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Keith Hoffmann

2014, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Keith Hoffmann

Keith Hoffmann

Name of Host Organization: New York Legal Assistance Group
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Veterans' Rights, Disability Rights
Sponsors: Latham & Watkins LLP

The Project

Keith expanded medical-legal partnerships at Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers in New York and provided legal assistance, education and outreach to veterans.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Veterans have a significant need for legal representation that is often unmet by existing civil legal aid providers. Veterans face staggering challenges as they return from Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn. They often return home with physical and mental disabilities caused by war, and may be further disadvantaged by poverty and a lack of knowledge of their legal rights. Medical and financial catastrophe can often arise from the extended wait for or erroneous denial of VA benefits and other legal issues. This project's hospital-based model of providing legal services presented a unique opportunity to help veterans in need of legal assistance for various issues to navigate a complex legal/VA structure.