Providing Safety & Stability for Our Veterans
Nicole, a Land of Lincoln Legal Aid attorney, met a homeless veteran through the Salvation Army. He had been homeless for eight years, stashing his backpack and tarp behind a dumpster until he retrieved it nightly to take cover.
The veteran had applied for Social Security numerous times and had been denied. Just recently, he had received yet another denial letter and had failed to appeal the denial by the deadline. Nicole gently coaxed his story out of him and learned he had several disabilities, literacy issues and had not received the letter until his deadline for appeal had passed because he received all his mail at a food pantry that was only sporadically open.
Nicole contacted the Social Security Administration (SSA) and explained his situation. She then helped the veteran provide necessary follow-up information and handle phone calls with the SSA. On his final phone call with the SSA, the veteran learned he would receive $15,000 in back pay and monthly Social Security benefits going forward.
Thanks to Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, this veteran is now in stable housing with a reliable monthly income. As part of the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network, Land of Lincoln has handled more than 700 cases on behalf of veterans and active military over the last year and a half.
Land of Lincoln Legal Aid is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation that provides free civil legal services to low-income persons and senior citizens in 65 counties in central and southern Illinois. They believe all people of central and southern Illinois should have access to justice, income security, adequate housing, quality education, healthcare, safety from violence and exploitation, and the opportunity to improve their own lives.