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California is home to nearly two million veterans, more than any other state in the country. While California veterans live primarily in rural areas of the state, where cost of living is lower than it is in the San Francisco Bay Area, more than 26,000 veterans call the Bay Area home. Even those living in surrounding communities rely on services, and in particular legal services, available in the Bay Area.

At the ABA's August meeting, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Bar Association and the Legal Services Corp. announced a new partnership and pilot program aimed at reducing the veterans' claims backlog and making it easier for unrepresented veterans to receive assistance developing claims for disability pay. The program provides free assistance from ABA and LSC attorneys to a targeted group of unrepresented veterans who request their help in filing disability claims. These are important initiatives. The significant backlog requires that more lawyers do more to begin to ensure those who have served our country receive the assistance and support they deserve.


Originally published online in The Recorder, Nov. 11, 2013. Posted with permission.