The National Veterans Legal Services Program is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has worked since 1981 to ensure that the government delivers to our nation's 22 million veterans and active-duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled.
There are 4.5 million U.S. veterans who have a service-connected disability. Disability benefits are a step toward restoring the lives of these men, women, and their families. Yet each year, thousands of veterans have their claims for disability benefits wrongly denied or evaluated incorrectly. Of the veterans who file appeals each year, the majority do not have a lawyer to represent them, mainly because it is unaffordable.
In the wake of World War II, the U.S. Congress enacted laws that continue to stand as a solemn promise to every citizen who steps forward to serve our country in military uniform: if you are injured or become permanently disabled due to your military service, the federal government will care for you and your family for the rest of your life. Since the beginning, the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) has worked to ensure that the government delivers to our nation's 22 million veterans and active duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled because of disabilities resulting from their military service to our country.
NVLSP advances its mission by directly representing individual veterans on disability claims at no cost; bringing class actions and other law reform litigation to remove systemic barriers to justice; recruiting, training, and mentoring thousands of volunteer attorneys and veterans’ advocates to represent veterans; providing representation through our Lawyers Serving Warriors® pro bono program; and producing and distributing advocacy and educational materials to enable advocates to assist veterans and their families in securing the benefits they have earned.
National Veterans Legal Services Program attorneys leverage their legal expertise, their advanced advocacy skills, and their extensive knowledge of the workings of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the military service departments on behalf of veterans. Since 1981, NVLSP has helped veterans obtain over five billion dollars in disability benefits that were promised to them for their service to our country.
Learn more about NVLSP’s individual representation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) for veterans who have been wrongfully denied their benefits. Of the cases we appeal each year, over 90% result in either a reversal of the previously denied claim or the case is sent back for the VA to correct one or more legal errors.
NVLSP brings class actions and other law reform litigation to remove systemic barriers to justice for hundreds of thousands of veterans and their survivors. For example, in Nehmer v. U.S Veterans Administration NVLSP has forced the VA to pay more than $4.6 billion in VA compensation benefits to veterans and their families who suffered terrible illnesses from Agent Orange exposure.
NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® pro bono program offers free legal assistance to veterans and active duty military personnel of all eras through a national network of volunteer attorneys from private law firms and corporate legal departments. The program provides legal representation in cases before military administrative discharge review agencies, VA regional offices, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and the courts that review the decisions of these agencies.
Since its inception, NVLSP recognized the need to equip attorneys and advocates to help America’s veterans secure their benefits. We continue to act as a force multiplier through in-person and webinar trainings, as well as our definitive treatise on veterans benefits law, the Veterans Benefits Manual.