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Veterans Law Project
We are a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity.

Veterans Law Project
Veterans Law Project

The Veterans Law Project is a special, statewide unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina that helps low-income veterans overcome service-related legal barriers that prevent them from living self-sufficiently and seeking economic opportunity.

OUR SERVICES

We focus our advocacy on cases that can have a serious impact on a veteran's ability to find work, secure housing and establish economic stability.

  • Disability compensation: We appeal denials of service-connected benefits for injuries related to mental health or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) when the denial is due to character of service. A veteran may be entitled to monthly, tax-free compensation benefits and health care if he or she has an illness or disability that started during their service, was caused by their military service or was aggravated by a service injury.

  • Discharge upgrades: We seek to improve veterans' military records, primarily when there is evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) prior to separation of service. The nature and character of a discharge can be upgraded if it is less than honorable. A less-than-honorable discharge will generally affect your benefits. If it has been less than 15 years since your date of discharge, apply to your service branch's Discharge Review Board. If it has been 15 or more years, apply to the Board of Correction for Military Records.

  • Pension benefits: We appeal denials and discontinuations of pension benefits. A veteran may qualify for tax-free benefits if he or she is:

    • Low income

    • Over 65, or under 65 and permanently disabled

    • In a nursing home receiving skilled care

    • And you served at least 90 days active duty and at least one day during a wartime period before 1980, or you served at least 24 months after Sept. 7, 1980.

  • VA Overpayments: We can help you appeal or file waivers when VA overpayments are charged. Notices of overpayment can be challenged, and veterans can also seek a waiver of repayment or negotiate a settlement.

ELIGIBILITY

You must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines to be eligible for help. We prioritize clients who are homeless or facing homelessness. Facing homelessness can mean: couch surfing, being behind on rent and threatened with eviction, being behind on mortgage payments and facing foreclosure, and more. We do not handle criminal cases, traffic issues or personal-injury cases.

GET HELP

To apply for help, submit an online application or call our toll-free Helpline.

CONTACT

For more information or to request copies of the Veterans Law Project brochure, contact Toni Pinkston.