New Site Helps Vets Appeal Benefits Decisions, Find Pro Bono Legal Help

Two organizations have teamed up to launch a website to help veterans appeal denials of Veterans Affairs benefits. Through the site, veterans can either appeal their cases on their own or request a free attorney to help with the appeal.

The site, at vetsprobono.org, was launched this week by The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, a national charity that provides free legal counsel in federal matters to veterans and their families, and Pro Bono Net, a national non-profit dedicated to increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged.

The site uses Pro Bono Net’s technology platform, which is used by a number of national and regional legal-assistance sites. Neota Logic and Just-Tech also helped build components of the site, particularly the intake and forms-completion process.

The focus of the site is on helping veterans appeal adverse decisions from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The site provides an array of informational materials and explanatory videos about the appeals process. It also provides a resource library with materials about veterans’ benefits, veterans’ agencies, and physical and psychological disorders pertinent to veterans.

For veterans seeking to appeal a denial of benefits, the site offers two options. Either they can use the site to help them fill out the forms necessary to appeal the decision or they can use the site to apply for free legal help if they meet financial eligibility requirements.

The site also provides information for attorneys who wish to volunteer their services. Volunteer attorneys are provided free training and materials and those who take on a case are also assigned a mentor.