AUSTIN – Texas veterans are invited to virtually participate in Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week (TVLAW), a statewide effort in honor of Veteran’s Day, coordinated by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and legal aid programs across the state, the Texas Legal Aid Veterans Coalition.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all clinics will be held virtually.
“As the pandemic continues to impact Texas communities, our veterans need us now more than ever,” said Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. “We are grateful for the Texas legislature for its continued funding of legal services that help our veterans improve their lives and the wellbeing of their families.”
During the week of Nov. 9-13, legal aid programs, local bar associations, law schools and pro bono private lawyers will provide civil legal services for qualified Texas veterans.
A full list of virtual clinics and events throughout the state can be found here.
Texas has the second-highest population of veterans in the nation. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ annual survey of homeless and formerly homeless veterans, legal issues account for five of the top 10 unmet needs of homeless veterans. Obtaining access to free legal services can be critical for veterans to get the benefits and support they need for themselves and their families.
The Texas Access to Justice Foundation provided $3.3 million in grants last year to 13 nonprofit organizations that provide free legal services to veterans.
Each year legal aid organizations provide free legal services to more than 8,000 Texas veterans. Legal aid organizations and pro bono lawyers are able to provide legal representation to veterans with civil legal problems, including:
- Denial of critical medical care
- Problems receiving benefits
- Legal issues related to disabilities
- Family law matters arising from deployment
- Other issues that may arise due to a veteran’s absence from home during military service
This year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Texas Veterans Legal Aid Coalition created a video project targeted at veterans that aims to solve the challenges of outreach during COVID-19.
Starting Nov. 13, the first of five videos will be released covering the topic of benefits for veterans. Visit, texaslawhelp.org to view the videos. Assistance is also provided at a statewide hotline for veterans, 1-800-622-2520, option 2.