Veterans Legal Services
Legal Aid for Economically Disadvantaged Veterans
Service Area: Massachusetts
Goal: Provide civil-legal assistance to improve social determinants of health for approximately 275 low- to moderate-income military veterans in Massachusetts through partnerships with two VA health care systems in Bedford and Boston, MA
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. Civil-legal 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 wellbeing of thousands of vulnerable veterans in Massachusetts—most notably veterans with disabilities, elderly veterans, veterans of color, and female veterans. Recognizing the need to promote justice for the most vulnerable, VLS launched a partnership with the Boston VA Healthcare System in 2021. VLS has since held monthly legal clinics on the campus of the Brockton VA Medical Center (part of the Boston VA Healthcare System) and receives referrals from VA social workers and rehabilitation and vocational specialists. With this BWF investment, VLS will provide civil-legal assistance to approximately 275 low- to moderate-income military veterans in Massachusetts through partnerships with two VA health care systems in Bedford and Boston, MA.