Veterans Pro Bono Grant Program

The Veterans Pro Bono Grant facilitates the provision of high-quality legal and other assistance, without charge, to veterans and other individuals who are unable to afford the cost of legal representation in connection with decisions of, or other proceedings in, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

The Veterans Pro Bono Grant facilitates the provision of high-quality legal and other assistance, without charge, to veterans and other individuals who are unable to afford the cost of legal representation in connection with decisions of, or other proceedings in, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

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Overview

Congress established the Veterans Pro Bono Program Grant program in 1991 to facilitate pro bono legal assistance to individuals who could not afford to hire an attorney to represent them in cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (the Court), located in Washington, DC. Funds for the Veterans Pro Bono Program are authorized by and subject to Public Law 102-229, title I, ch. II, 105 Stat. 1701, 1710, as incorporated by reference in subsequent appropriations for the Court These cases are appeals of the decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA). The Court has exclusive jurisdiction over BVA decisions and reviews their decisions when they are appealed by claimants who believe there was an error. The Court's review of BVA decisions is based on the record before the agency and arguments of the parties, which are presented in a written brief, with oral argument generally held only in cases presenting new legal issues.

Public Law 102-229 requires this assistance to be provided through "a program that furnishes case screening and referral, training and education for attorney and related personnel, and encouragement and facilitation of pro bono representation by members of the bar and law school clinical and other appropriate programs, such as veterans service organizations, and through defraying expenses incurred in providing representation to such persons. . . ."

Congress also specified that these activities would be funded through grants or contracts made by LSC. The Veterans Consortium has been the Veterans Pro Bono Program grantee since its inception in 1992.

Please email your questions about the Veterans Pro Bono Grant to veteransprobono@lsc.gov.

Veterans Pro Bono Grant FAQs
Eligibility

To be eligible, an organization must be either: (1) a non-profit organization that provides free legal assistance to low-income individuals or veterans; or (2) private attorneys or law firms that seek to establish a non-profit organization to provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals or veterans. Eligible organizations must also plan to serve eligible veterans, dependents, or other persons in proceedings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (the Court), regardless of their location or residence.

How to Apply

LSC is not accepting applications currently. LSC will release application instructions upon issuing a Notice of Funding Availability. 

Reporting, Compliance Requirements & Applicable Law

The Veterans Pro Bono Grant is subject to the authorizing legislation in Public Law 102-229. Grantees must also comply with the requirements stated in the grant assurances and grant award documents.

Reporting and Oversight Activities

Recipients of the Veterans Pro Bono Program Grant are subject to LSC oversight, as specified in the grant assurances. LSC requires the submission of periodic reports of program activity and financial status during the grant period. 

Application of LSC Statutes and Regulations to Veterans Pro Bono Grant Funds

The Veterans Pro Bono Program Grant is funded through a congressional appropriation to the Court. LSC administers the grant with funds from the Court, and these funds are not part of LSC’s federal appropriation. Accordingly, this grant is not subject to most restrictions applicable to recipients of LSC’s basic field awards (general, migrant, or Native American). Nonetheless, many LSC requirements regarding the use of funds, oversight, and management apply. LSC specifies which LSC requirements apply through the Veterans Pro Bono Program grant assurances and grant award documents.

The Veterans Consortium

 

The Veterans Consortium is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit located in Washington, D.C. The program provides trained attorneys who specialize in representing veterans throughout their process of challenging a BVA denial in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims They represent the veterans from the start of submitting their initial appeal throughout each step of the process. The staffing structure is designed to help carry out the specified core activities, which include case screening and referral; training and education for attorneys; and encouragement of pro bono representation. The Veterans Consortium is led by the Executive Director, who reports to the Board of Directors.

For more information regarding The Veterans Consortium, please visit https://www.vetsprobono.org/.

Contact the Veterans Pro Bono Grant Administration

Submit questions about the Veterans Pro Bono Grant.

Email: veteransprobono@lsc.gov

Anais Taboas

Program Counsel,

Pro Bono Innovation and Veterans Grant Administration

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