners and state and local government must come together to serve those who served us.
Represent clients in Housing Court to prevent evictions and homelessness. Assist veterans in maintaining HUD-VASH vouchers and supportive housing.
Ensure veterans' legal access to health care and mental health treatment, including appealing discharges that deny benefits. Connect veterans with the appropriate services and support, including substance use treatment and counseling.
Support clients in maintaining an income, through benefits such as VA Pensions & Compensation, Food Stamps, and Social Security.
If we cannot assist clients in a particular area, we find someone who can. Veterans are matched with partner organizations and we follow up, so our clients get services—not just another phone number. An advocate is available to them every step of the way.
Discharge Upgrade Clinic
We run one of the few legal programs in the country that focuses on military discharges. Members of the military leave service with one of five discharge statuses that will determine their access to VA health care and benefits. Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury wreak psychological havoc on our servicemembers and the resulting behavioral health problems can easily lead to bad discharge papers. In other words, veterans need treatment for the condition that got them cut off from treatment.
Our Discharge Upgrade Clinic ("DUC") maximizes impact by working with law firms and medical programs. Our pro bono partners include: New York County Lawyers’ Association, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLC, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, Duane Morris LLP, Deutsche Bank, and others. We match clients with volunteer lawyers and assist in setting up foresic psychological or pychiatric evaluations to support an upgrade application. VAP staff advise and assist thoughout the process.
Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.
Medical Legal Partnerships
We are on site at Vet Centers every week, working with counselors to assist veterans in removing barriers to income, housing, and heatlh care. For a schedule of our locations and hours, please see our calendar.
If you have legal problems with any of these issues, we may be able to help. Please call us at 646-602-5620.