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Hiring a VA-Certified Veterans Disability Lawyer

This article discusses issues to consider when filing for or appealing a Veterans Administration disability claim.  Topics include:  when you need an attorney, what to ask an attorney, finding an attorney, potential cost of attorney and pro bono (free) attorney sources.

External Website: NOLO Law for All

Legal Services Corporation

Child custody, employment and homelessness are just some of the legal problems many veterans are confronting.  These legal issues are handled on a regular basis by Legal Services Corporation (LSC)-funded programs. A growing number of legal aid offices are part of established networks with bar association pro bono programs, law school clinics and social services agencies.  Under a 2010 initiative, LSC is working to improving access to justice for low-income military veterans and for military families through online services and community-based legal assistance.  This site includes program information, annual reports, grant funding opportunities for low-income persons and many other topics.

External Website: Legal Services Corporation

Predatory Lending Protections & Military Lending Act of 2012

The CFPB also has the authority to enforce the Military Lending Act of 2012. This law applies solely to active duty service members and their eligible family members and includes Payday, Vehicle Title and Tax Refund Anticipation Loans. For more detailed information, see the Consumer Federation of America "Predatory Lending Protections for Service Members" guidance.

External Website: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Rights Under the Military Lending Act

Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

Deployed servicemembers and individuals called to active duty in the military are afforded protections under the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  This Act was formerly known as the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act (SSCRA).  It is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to give full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members.  Some examples of considered obligations include:  0utstanding credit card debt/interest rates, mortgage payments/interest rates/foreclosure, judicial proceedings, terminations of leases, installment contracts, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments.  In order to have a SCRA case reviewed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the DOJ requires individuals to first seek the assistance from a military legal assistance office.

External Website: StatesideLegal

Veteran Disability Compensation: Protected from Garnishment

Veterans Administration (VA) disability payments are federally protected and ordinarily exempt from attachment (garnishment) of any kind to include from a creditor. While military disability compensation is protected from debt satisfaction, military retirement pay can be garnished. Some civil court judges are not aware of the difference between the two types of payments.

External Website: Federal Trade Commission

Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998

The Department of Labor elaws site states:  'By law (Title 5 USC, Section 2108), veterans who are disabled or who serve on active duty in the Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-veterans both in Federal hiring practices and in retention during reductions in force (RIF).

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-163) extends Veterans' Preference to those individuals who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and, who were discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions.'

See the Office of Personnel Management online Vet Guide or more detailed information.

Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998

External Website: Department of Labor

Workplace Rights and Preferences (Department of Labor)

The Department of Labor (DOL) "elaws" site provides resources and contact information relative to the following veteran employment issues.  The DOL site states:

"Military veterans, Reservists and National Guard members may be entitled to certain workplace rights and preferences.

DOL's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers and enforces the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which prohibits all employers from discriminating against an individual based on his or her status as a past or present member of the uniformed services.

In addition, DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) promotes equal opportunity in hiring and employment for qualified disabled veterans, Vietnam-era veterans, recently separated veterans and veterans who served on active duty in a war or during a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized."

State Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) Office Contact Directory

External Website: Department of Labor elaws: Veterans' Preference Advisor