Legal aid helps combat veteran obtain disability benefits and escape homelessness

The events that Charlie* experienced during the Iraq War left him with both physical and psychological wounds. In Iraq, Charlie witnessed the killing of women and children, and saw grenades and Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) take the lives of his fellow Marines. As is all too common, these traumatic combat experiences led to Charlie’s development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a potentially debilitating anxiety disorder. In addition to PTSD, Charlie suffered a serious back injury during a firefight in Iraq.

Because of his injuries, Charlie was honorably discharged and returned home, but his disabilities prevented him from pursuing an education or working. Charlie applied for disability benefits through the Veteran’s Administration (VA), and although the VA acknowledged that Charlie’s disabilities resulted from his combat service, they failed to provide Charlie with the full benefits to which he was entitled. Sadly, the amount he was granted was not enough to meet his basic needs. Unable to work, and still suffering from his combat wounds, Charlie soon fell into homelessness.

Luckily, the Inner City Law Center (ICLC) was there to help. ICLC appealed the VA’s decision, submitted evidence demonstrating the impact of Charlie’s combat-related disabilities, and represented him at an administrative hearing. The VA awarded Charlie retroactive benefits, and increased his monthly benefit amount by more than three-fold. Because of ICLC’s efforts, Charlie is able to pay rent, has a roof over his head, and worries less about finding his next meal, paying his bills, or the lack of support he and other veterans too often face. Donate now to help people like Charlie obtain critical legal aid.

The Campaign for Justice. Choose Justice. Increasing Access for Those Without.
Inner City Law Center, Los Angeles, California

*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.


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