Interviewing and Legal Services for Veterans Danielle Cover, Homeless Persons Representation Project email@example.com (800) 773-4340, (401) 685-6589, ext. 14
General Background: Homeless Veterans QUESTION: How many homeless veterans are there in Maryland and Montgomery County specifically? ANSWER: Your guess is as good as mine.
The Numbers National Alliance to End Homelessness Study, Vital Mission (VA Census Data) 2007: ~4000 homeless veterans 2008: ~1000 homeless veterans www.endhomelessness.org 2009 Continuum of Care Data (HUD data) 593 homeless veterans 47 persons in Montgomery County http://www.hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=viewCocMaps&yr=2009#tab 2010 Count of Homeless Persons in Metro Area (based on HUD data) 56 persons (55 single adults, 1 adult in a family) http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/pub-documents/ql5fXlw20100513103856.pdf
Explain the difference between available legal remedies and “Justice” as defined by the client
Explain about needing as much information as possible if you’re going to provide effective representation
Cultural Competency & Building Trust with the Client
Cultural competency on military culture and the difficulty of discussing traumatic events
Awareness of and sensitivity to the values of the military community
Sit so that the veteran has a way out of the room or space
Many female veterans do not identify themselves as being veterans; veteran is a specific status conferred, in some former military minds, to those who have seen combat; this limitation seems particularly challenging for women, even when they have seen combat or have engaged in conflict overseas.
Cultural Competency & Building Trust with the Client
Some former military have experienced not only the trauma associated with their tours of duty but also with sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other sexual trauma; it may be difficult to engage the client in a discussion of these issues.
Until the late 1980s, the VA did not provide health services to female veterans. This institutional bias has had an impact on the mindset of many veterans.
Asking the Right Questions: Veterans’ Status Information
Length of time in service
Discharge Status: the level at which a veteran is discharged is critical to the first level of analysis of eligibility
Expungement intake every other month, usually on a Wednesday,
Contact John Eckenrode, (301) 585-6463 ext. 2, to make an appointment.
Veterans’ Benefits Intake ~ WHENEVER
Call Danielle Cover, (410) 685-6589 or (800) 773-4340 to arrange. I will travel to the client for intake.
Why Veterans’ Benefits? VA Compensation and Pension Programs: Direct payments to veterans, dependents, and survivors as a result of a veteran’s service-connected disability or because of financial need.
Disability Compensation*: monetary monthly benefit paid to a veteran as compensation for a service-connected disability that occurred or was aggravated during active military service. Based on level of disability as determined on a scale from 10-100 percent, increments of 10.
Disability and Indemnity Compensation: monetary benefits for survivors of service members who died while in active service or who died from service-connected disabilities.
Pension: Monetary benefits for veterans of wartime services and their families for a non service-connected disability or death.
For more information on Veterans’ Benefits, go to: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21
Relationship between benefits and housing: Lack of sufficient income is one of the leading causes of homelessness.
Maximum benefit (100% rating): $2673 (veteran with no children)
Fair Market Rent in Montgomery County: $1,156(studio), $1318 (1BR)
ABA Pilot Child Support Program
Helping veterans with arrearages in child support
Baltimore County OCSE, Baltimore City OCSE, and University of Baltimore Law School Civil Legal Clinic, HPRP
Services available in Montgomery County by calling Danielle Cover, (800) 773-4340.
Other Options for Legal Services MSBA Special Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Military Law
Issues not handled by HPRP ~ estates & trusts, employment issues, some military law issues, etc.
Contact Charles Blomquist, Chair, (410) 435-6599
National Veterans Legal Services Program http://nvlsp.org/ Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program http://www.vetsprobono.org/
Housing Options for Veterans: Limited Restrictions Regional Domiciliary Programs
Housing Options for Veterans: Limited Restrictions Grant & Per Diem Programs Transitional supportive housing (up to 24 months) or service centers for homeless veterans (offering services such as case management, education, crisis intervention, counseling, services targeted towards specialized populations including homeless women Veterans, etc.) Examples
The Baltimore Station: www.baltimorestation.org
The Helping Up Mission: http://community.helpingupmission.org/
Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training (MCVETS): http://www.mcvet.org/
Housing Options for Veterans: Housing with Restrictions HUD-VASH Voucher Program Housing voucher program coupled with case management services. To apply for HUD-VASH, please contact the local VA Homeless Program. Veterans can contact the HUD-VASH program directly, or obtain a referral from a case manager in another VA program, from a community program, or other referral sources. Available in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Cecil County. Lisa Brooks, Homeless Veterans Coordinator 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7264. 1st floor of the Baltimore VA Medical Center in room 1D-159B.
Housing Options for Veterans: Housing with Restrictions HUD-VASH Triggers
VA health care eligible Veterans. The VA makes this determination. (Client must not have a dishonorable discharge.)
Do not follow local PHA restrictions on housing vouchers; follow federal regulations, i.e., not on Life Time Sex Offender Registry and no convictions for production or distribution of methamphetamines.
Veterans must meet the McKinney Act definition of homelessness