Too many servicewomen and men who protect our country return to civilian life only to find they lack protection—or even access to basic care—for their service injuries.
An alarming number of veterans struggle with PTSD, addiction, depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other invisible wounds. More than 272,000 post‐9/11 veterans have received less than honorable discharges, often due to behavior that is symptomatic of service‐related PTSD or traumatic brain injury, thus excluding them from life-saving services and benefits.
Lawyers across the country have heard the call to help represent veterans in discharge upgrade proceedings, a highly specialized area of veterans’ law. Free, expert level, easily accessible training and support will help willing lawyers heed that call.
In early 2020, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) completed a comprehensive Discharge Upgrade Manual. ABE funding will allow CVLC to supplement the manual with in-depth, on-demand training videos for the legal issues in each chapter of the manual, building a national pro bono network serving low-income veterans who have been unjustly denied access to healthcare, disability benefits, and supportive services due to their military discharge status.
Without legal help, fewer than 50% of these veterans prevail; most claims are denied for procedural reasons. With less than 40 veteran legal clinics nationwide providing discharge upgrade representation, the need is significant to ensure justice for our nation’s heroes.
Read the full press release here.
The American Bar Endowment (ABE) sponsors quality, affordable group insurance products, exclusively for ABA lawyer members. The unique charitable giving feature of each ABE-sponsored insurance plan gives ABA members the opportunity to donate any available dividends. The ABE mission is to make a difference by funding programs that advance the American justice system and the rule of law. The ABE established an Opportunity Grants Program, to support smaller, innovative programs and projects by eligible grantees that fit within that mission. An Opportunity Grant is intended to be a one-time award to start or enhance a program of law-related research, education, or public service projects.