Military caregivers are juggling the health needs and after-effects of military service for a wounded veteran or service member, often while raising a family,” Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said. “We want to ease their burden by taking legal issues off their plate.
Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) April 11, 2014
As announced at an April 11 White House event, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), working with the American Bar Association (ABA) and Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement in partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, have formed a collaboration to address unmet legal needs of military caregivers. A recent RAND Corp. study commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation found the state of support services for caregivers of wounded veterans to be of “crisis proportions.”
Through their first-of-its-kind collaboration, MOAA, the ABA and the Center for Veterans Advancement will create one-stop legal shopping for military caregivers. Examples of those who can be helped by legal assistance include a parent of a wounded veteran who seeks education benefits for his or her child, a spouse of a veteran who lost his or her job and the family of a servicemember experiencing homelessness who is seeking help with housing benefits.
The collaborative will contribute to and operate two websites to assist caregivers:
- Tips for Lifelong Caregiving – Edited and hosted by MOAA in partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, this website provides information and resources on a range of issues, including credit and bankruptcy, taxation, powers of attorney, wills and trusts, family law, guardianship, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the VA Fiduciary Program. The ABA has contributed extensive content to the legal information section of the website. In addition, The USAA Educational Foundation has contributed significant financial content to the finance information section of this website.
Tips for Lifelong Caregiving also includes links to ABA Home Front, the ABA's online legal resource center for military families and veterans. Along with easy-to-understand legal information, the site includes a national directory of programs and organizations that provide free and reduced-cost civil legal services.
Other site contributors include Fig Leaf Software, Asterism Media, VetsFirst and a network of contributing caregivers, service providers and subject matter experts.
This website will be available April 11. (http://www.MOAA.org/Caregiver)
- LawyersforHeroes.org – This website will provide access to a pro bono legal resource for users requiring more personalized help than what is offered on the Tips for Lifelong Caregiving site. Hosted by MOAA in partnership with The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, ABA and Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement, the site will include links to the ABA’s military-and veteran-focused pro bono programs, including the ABA Military Pro Bono Project and ABA Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network, and Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement.
These services are available immediately and can be accessed by calling Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement at 213-385-2977, Ext. 303. Caregivers and veterans calling this number will receive a callback within 48 hours if a legal consultant is not immediately available.
The website will be available later in April at lawyersforheroes.org
“The RAND report confirms what advocates have been seeing on the ground: Military caregivers are the unsung heroes bravely filling the gap when our wounded veterans come home,” Hernán Vera, president of Public Counsel, said. “Legal issues are often left off the list when we talk about what military caregivers need, but having an advocate on your side can be life-changing.”
“Military caregivers are juggling the health needs and after-effects of military service for a wounded veteran or service member, often while raising a family,” MOAA President Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said. “We want to ease their burden by taking legal issues off their plate.”
“The ABA is partnering with MOAA as a way to extend our delivery of comprehensive, free legal information and support to military members, veterans and their families,” said ABA President James R. Silkenat. “Our legal expertise can empower caregivers, alleviate some of the uncertainty in their lives, and let them know they are not alone in their struggles.”
A website, lawyersforheroes.org will launch later in April 2014.
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Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest officers association with more than 380,000 members from every branch of service, including active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve, and former officers and their families and survivors. MOAA is a nonprofit and politically nonpartisan organization and an influential force in promoting a strong national defense. MOAA represents the interests of service members and their families in every stage of their lives and careers, and for those who are not eligible to join MOAA, Voices for America’s Troops is a nonprofit MOAA affiliate that supports a strong national defense. For more information, visit http://www.moaa.org or http://www.voicesfortroops.org/.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
About Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement
The Center for Veterans Advancement at Public Counsel is driven by its core principle to uphold our nation’s promise to veterans and their families, and provides direct representation, including representation through its pro bono partners, to veterans and their families in nearly 40 states. Public Counsel is the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. Visit http://www.publiccounsel.org
About The USAA Educational Foundation
The USAA Educational Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that helps consumers make informed decisions by providing free information on financial management, safety concerns, and significant life events. The USAA Educational Foundation does not endorse or promote any commercial supplier, product or service. For more information visit http://www.usaaedfoundation.org.
Susan Stalder, MOAA
Michael Soller, Public Counsel
(213) 446-1851 cell