Veterans’ Benefits Pro Bono Project
Close to 13% of the nation’s homeless population are comprised of veterans, and for some Maryland counties, this unfortunate statistic is even higher. This stark reality led to the creation of the Veterans’ Benefits Pro Bono Project in 2008, which is a collaborative initiative housed at the Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc. (“HPRP”) with support from the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, the University of Maryland School of Law and the MSBA Special Committee on Military Law. Through the project, volunteer lawyers assist Maryland veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness file and defend claims for service-connected disability benefits to which they are entitled and that are vital for their daily existence. This is the first and only project of its kind in Maryland.
HPRP serves a vital role in the project by identifying veteran clients in need of project services, matching them with volunteer lawyers, and providing mentoring services for the volunteers. PBRC utilizes its pro bono attorney recruitment expertise to attract attorneys to the project and helps HPRP coordinate the necessary substantive legal training. Training is free for lawyers agreeing to handle at least one pro bono veterans’ benefits case through HPRP.
The project partners also organize and sponsor an annual Veterans’ Legal Assistance Conference for lawyers, law students, policymakers and other members of the legal community to raise awareness about the unique issues facing homeless veterans and provide veterans’ benefits training to volunteer lawyers.
Click HERE for Training