The Veterans Advocacy Project
Veterans find the legal help that they need at CLSMF, where our trained attorneys represent them before the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Our attorneys help cut through the red tape so that veterans can get the benefits they earned through their military service. Our attorneys provide legal advice, counsel, referral, education, and representation to low-income veterans, free of charge. Our mission is to ensure that the lives of those who have served our country are enriched as a result of legal assistance.
Who is Eligible?
Low-income Veterans and their family members who reside in Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties.
The CLSMF Veterans Advocacy Project focuses its efforts on Combat Veterans and Veterans who are survivors of Military Sexual Trauma, but may be able to assist other Veterans as resources permit.
Services We Provide
Legal advice and representation including but not limited to:
- Filing claims and appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability compensation and/or pensions
- Filing appeals with United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- Contesting inappropriate discharges or discharge characterizations
- Applying for dependent and survivor benefits
- Accessing public benefits such as unemployment, Social Security, disability and food stamps, etc.
- Access to healthcare and mental health resources
How to Reach Us
Veterans who are already working with a Supportive Services for Veterans and Families (SSVF) agency should talk to their case manager to have a referral made via HMIS, fax or email.
CLSMF has also established a Medical-Legal Partnership with the Viera VA in Brevard County Please click here to learn more about the Viera VA Medical-Legal Partnership. Referrals from this partnership must be submitted by a VA Social Worker.
The CLSMF Helpline provides qualifying Veterans a way to reach the Veterans Advocacy Project for assistance in Veterans issues or brief legal advice in other issues. The Helpline can be reached at (800) 405-1417. For more information on the CLSMF Helpline, click here.
If you are an attorney who would like to help veterans, please click here for information regarding Operation ESQ., which helps provide no/low-income veterans access to legal services.
CLSMF’s Medical-Legal Partnership with the Viera VA to provide services to veterans in that area. Click here to learn more.
Operation ESQ. is a CLSMF project which enables more no/low-income veterans to receive assistance from trained and dedicated attorneys. Click here for more information.
Download the CLSMF Veterans Advocacy Project brochure
The CLSMF Veterans Advocacy Project and 9th Circuit Public Defender Robert Wesley partnered to create a new website for veterans in Central Florida:
- Check out the Salute Vets website: http://www.salutevets.com/
- Christie Bhageloe’s contribution to veterans resources: http://www.salutevets.com/christie-bhageloe/
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can visit the Veterans Crisis Line website, call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.
Military OneSource is provided by the Department of Defense at no cost to active-duty, National Guard and reserve service members (regardless of activation status), and their families. It is a virtual extension of installation services. Visit Military OneSource today or call 800-342-9647.
Statesidelegal.org allows veterans to search for local resources all over the country
The National Resource Directory gives you immediate access to more than 15,000 resources through a personalized, custom search.