State Bar of Montana

 

The State Bar of Montana, in coordination with the Law Related Education Committee, has compiled this Resource Library to assist veterans in better understanding and accessing the benefits for which they are entitled to and finding valuable resources in their communities.

The Library is broken up into 7 topic sections. They are as follows:

General Information

VA Benefits

Healthcare

Community Resources

Legal Resources

Employment Resources

Personal Finance and Loans

 

General Information:

Publications:

The purpose of this publication is to describe in depth the problems that face service-members and their family in post-deployment and illustrate the benefits and services available to assist in overcoming them. Most important, it can help veterans understand how various agencies work in practice and how they can cut through the bureaucracy and confusion to get the benefits and services for which they are entitled.

This resource guide has been developed by Military Hanbooks.com to help guide veterans in their transition back to civilian life.  It’s designed to familiarize veterans with the scope of transitional resources accessible to them, but is not meant to be a substitute for the services offered by the Transition Assistance Program.

A community based resource index developed by the MLSA as a quick reference for Montana veterans about resources in their community and beyond.

Webinars:

Grantham University is offering 2 series of complimentary webinars put together by their Career Services Team. The series have been created to cover a variety of topics pertaining to the unique challenges encountered by veterans in today’s job market. 

Websites:

In 1999 Military.com was created to optimize the way that current, past, and potential service-members and their families stay informed about changes in the military and how these changes may affect their lives. Their free membership service connects service-members and veterans to government benefits, scholarships, discounts, lifelong friends, mentors, shared stories of life in the military, and much more.

Military Handbooks was launched with the intent to give the military community the very best information available about pay, benefits, retirement planning, education benefits, career decisions, and much more! This information is made available through a series of straightforward, easy-to-understand handbooks that are free and available through their website. 

Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense to service-members and their families to help them coup with a broad range of concerns including; money management, spousal employment and education, child care, relocation, deployment, post-deployment transitioning, relationship stress, grei and the concerns of families with special-needs members.  relationships, stress, and grief. These services are available 24/7 through their website and helpline. Many Military OneSource staff members have military experience and the program can be especially helpful to service-members and families who live in remote or rural locations.

This is an index of both national and state level programs and veterans that have been compiled by Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry. You can find information here on VA healthcare, federal benefits, pensions, and VA home loans.

 

VA Benefits:

Publications:

This guide is a thorough walk through of the various benefits and services available through the VA and the eligibility requirements for each.

 A quick reference for Montana veterans for contact information regarding veteran service officers in their area, as well as the location of state veteran’s cemeteries.

Webinars: 

The Department of Veterans Affairs of Minnesota has generated a series of free, half-hour, webinars to help explain complex topics such as calculating entitlements, apply for VA mortgages, and correcting errors in the calculation of your benefits, among other important and pressing topics for our nation’s veterans. 

Websites:

Overview of resources for obtaining military records, transcripts, and other identification documents.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a website to help veterans understand and apply for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to aid them in attending a college, university, or career training program after they have returned from deployment. The site also helps veterans locate schools and apply for benefits online.

This website provides comprehensive information about benefits available through the VA. Information can be found here for filing disability compensation claims, pensions, burial benefits, educational benefits, home loans, and vocational rehabilitation.

This resource is an index of all the materials necessary to file a claim with the VA or to file an appeal. The materials are divided into 11 major sections, such as; Claimant Rights and Responsibilities, Direct Services, General Claims Process, Pensions, etc. Please visit the website for more information.  

The official website of the National Disabled American Veterans. This organization is dedicated to building better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families. The organization provides a number of community services including transportation and employment help and represents more then 200,000 veterans  each year in the VA’s claims and appeals process. In addition, they coordinate advocacy and lobbying efforts for veteran’s causes both at the state and national level.

This page allows you to sign up for membershipwith the DAV and log into their database. You can use this website to look up your local DAV service offices for help with the VA benefits and appeals process. A list of local DAV offices is searchable by zip code here.

Local access and assistance with the VA process and other services offered through the Department of Defense.

If you want assistance or need help in obtaining benefits the NACVSO is great place to go to find answers to your questions or to receive help with contacting your local Veterans Service Officer. You may also go to the “Contact Us” page and contact one of their officers directly. In your e-mail, please include the name of your city, county, and state. You will receive a response within 24 hours.

