For Immediate Release - February 22, 2017

AG Healey Awards $350,0000 in Grant Funding to Four Organizations to Provide Legal Assistance to Veterans

Funding to Support Legal Aid Groups and Nonprofits Across the State Focused on Helping Massachusetts Veterans

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey today announced that her office will award $350,000 in grant funding to four organizations across the state to provide legal assistance to hundreds of veterans in need.

The grants will fund legal assistance to veterans seeking services such as health benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system, housing and education assistance, discharge status upgrades, general legal representation, and veteran-specific employment. 

“Fulfilling our commitment to veterans means ensuring that they receive the benefits they have earned through their service to our country,” said AG Healey. “With this new grant program, we will be providing hundreds of veterans in Massachusetts with the legal assistance they need to access health care, housing and other services.”

“The grants will allow these four organizations to expand outreach and continue to provide critical legal services to veterans in need,” said Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Services, Francisco A. Ureña. “As a result, veterans who have rightly earned benefits will have access to the care and supports they deserve.”

“Veterans Legal Services applauds Attorney General Healey for recognizing the critical role that resolving legal issues plays in ending veteran homelessness,” said Anna Richardson, Co-Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Veterans Legal Services. “Veterans Legal Services VLS looks forward to partnering with her office to reach out to the most vulnerable veterans in the Commonwealth and ensure they receive the legal help they need to lead dignified lives.” 

“Low-income and disabled veterans in Massachusetts have vast unmet legal needs,” said Daniel Nagin, Director of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. “We are honored to receive grant funding from the Attorney General’s Office to expand our ability to advocate for the men and women who have the worn the uniform and now face barriers to care, financial stability, and other critical supports, We thank the Attorney General’s Office for its leadership and look forward to working with community partners to connect vulnerable veterans to legal advocacy resources.”  

The AG’s Legal Assistance for Our Veterans Grant program – designed to fund legal aid groups, legal clinics, or nonprofit organizations who will focus on helping Massachusetts veterans –  will provide funding to the following organizations:

  • Community Legal Aid, Inc (Worcester): The organization will hire a project attorney to conduct legal training for veteran communities in Worcester, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire communities. The project attorney will conduct four “know-your-rights” trainings for veterans and mentor private volunteer attorneys. Community Legal Aid estimates it will provide up to 60 veterans with legal representation.
  • The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (Boston): The Legal Services Center will hire an attorney to provide legal representation for discharge status upgrades and veterans benefits claims. The attorney will also conduct outreach to veterans and present legal trainings to services providers on veteran and military law. This grant funding will provide nearly 50 veterans with legal representation.
  • Veterans Legal Services (Boston): Veterans Legal Services will conduct legal clinics for veterans, send staff to veterans events and connect pro-bono attorneys with veterans cases. The grant funding will provide up to 50 veterans with full legal representation.
  • Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center (Gardner): The organization will expand its current level of services for veterans including enhancing its outreach efforts to connect veterans with legal aid organizations. The funding will allow Montachusett to provide legal representation to 44 veterans.

The grant program is being funded from a judgment the AG’s Consumer Protection Division secured against Verizon and Sprint.

This is a two-year grant program that will run through Jan. 21, 2019.