Maurer School of Law establishes Veterans Disability Law Clinic



The Maurer School of Law has established a Veterans Disability Law Clinic, it announced Wednesday in an IU press release.

The clinic is the first of its kind in the state. For no charge, it will represent veterans whose applications for disability benefits have been denied and who wish to appeal the decision to a decision review officer or to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, according to the release.

The clinic will also provide free services to veterans who seek a discharge upgrade or a correction to their military record in order to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The process for getting veterans’ disability benefits can be confusing, complex and lengthy,” Carwina Weng, coordinator of the Disability Law Clinic, said. “We hope that the clinic will help our clients navigate this difficult process so they can receive the benefits they have earned.”

Second and third-year students at the law school will handle client intake and fact-gathering and represent clients at hearings, all under the supervision of a VA-accredited attorney, according to the release. Their participation will take place within the law school’s Disability Law Clinic.

Clinic services will generally be available to all income-eligible veterans residing in Monroe, Brown, Greene, Lawrence, Morgan and Owen counties, but the clinic will accept any eligible client willing to travel to Bloomington. Weng said there are nearly 7,500 veterans in Monroe County alone. The clinic will begin accepting clients July 1, according to the release.

Weng expressed special thanks to Polli Pollem, director of the Indiana Legal Services Military Assistance Project; Tom Triplett, regional service to the armed forces manager, American Red Cross, Indiana Regional Office; Larry Catt, Monroe County veterans service officer; Margaret Baechtold, director of Indiana University Veterabs Support Services; retired Col. John Tilford of U.S. Army Reserve and veterans advocate; Ashley Ahlbrand, IU Maurer School of Law; and Kirk White, assistant vice president and military liaison, Office of the President, Indiana University and more for making the initiation of the Veterans Disability Law Clinic possible, the press release said.

Anyone interested in scheduling an appointment with the clinic or seeking more information may contact Weng at 812-855-9229 or at iubdlc@indiana.edu.

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