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Veterans Law Clinic

Widener Law School

4601 Concord Pike

Wilmington, DE 19803

(302) 477-2090

NOTE: information on this site does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Veterans Law Clinic

Legal Help for Veterans

Pro Bono Representation for Disabled Veterans

The Veterans Law Clinic provides free legal representation to qualified veterans and their dependents with disability compensation benefit claims pending before the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Since opening in 1997, we have represented hundreds of veterans in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and surrounding states and helped recover millions of dollars n in back benefits. We specialize in representing veterans’ cases on appeal to the BVA and CAVC.

In addition to VA benefits cases, we also take a limited number of cases involving discharge characterization upgrades. If you meet our income eligibility guidelines and believe you have may have received an unwarranted discharge characterization, you can contact us for a case evaluation.

What to Do If the VA Turns Down Your Claim

If your local Regional Office has turned down your claim for disability compensation benefits, or awarded you less than you think you deserve, you have a few options.

   Accept the Decision

   You can accept the decision and abandon your claim. If you do nothing, the Regional Office’s denial will become final one year from the date it was issued. Your claim cannot be re-opened at a later time unless (a) you have new and material evidence in support of your claim, or (b) the Regional Office committed clear and unmistakeable error in initially evaluating your claim.

   Request to Re-Open

   You can file an immediate request to re-open your claim. On your own or with the help of your local Veterans Service Organizations (VSO), you can gather additional evidence in support of your claim and file a re-opened claim with your Regional Office.

   File Notice of Disagreement

   You can file a Notice of Disagreement and appeal your case to the Board of Veterans Appeals. If your claim has been denied, you have one year to file a Notice of Disagreement to appeal your case from the Regional Office to the Board of Veterans Appeals.

   How the Veterans Law Clinic Can Help You

The Veterans Law Clinic does not compete with Veterans Service Organization (VSO), which often help veterans file initial claims for benefits at the Regional Office level. Instead, we help veterans after their VSO can take their case no further by appealing cases from the Regional Office to the Board of Veterans Appeals, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and beyond, if necessary. We also review previously denied claims to determine whether they can be re-opened.

   Case Evaluation.

   The Veterans Law Clinic can give you a good evaluation of your case before the 365 day time limit for filing a timely Notice of Disagreement expires. If you live in the upper Mid-Atlantic region and meet our income eligibility criteria, we may offer to represent you directly, or we may refer your case to someone in our network of pro bono attorneys. If you live outside the upper Mid-Atlantic region, we may still be able to refer you to a pro bono attorney near you. You can contact us to see whether we can help.

   You Decide.

   With good advice about the strength of your claim and the likelihood of success on appeal, you can decide whether you want to appeal your claim. The appeals process is time-consuming and can often take years before a case is finally resolved. If you decide to appeal, be prepared to wait.

   Free Representation.

   If we believe you have a good and meritorious claim under veterans’ benefits lawy and you meet our income eligibility criteria, we will offer to represent you or help you find a pro bono attorney willing to take your case. If we do represent you and you do not win before the Board of Veterans Appeals, we will take your appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) and beyond, if necessary. Contact us to get started.