COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Veterans and active-duty military personnel now have a new service in the Palmetto State to assist them in gaining the federal benefits to which they are entitled.
The South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs (SCDVA) is now partnering with the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). The NVLSP is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure the government delivers to America’s 22 million Veterans and active-duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled because of disabilities resulting from their military service to our country.
When disability claims are denied by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans have the right to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). On a case by case basis, the NVLSP offers free legal representation in support of appeal cases which the NVLSP believes are based on solid ground.
This process begins when the NVLSP reviews a case in which a Veteran’s appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA), the highest authority within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is denied and determines there are grounds for an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. When this is the case, NVLSP offers to represent the Veteran or the Veteran’s family at no cost. The partnership between the South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the NVLSP makes this free legal service available to Veterans in South Carolina for the first time.
“The partnership between the SCDVA and NVLSP is a huge win for the state of South Carolina, and for South Carolina Veterans,” says Steven Noonan, Director of Training and Standardization with SCDVA. “First, our Veterans will now benefit from representation by an incredibly talented and experienced legal team, with a stellar track record, who will fight for them at the highest legal levels, to ensure fairness in the disability benefit arena; second, our CVAOs will benefit from our new access to the vast, up to the minute training and professional development portfolio that NVLSP provides. This training is now available to us, for our use, and will further educate and professionalize our CVAO teams as they continue to serve South Carolina Veterans, now and in the future.”
More than two dozen NVLSP lawyers will be accredited to work with South Carolina Veterans to represent appeals cases from the Palmetto State that go before the CAVC. Veterans Service Organizations and County Veterans’ Affairs Officers in South Carolina will be provided with comprehensive training to assist Veterans and a resource to refer veterans for legal assistance with certain non-CAVC legal matters related to VA and military benefits, as well.
"We are delighted to partner with the South Carolina State Department of Veterans' Affairs to provide training for their staff,” says National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) Executive Director Bart Stichman. “We look forward to collaborating and leveraging our shared knowledge to help South Carolina Veterans and their families access the benefits to which they are entitled."
In addition to NVLSP’s assistance to Veterans with claims appeals, their legal teams also assist Veterans with Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) cases, discharge upgrades, cases dealing with military sexual trauma, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). To learn more about NVLSP and other legal representation offered, visit www.nvlsp.org.