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NVLSP Receives Grant Award from Disabled Veterans National Foundation

Released 9/15/22 | Tags:

NVLSP Receives Grant Award from Disabled Veterans National Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-September 15, 2022

WASHINGTON – The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is honored to announce it has received a grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) for $20,000. This grant will support NVLSP’s pro bono legal representation to Military Sexual Trauma (MST) survivors with VA claims for service-connected disability benefits for mental and physical disorders due to MST as well as assistance for MST survivors seeking to upgrade a less than honorable discharge. NVLSP’s MST program, part of NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program, assists survivors, of military sexual trauma (MST), i.e., sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military; the program is national and NVLSP serves veterans of all eras.

Paul Wright, Executive Director of NVLSP said, “We greatly appreciate the support and confidence that the Disabled Veterans National Foundation has demonstrated over the years in NVLSP’s efforts to assist veterans dealing with military sexual trauma.  Through DVNF’s continued generosity, NVLSP can help veterans face this difficult situation and receive the medical attention they need.”

Joseph VanFonda (USMC Sgt.Maj. Ret.), CEO of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation said, “DVNF is very proud to be partnered with the National Veterans Legal Services Program. Sexual assault and sexual harassment must be eliminated from our military branches. This is an epidemic and I believe the NVLP sends the right message and provides the direct support needed for our transitional servicemembers and veterans alike.”

Just released at the end of August 2022, the FY2021 Department of Defense indicated that 8.4% of active-duty women and 1.5% of active-duty men experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact and the Department received a total of 8,866 reports of sexual assaults which is a 13% increase over FY2020. Additionally, the rate of sexual harassment for active-duty women increased to an estimated 29%, up from an estimated 24% in FY2018.

All veterans recognized by VA as having service-related PTSD are guaranteed free VA medical care. In addition, survivors of MST are more likely to receive an “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) discharge. A veteran with a bad paper or other than honorable (OTH) discharge does not have the same access to VA healthcare and other post-service benefits. Obtaining a discharge upgrade may help veterans receive VA benefits and health care, improve employment opportunities, and restore reputation and self-esteem.

About the Disabled Veterans National Foundation:
Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to provide critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.

DVNF achieves this mission by:

● Offering direct financial support to veteran organizations that address the unique needs of veterans, and whose missions align with that of DVNF.
● Providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans through the Health & Comfort program and various empowerment resources.
● Providing an online resource database that allows veterans to navigate the complex process of seeking benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service, as well as additional resources they need.
● Serving as a thought leader on critical policy issues within the veteran community and educating the public accordingly.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is an independent, nonprofit veterans service organization that has served active-duty military personnel and veterans since 1981. NVLSP strives to ensure that our nation honors its commitment to its 22 million veterans and active-duty personnel by ensuring they have the benefits they have earned through their service to our country. NVLSP has represented veterans in lawsuits that compelled enforcement of the law where the VA or other military services denied benefits to veterans in violation of the law. NVLSP’s success in these lawsuits has resulted in more than $5.2 billion dollars being awarded in disability, death and medical benefits to hundreds of thousands of veterans and their survivors. NVLSP offers training for attorneys and other advocates; connects veterans and active-duty personnel with pro bono legal help when seeking disability benefits; publishes the nation's definitive guide on veteran benefits; and represents and litigates for veterans and their families before the VA, military discharge review agencies and federal courts. For more information go to www.nvlsp.org.

NVLSP contact:
Patty Briotta, office 202-621-5698, patty@nvlsp.org

Disabled Veterans National Foundation Contact:
Communications Team
Meredith Fick

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