"Veterans often experience unique difficulties when reintegrating back into their community. The Veterans Project here at CLA assists these veterans with their civil-legal challenges while empowering them to lead independent and productive lives at home in Central and Western Massachusetts. We hope to help reinforce their strength and reignite their pride in having served our country."
CLA has two Staff Attorneys committed to our veterans work: Attorney Daniel Bahls, who has over ten years of legal aid experience focused in housing law, and Attorney Amanda O'Neil. Attorney O'Neil served as a U.S. Army Medical Service Corps Officer from 1996 to 2002, and then spent two years as a Judge Advocate for the U.S. army. From 2011 to 2017 she served as a Department of the Army Attorney and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
CLA serves former service-members with veteran-specific legal needs such as:
- Assistance with military discharge upgrades and character of service determinations (leading to increased eligibility for veteran-specific services).
- Assistance for victims of Military Sexual Trauma.
- Assistance for service members discharged under earlier sexual orientation and gender identification policies.
- Assistance with issues stemming from combat-related injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
- Assistance with access to affordable housing, healthcare and benefits programs.
CLA began our Veterans Project with support from state grants and the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. We expanded this work to address veterans' unmet health-harming legal needs through a partnership with the Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, thanks to a grant from United Way of Hampshire County.
To contribute to our veterans work click here.