Veterans' Legal Assistance Program | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University

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Veterans' Legal Assistance Program | School of Law | SIU

Veterans' Legal Assistance Program

The Veterans’ Legal Assistance Program (“VLAP”) provides free legal assistance to Veterans in southern Illinois who cannot afford or do not have access to legal representation in the appeals of claims for compensation for service-connected disabilities, pension benefits, survivor benefits, and education benefits.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE

The VLAP provides pro bono legal assistance to veterans in southern Illinois who cannot afford or do not have access to legal representation in the appeals of claims for compensation for service-connected disabilities; and petitions for the upgrade of other-than-honorable or bad conduct discharges for military members with post-traumatic stress (“PTSD”) or victims of military sexual assault (“MSA”).

The VLAP program also provides referral services for veterans with other civil legal challenges.

TYPES OF SERVICES NOT PROVIDED

The VLAP does not assist with filing initial claims for benefits. To receive assistance with filing an initial claim for benefits, contact the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs or a Veterans Service Organization, such as the American Legion, AMVETS, or the VFW

WHO HANDLES THE CASES?

Veteran’s cases taken by the VLAP are assigned to second and third-year law students as part of their study of V.A. disability and benefits law and supervised by a licensed attorney.

CONTACTING US FOR SERVICES

For additional information or to request legal assistance with a V.A. compensation appeal or petition for a discharge upgrade, contact the VLAP at (618)453-8280, or email: vlap@siu.edu.