BANGOR, Maine — Local veterans will be able to get free help with their U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit applications and appeals from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.
Volunteer attorneys who have been accredited by the VA to provide this support will help veterans apply for VA benefits or appeal a denial for benefits. No appointments are necessary.
The free clinic has been organized by the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) with support from Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the Maine VISTA project at the Maine Commission for Community Service.
Maine ranks third in the nation for veterans per capita and many of these veteran households have very limited incomes.
“There is a great need for this project in our community” said Nan Heald, executive director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, in a press release. “Access to VA benefits can be the difference between homelessness and stable housing. We are honored to help Maine veterans access the benefits they earned by serving our country.”
The VLP is a joint project of Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the Maine Bar Foundation. It was established in 1983 to coordinate the volunteer efforts of Maine attorneys and community members in providing free legal assistance to Mainers with low incomes.
One of the most effective pro bono projects in the country, the VLP generates more than $1.5 million in donated services from Maine volunteer attorneys each year.
The VLP is planning additional clinics in Augusta and Portland. Veterans with low incomes who are experiencing other legal needs are encouraged to contact their local Pine Tree office for assistance.