Wednesday, October 2, 2013

November 1: Webcast - Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Veteran Cultural Competency 2013

There are over 21 million veterans in the U.S.; many of them are not aware of the benefits to which they are entitled. Medical and financial assistance are available to men and women who have served in the military, but some who can qualify are not receiving the benefits that they need. Attorneys can assist veterans with the problems that preclude them from receiving benefits, such as:
  • Lack of proper paper trails to “service-connect” their injuries
  • Ineligibility for benefits for those given less than fully honorable discharges for behaviors that were related to post traumatic stress disorder or minor disciplinary infractions
Nearly 45% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seek compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for service related injuries. A stunning 30% suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.  Many of those who should receive benefits will be denied. All of them will wait months or years for the VA to issue decisions on their claims. Learn how to navigate the VA claims process and to become an effective advocate for veterans in need. This all day program will provide an overview of VA disability law and military discharge review law. You will gain an understanding of different types of military discharges, why they are important, and how you can help veterans with less than Honorable discharges.
The three morning sessions provide the basics you need to represent veterans before the VA. The morning sessions fulfill the VA’s requirement for qualifying CLE within the first 12 months of your VA accreditation.
The 1:45pm session, Veterans’ Cultural Competency: Combat to Community, will help veterans’ advocates to understand the challenges that veterans face in their transition to a noncombat community.
The 2:45pm to 5:00pm sessions will provide attorneys with the tools that they need to assist veterans in upgrading their discharge status and removing stigmatizing information from their discharge documents.
  1. Attorneys and other advocates must be accredited to practice before the VA. To obtain accreditation you must complete this form:
  2. Accreditation by the VA may take several weeks, so do not delay filing your application. You can speed up the process by emailing the form to, and including a copy of your State Bar Certificate of Good Standing
  3. Within 12 months of accreditation you are required to complete three hours of qualifying CLE. The morning session of this program satisfies that requirement, but only if you have already received your accreditation from the VA.
Attorneys and other advocates who become accredited will be listed on a national VA list, and are entitled to represent veterans in their claims for benefits, on a pro bono basis, and for attorney’s fees on appeals, where they are available.
Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Veteran Cultural Competency 2013
November 1, 2013
9:00 AM Pacific
San Francisco, CA
Also Webcast

  • Co-Chair(s)
    • Theresa Mesa ~ Program Developer, Office of Legal Services, The State Bar of California
    • Teresa Panepinto ~ Legal Director, Swords to Plowshares
  • Bradford Adams ~ Skadden Fellow, Swords to Plowshares
  • Becca von Behren ~ Staff Attorney, Swords to Plowshares
  • Michael Blecker ~ Executive Director, Swords to Plowshares
  • Amy N. Fairweather ~ Policy Director, Swords to Plowshares
  • Starlyn Lara ~ Women Veteran Program Manager, Community Educator and Outreach Program Manager, Swords to Plowshares
  • Nicole M Perez ~ Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • John Robert Unruh ~ Staff Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator, Swords to Plowshares
  • Program Attorney: Christina Thompson ~ Program Attorney, Practising Law Institute
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Practising Law Institute
More Information And Registration

Free CLE  Right In
Your Web Browser!

4freeCLE is the free Newsletter of free Continuing Legal Education.
Every week, 4freeCLE brings you 20 or more opportunities to learn about the legal profession while earning Continuing Legal Education credits.
  • Webcasts: Bring CLE to your home or office
  • On-Demand Recordings: Let you learn what you need when you need it
  • In-Person: Traditional classroom settings give you the maximum opportunity for interaction and networking.
4freeCLE is and always will be free. Subscribe Now!