We’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries from veterans and their families seeking help with potential legal issues. We have a great deal of respect for Canada’s veterans, and we’re ready to help. Here are the basics on how we go about that.
What we can do:
The VLAF can help Canadian veterans with disabilities obtain the benefits they deserve. We do this by paying veterans’ legal bills up to $10,000. For example, if your disability claim with Veterans Affairs Canada (“VAC”) is denied after an appeal, you may want to hire a lawyer – and the lawyer can apply for our funding.
What we are unable to do:
We have no lawyers on staff, and we cannot recommend specific lawyers. Our funding is not intended for family law, criminal law or other matters unrelated to disability claims. If pre-approved, we do not pay the veteran – we pay the veteran’s legal bill.
We are dedicated to helping veterans pay their lawyers to resolve disability claims and similar issues that affect veterans broadly. Sadly, this is a significant need in Canada.
If you are having difficulties with a claim for a disability, for example, here are the steps:
1. Talk to your Member of Parliament to see if all the possible steps have been taken, as sometimes, issues can be resolved at an earlier stage. Find yours by typing your postal code into the box at Find Your MP.
2. If all government options have been exhausted, OR if you have a 30-day deadline such as with a VRAB review, you may need to find a lawyer quickly. Look at our list of lawyers who work with veterans, search online or call your Legal Aid office. Note: As most veterans’ matters go to Federal Court, your lawyer can be anywhere in Canada.
3. Your lawyer will send us a funding request with details about the legal issue.
4. If the request is approved, the VLAF will advise your lawyer to proceed.
5. Your lawyer will represent you until a decision is rendered (hopefully a settlement).
6. Your lawyer will send the judgement with an invoice to the VLAF, and we will pay it up to $10,000. (Lawyers often try to ensure their fees come in under that amount.)
In the meantime, here are additional Resources for Canadian Veterans.
We hope this is helpful as a starting point. If you still have questions and want to talk to someone at VLAF before finding a lawyer to apply, just let us know.