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Veterans Assistance Project

Cases & Credits

An ailing homeless Vietnam veteran whose pension was terminated

Mr. P., a homeless Vietnam veteran with a long history of serious medical conditions, attended a legal clinic held by the Veterans Assistance Project in late 2007. The client’s only source of income, his Veteran’s pension, had been terminated as a result of his incarceration for a misdemeanor. Additionally, the veteran was also indebted to the Veterans Administration (VA) as a result of an alleged overpayment of $13,467.

Within a week of being engaged by Mr. P., volunteers with the Justice Center filed a claim to retroactively reinstate his benefits and shortly thereafter filed a request with the VA’s debt management division to waive his indebtedness to the VA on the grounds of hardship. In filing, the volunteers successfully argued that the VA pension benefits should be resumed as of the day of release from the federal prison to a halfway house. Furthermore, the volunteers were able to reduce the veteran’s debt from $13,467 to $920.

Mr. P. began receiving his full VA pension benefits in the first week of February 2008. This desperately needed money will help Mr. P. in his struggle to regain control of this life after years of homelessness and serious medical ailments.