New ABA initiative to provide pro bono legal assistance to military veterans

vcan_logoA new initiative unveiled by the ABA at its annual meeting in San Francisco will help clear the backlog of disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The initiative – a joint venture between the ABA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Legal Services Corporation – will recruit lawyers to help veterans prepare and expedite their claims. Veterans have previously gone unrepresented.

In announcing the new program, William A. Gunn, general counsel to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, stated: “Right now, it’s taking far too long for veterans to get their disability claims resolved, and part of the reason is the length of time it takes to develop claims…We can decide claims much faster when they’re already developed.”

The ABA has created the Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network (ABA VCAN), to connect veterans currently in the backlog with legal service providers and lawyers who will help them complete their claims pro bono. The VA has set a goal of eliminating the current backlog of claims for disability pay by 2015.

For more information about the program or to join the roster of volunteers, visit ABA VCAN.

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