Veterans Administrative Law Division

VA Benefits


Veterans Administrative Law covers all benefits provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as discharge upgrades within the individual military department (Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, or Department of the Navy). Legal representation in applying for these benefits assists veterans (and their spouses/widow(er)s) in navigating and accessing the benefits which they may not have been able to get on their own. This practice areas further assists the need of veterans who are struggling with mental health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress by offering targeted legal assistance regardless of discharge status.

The Veterans Administrative Law Division at MAP provides free legal services to veterans, current military personnel, and their spouses/widow(er)s, providing assistance with:

  • VA Service-Connected Compensation Initial Applications & Appeals of Denials

  • VA Non-Service Connected Pension Initial Applications & Appeals of Denials

  • VA/DoD Overpayments & Appeals

  • VA Medical Care Applications & Appeals

  • Other Appeals Before the VA

If you are a veteran in need of services like these, please complete our brief Intake Form and a member of our team will contact you.

VA Service-Connected Benefits
(Disability Compensation)

Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service—no matter when or where they served—may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits.

VA Requirements

To support a claim for service connection, the evidence must show the following:

  • You have a current physical or mental disability.

  • You had an injury or disease in service or experienced an event in service that caused or aggravated an injury or disease.

  • There is a link between your current disability and the event, injury or disease in military service.

If you have any of the following relevant items, you should submit them with your claim:

  • Discharge or separation papers (the DD-214 or equivalent).

  • Service treatment records and supporting statements.

  • Private medical provider records and hospital reports.

VA Health Care

VA provides world-class health care to eligible Veterans. The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,200 sites of care, and it is consistently ranked among the nation’s top health care providers.

Many Veterans may be eligible for VA health care. Enrollment in VA health care satisfies your Affordable Care Act health coverage requirement—no add-on insurance plan is needed. VA encourages you to explore your health care benefits, including the following services:

  • All enrolled Veterans have access to VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package including preventive, primary, and specialty care; prescriptions; mental health care; home health care; geriatrics and extended care; medical equipment and prosthetics; and more.

  • Most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care services, although some Veterans must pay modest copays for health care or prescriptions.

  • Women Veterans can receive primary care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, maternity care coverage, and other gender-specific services.

  • Veterans who have served in combat-zones—and their family members—may visit VA’s many community-based Vet Centers, which provide no-cost counseling, outreach, and referral services to help the whole family adjust to life after deployment.

  • Combat Veterans who were discharged or released from active service on or after Jan. 28, 2003, are eligible to enroll in the VA healthcare system for five years from the date of their discharge or release, regardless of their disability claim status. Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although their enrollment priority group may change. Many Combat Veterans applying after their five-year special enrollment period ends are eligible for enrollment and are encouraged to learn more about these and other health care benefits on VA’s health benefits page.

VA Requirements

Military Service Requirements

  • Veterans must have served in the active military, naval, or air service and separated under any conditions other than dishonorable.

  • Most Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty. This includes current and former members of the Reserve or National Guard called to active duty by a federal order.

Application Requirements

  • Proof of discharge papers such as DD-214

  • Any additional health insurance information, including coverage through a spouse or domestic partner

  • Wage and financial information, including previous calendar-year gross income for the Veteran, spouse, and dependent children

VA non-Service-Connected Benefits

A VA pension may provide income to make life more secure for Veterans and their loved ones.

Pension is a needs-based benefit for wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are age 65 or older or who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability.

Veterans who establish eligibility for a basic pension but are housebound or who require the aid and attendance of another person in order to perform activities of daily living, may qualify for pension at an increased rate (this is called “Special Monthly Pension”).

VA Requirements

  • Proof of income and net worth information (e.g., bank statements, paystubs)

  • Private medical treatment records and where to find any relevant treatment records that might be held by a federal facility, such as a VA medical center

  • Completed pension program applications:

VA Education and Training

VA can help you cover the cost of furthering your education and skills through benefits for tuition, housing, training, and other expenses related to your education. VA’s education and training benefits are provided through these GI Bill® programs:

VA education benefits may be used toward traditional degrees, non-college degrees, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, licensing and certification and fees to cover tests.

VA also provides assistance to help Veterans transition from military service to civilian employment. Service-disabled Veterans may be eligible for one-on-one support, counseling, and training to boost skills and build careers. Explore VA employment services for details.

VA Requirements

  • Copies of your discharge or separation papers (DD-214 or equivalent)

  • Documentation of an enlistment incentive or College Fund, sometimes called a “kicker” (note: this is not required to apply for the GI Bill)

  • To qualify for a monthly housing allowance, you must attend school more than half time (e.g., seven out of 12 credit hours per term) and not currently be on active duty in the service

VA Application Process

The application process for Veterans seeking to use their education and training benefits varies for different types of applicants. Before you apply, use the chart on this page to determine the right benefit for you. Be sure to use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to research schools and employers based on affordability and value under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

You can be eligible for more than one benefit, but in most cases you must choose which benefit to receive. This decision is final and cannot be changed. See our frequently asked questions describing the process.

Once you identify the right VA benefit for your needs, it takes about 30 minutes to apply online.

  • Plan ahead and apply early because VA education benefits can take a few weeks to process.

  • Depending on where you live, your application is routed to one of three specialized Regional Processing Offices (RPOs) in Buffalo, NY; Muskogee, OK; or St. Louis, MO.