Homeless veterans have told the VA that one of their top needs is finding legal assistance. The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center in New Haven is one organization that fills this need. Now the non-profit is working to build a network of similar legal service providers.
Recently it hosted a conference for attorneys from four other Northeast states to discuss ways to collaborate. CVLC Executive Director Margaret Middleton said a lot of veterans need help with discharge upgrades so they can access VA benefits. "Some discharge statuses from the DOD are barred to care from the VA," Middleton said, "because of oppositional or substance seeking behaviors that might have been symptomatic of a mental health problem. So there are instances where its the very folks we hope were getting help from the VA who are not getting these services and that's exactly why we started this program. "