Law Students

VA Disability Claims Back Log Could be Alleviated with Law School Pro Bono Clinics
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Veterans have a problem that law schools could aid. Around 825,000 applications for disability compensation are backlogged, waiting more than 125 days for the VA to decide if they should receive disability. Sen. Mark Warner is suggesting to his fellow senators that the solution lies in establishing pro bono programs modeled on the one developed at the College of William and Mary. Law students could help veterans submit complicated claims and make the process run smoother.

William and Mary has “prepared a playbook containing guidance how to effectively establish similar pro bono programs to serve our military veterans,” as reported.


“If we work together as colleagues to extend this program to other law schools across the country, we could provide tangible assistance to many of our veterans by ensuring that complex claims are completed in a more comprehensive and timely manner prior to submission to the VA,” Warren explained.

The clinic at William and Mary, which begin in 2009, the Lewis B Puller Jr. Veterans Benefit Clinic, has joined services with Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond to provide psychological services, giving combined aid to veterans. The program has spread to 15 other colleges and universities through Virginia, through what is being called “humvee” or the Helping Military Veterans through Higher Education Consortium. It is estimated that this program has increased the average rating of disability claims by 26.25 percent, gaining clients $520,884, and saving the private market $428,325. Thus, it could definitely be a viable way to alleviate a painful situation for our veterans.

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