Some Points on How VLAF Funding Works
Rather than providing direct legal advice or representation to veterans, VLAF provides funding so that veterans can pay for their legal counsel. This funding is provided on a discretionary basis to ensure it supports cases that may affect veterans more broadly. Our Board assesses funding requests, and supports cases that have the potential to set a precedent and thereby assist the wider veteran community.
For example, we have funded applications in Federal Court seeking to overturn decisions made by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board or internal Veterans Affairs. Generally, the cases funded by VLAF would not include civil cases seeking damages.
Our process is to screen cases through legal counsel. We ask veterans to contact MDLO, who will provide us with a summary of the proposed case, a review of the merits, and a funding request. Our Board members seek to assess and respond within days of receiving the request, mindful of appeal deadlines.
If you have a legal matter that you feel may have an impact on fellow veterans, we would encourage you to contact MDLO and make a formal funding request to VLAF.
Before You Apply for Legal Expense Support
1. Check to ensure you
a) Meet the definition of a Canadian Veteran under Veterans Affairs Canada criteria;
b) Have a legal claim that was denied and, if resolved, could be helpful to other veterans who may have a similar need; and,
c) Have completed political and legal steps, such as contacting your Member of Parliament and exhausting the VRAB appeal process.
Contact MDLO, who will conduct an intake call to determine your eligibility and to provide advice on your funding request.
If you simply need help finding or completing the right forms, there are people to turn to. Your local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion or Military Family Resource Centre should be able to help. Veterans should never have to pay a third party for these services. Various resources for Canadian veterans are also available through Veterans Transition Network.