On Veterans Day, the United States honors its nation’s heroes for their service and sacrifice. For veterans transitioning to civilian life, common civil legal problems can create barriers to achieving stability at home. Through funding from the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation, Ohio’s legal aid organizations help veterans resolve civil legal challenges to help ensure veterans are secure and stable.

“So many veterans, particularly low-income veterans, struggle when their service ends,” said Foundation Executive Director Angie Lloyd. “We know from the VA’s CHALENG survey that 7 of the 10 unmet needs for veterans are legal issues. The Foundation seeks out new funding sources for civil legal services and works collaboratively with providers to help address these needs.”

The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation supports Ohio’s legal aid organizations and other civil legal service providers to help veterans access housing, healthcare, and life-changing benefits. Thanks to enhanced General Revenue Fund support for legal aid in Ohio’s budget, the Foundation expanded support specifically for veterans, funding that helped legal aid preserve over $1.9 million in benefits for veterans in 2021 alone.

Success stories like Carl Patterson’s* are common. Mr. Patterson, a retired 65-year-old veteran who was homeless and living in transitional housing, struggled to live independently and meet his basic needs. A former client of Foundation grantee Pro Seniors, Mr. Patterson reached out again to Pro Seniors for help.

Pro Seniors helped Mr. Patterson apply and gain approval for food assistance benefits. Additionally, Mr. Patterson is exploring the possibility of receiving in-home care through Medicaid’s Passport services. Once Mr. Patterson establishes subsidized housing, Pro Seniors will assist Mr. Patterson to obtain these services. Thanks to Pro Seniors, Mr. Patterson is more financially secure and is on his way to living independently.

Ohio’s legal aid organizations go beyond serving veterans through direct services. Legal aid partners with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, local healthcare providers, treatment courts, and other veteran-serving organizations to ensure that veterans’ holistic legal needs are met and that their rights and independence are maintained.

“While the nation honors veterans on Veterans Day, the work to help veterans resolve civil legal problems continues 365 days a year,” said Lloyd. “It is a true honor and a privilege to help those who have sacrificed so much.”

*Name changed to protect client privacy.

The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation is the largest funder of civil legal services in Ohio. A gift to the Foundation supports civil legal help for Ohio veterans.