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Veterans Legal Aid


IDVA and the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) have partnered to create incomparable free access to legal representation for Illinois veterans and their families in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).  NVLSP is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure the government delivers to America's 22 million veterans and active-duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled because of disabilities resulting from their military service to our country.

When disability claims are denied by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans have the right to appeal to the CAVC. Through this partnership, NVLSP will provide free legal representation in support of appeal cases. This process begins when the NVLSP reviews a case in which a Veteran's appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA), the highest authority within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is denied and determines there are grounds for an appeal to the CAVC. When this occurs, NVLSP offers to represent the veteran or the veteran's family at no cost. This strategic partnership between the IDVA and the NVLSP marks the first time this free legal service available to Veterans in Illinois.

In addition to NVLSP's assistance to veterans with claims appeals, NVLSP will also assist Illinois veterans with discharge upgrades, which will help veterans access benefits they may be wrongfully denied due to a less than honorable discharge.

To learn more about NVLSP, visit


Have you ever served in the military? You may be eligible for free legal assistance through the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN). IL-AFLAN is a statewide hotline and network of legal support services for current and former military members and their families with low to moderate incomes. Through IL-AFLAN, you can get FREE legal help with issues such as discharge upgrades, VA benefits appeals, and civil legal problems like family, housing, and consumer issues. CALL 855-IL-AFLAN (855-452-3526) to talk to an attorney. The hotline is staffed Monday- Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please call when you have time to talk with an attorney and have your military records and any relevant documents in front of you. On average, you will be speaking to an attorney in about six minutes. Resources are limited but we will always do our best to help. You can also find more information at IL-AFLAN: Free Legal Aid for Illinois Armed Forces (

Illinois Attorney General

On Friday, February 3rd 2023, the Illinois Attorney General released an updated Legal Rights of Illinois Service Members guide ( Click here for .pdf ). The guide provides information pertaining to legal rights of service members, veterans and their families. Please share the press release that is attached to this email to members of your organization. If members of your organization seek a copy of the guide, please have them call the Military and Veterans Rights Helpline at 1-800-382-3000 or email

The Attorney General's Military and Veterans Rights Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that veterans and active duty military service members receive the benefits they have earned. The bureau provides men and women with assistance, including case advocacy, health outreach and public advocacy forums. For more information on the services our office provides, please see the following link Illinois Attorney General - Military and Veterans Rights Main.

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

CVLS was founded in 1964 by a group of young attorneys who recognized that access to justice was a far cry away for many Chicagoans. For more than 58 years CVLS has remained the first and pre-eminent pro bono civil legal aid provider in Chicago. Thanks to more than 2,300 volunteer attorneys and a low per-case cost, CVLS provides the most comprehensive and cost-effective civil legal aid in Chicago. For more information click the following link People Who've Served in the Military - Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (