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NVLSP Press Releases

NVLSP Supports Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s and Rep. Raul Ruiz’s Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) attended a press conference in support of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY)and Rep. Raul Ruiz’s M.D. (D-CA) new legislation, the “Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2020.” The bill, an amendment to Title 38, U.S.C., would provide a presumption of service connection for certain diseases associated with exposure to toxins, and other purposes. This legislation would ease the burden of proof for veterans seeking VA benefits for medical conditions resulting from their exposure to burn pits and other toxic emissions during their military service. [more]

Released 9/15/20 | Tags: Agent Orange, Congressional Legislation, Veteran's Benefits

Swords to Plowshares & NVLSP Comments on VA Character of Discharge Proposed Rule

WASHINGTON – Today, Swords to Plowshares and the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) called on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to do away with its unlawful eligibility rules that fail to honor and protect those who were unjustly separated from the military with a less-than-honorable discharge. In a joint response to VA’s Proposed Rule to Update and Clarify Regulatory Bars to Benefits on Character of Discharge (COD) determinations, the organizations detail their demand for a VA benefits system that – unlike the current system – would account for racial discrimination, combat deployment, military sexual trauma, and arbitrary distinctions like branch and era of service – all factors which significantly increase a service member’s chance of receiving a less-than-honorable discharge. VA’s proposed regulations are in direct response to Swords and NVLSP’s petition for rulemaking submitted in December 2015. Nearly five years later, the VA responded with its new proposed regulation which, if implemented, would continue to exclude veterans most in need of treatment and support. The comments were filed with the pro bono assistance of Latham & Watkins LLP and the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. [more]

Released 9/8/20 | Tags: Discharge Upgrades

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Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep.Raul Ruiz, Jon Stewart, Veterans Advocates Announce Landmark Legislation

Released 9/15/20 | Tags: Congressional Legislation, Veteran's Benefits

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), U.S. Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), veterans advocate Jon Stewart, 9/11 activist John Feal, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, and many veterans advocates, held a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol to announce new landmark legislation, the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2020. The bill would streamline the process for veterans to obtain VA benefits for illness due to exposure to burn pit and other toxic exposures. Approximately 3.5 million veterans have been exposed to burn pits that spewed toxic fumes and carcinogens into the air. [more]

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