Veterans Legal Services
Civil Legal Aid for Massachusetts Veterans
The “justice gap” in America, defined as the difference between low-income individuals’ need for civil legal aid and the resources available to them, is significant. Consumer issues, including the need for debt management assistance as well as help to access disability benefits, unemployment compensation, and subsistence benefits such as food and housing vouchers, continue to threaten the stability and well-being of thousands of vulnerable veterans in Massachusetts — most notably the disabled, the elderly, veterans of color, and women veterans. Recognizing the need to promote justice for the most vulnerable, VLS launched a medical-legal partnership with the Boston VA Healthcare System in 2021 with a BWF grant. VLS has since held monthly legal clinics on the campus of the Brockton VA Medical Center (part of the Boston VA Healthcare System), with all referrals coming from VA social workers as well as VA rehabilitation and vocational specialists. With this BWF grant, VLS will provide civil legal assistance to approximately 120 low- to moderate-income military veterans in Massachusetts through medical-legal partnerships with two VA health care systems in Bedford and Boston.