Since 2012, Latham & Watkins has partnered with the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) to help hundreds of veterans and their families. Lawyers in all of our US offices work with NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors initiative, which offers pro bono support to help veterans from all eras obtain compensation and benefits from the US government to which they are entitled. The firm was honored to receive NVLSP’s Pro Bono Partner of the Year Award in recognition of “[this] partnership and the extraordinary services the firm has provided which make an impact on the lives of thousands of our nation’s veterans and their families.”
Through the Lawyers Serving Warriors initiative, Latham offers free legal help to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on applications for Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC). A benefit available to veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom and have been medically retired for combat-related disabilities, CRSC can provide additional monthly tax-free compensation to eligible veterans for the rest of their lives. Because government lawyers are not available to assist veterans in completing and supporting CRSC applications, our lawyers help them to navigate the claims process and procure these benefits. We also work with NVLSP on appeals related to disability ratings under consideration by the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) and the various service branches (typically each service’s Board of Corrections of Military Records, or BCMR). Disability ratings determine whether the service member, upon separation, will receive a single lump-sum severance payment or lifelong retirement benefits, including TRICARE for life for the veteran and his or her dependents.
Over the past four years, NVLSP has referred to us and we have assisted more than 150 US veterans with CRSC, PDBR, and BCMR matters.