Six years ago, the Veterans’ Rights Project (VRP) was created to meet the unique civil legal needs of vulnerable individuals who have served in all branches of the United States military. These individuals range from those who have difficulty reintegrating into the community after service abroad to older veterans facing housing challenges as they age. In keeping with New York State’s efforts to be more inclusive to all veterans, our project does not discriminate based on character of discharge and we are proud to represent members of the NYS National Guard and military reservists who often have no other program to turn to for legal representation. The VRP is unique because of our holistic multidisciplinary approach to the client intake process which allows our staff attorneys to work with their clients to develop plans for increased economic, medical, and housing stability. The VRP represents many veterans that have legal problems that relate directly to disabilities arising from their service which affect their ability to maintain employment, housing, stable family relationships and their ability to cope with mental and physical health challenges.
Building trust with our clients allows us to obtain stronger legal outcomes. Many disabled veterans rely on the Veterans’ Rights Project for day to day legal advice regarding navigating the complicated system of local, state, and federal benefits upon which they rely. Our staff attorneys receive specialized training in providing trauma informed lawyering which guides our representation of veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Military Sexual Trauma, and Traumatic Brain Injury. We help veterans obtain benefits from Veterans Affairs (VA) including vocational rehabilitation, service-connected disability benefits, appropriate medical care, discharge upgrade issues, special housing, and more. Veterans living with these conditions require both more staff time and more sensitivity than the average legal client; however, we have seen firsthand the tremendous and life changing benefits that veterans can obtain through holistic legal representation. Our staff attorneys are accredited by the Veterans Administration to represent veterans seeking relief from unfavorable VA determinations. We represent veterans in evictions, foreclosures, social security disability hearings, consumer debt matters, and family matters. We participate in local veteran stand-downs, frequently accept case referrals from the county Veterans Service Agencies and the NYS Division of Veterans Services, and provide community legal education on veterans matters.
Listen to Supervising Attorney, Paola Arango, speak about our Veterans’ Rights Project. To listen in Spanish, visit our YouTube page here.
All of our offices are now open to the public and accepting walk-ins.