The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims website seeks to assist veterans in understanding the VA benefits appeals process and aids them in filing their claim. Claims can be filed online. The website also provides information to allow individual claimants to review orders and opinions, case information, and find court forms for filing their case.

 

HealthCare:

 Websites:  

The nonprofit CHP is devoted to providing compassionate care, support, and stress-management tools for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. It is comprised of veterans, psychotherapists, and interfaith leaders committed to helping veterans rebuild the connectivity of mind, heart, body, and spirit that trauma can unravel; renew their relationships with loved ones; and create new support networks. The project offers a range of free services including, workshops and retreats, psychological counseling, training for care providers, and community forums. 

The Pentagon-funded, DVBIC is a resource for veterans, their families, and medical providers to better understand the effects of TBI and the ways in which those who suffer from it can learn to coup and lead more healthful and productive lives. It also maintains a suicide prevention and crises hotline #800-273-8255 and an information and referral service helpline #866-966-1020 that are available to those in need 24/7.

Apply online for VA health benefits. Required forms can be found here as well as some general information about the programs that are offered. A list of Veterans Health Adminstration offices or outpatient clinics in Montana can be found here

Information for connecting with the VA healthcare facility at Fort Harrison in Helena, MT.

Index of medical conditions and injuries that may disqualify you from continued military service.

Contact information for care facilities and customer service help offered though TRICARE Montana.

 

Community Resources:

Websites:

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome community programs. Contact information for Montana’s American Legion can be found here, as well as a list of current events and initiatives.

 One of America’s fore­most vet­er­an ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions, they have a proud his­tory of assist­ing vet­er­ans and spon­sor­ing numer­ous pro­grams that serve our coun­try and its cit­i­zens. One of the most vis­i­ble ways that this organization assisting veterans and their families is their net­work of trained national ser­vice offi­cers (NSOs) accred­ited by the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs. This organization is a resource for finding help with filing claims and filling out forms as well as connecting with VSOs.

HUD resources in Montana to help citizens acquire affordable housing or stay in their homes. Connect with local HUD representatives here

IVAV is the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan, organization for veterans of America’s most recent combat zones. IAVA strives to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their local communities. They focus on four key impact areas: Health, Education, Employment, Community building for vets and their families. IAVA hosts hundreds of events nationwide each year while providing numerous benefits directly to its membership.

This program serves veterans as well as current service-members and their families.   Their Family Assistance Centers works as a resource and referral service for veterans, service-members and their families in the areas of financial assistance, Tricare support, legal services, crisis intervention, and general community information  and outreach. These services are available through their website where you can access information and program staff.

The most comprehensive source for information about America’s homeless veterans and the programs and people who work to improve their lives by getting them back on their feet. You can reach them by phone at 800-VET-HELP (800-838-4357).

The National Veterans Foundation serves the crisis management, information, and referral needs of all U.S. Veterans and their families through the management and operation of the nation’s only toll-free helpline staffed entirely by veterans, and operating between 9am -9pm pacific time, seven day a week. # 888-777-4443. The organization also provides for public awareness programs that shine a consistent spotlight on the needs of America’s veterans, and outreach services that provide veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment, and other essential resources.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) has been the voice of veterans’ rights for more than 25 years. NVLSP is an independent, non-profit, charitable organization acting to ensure that the U.S. government honors the pact made with over 25 million veterans when they enlisted in our nation’s armed forces. They serve the veteran community through advocacy, education, and some Pro Bono litigation.

NeighborWorks is dedicated to creating sustainable homeownership opportunities and improving the availability of affordable rental property for low and moderate income Montana families. The vision of NWMT is to be an outstanding producer of attainable and sustainable homeownership, a dependable developer of housing options and a powerful proponent of housing public policy and delivery of homeownership services to rural areas

SWAN supports and develops the leadership of female veterans, mentors young women considering military service, works to solve problems facing women in uniform, and provides for and promotes services that heal and support women after their service experience.

The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. The VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI Bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system, and the fight for compensation for Vietnam Vets exposed to Agent Orange among other victories for our nation’s veterans.

VUB staff and instructors assist veterans by developing, improving, and extending educational access and opportunities to eligible veterans through academic needs assessment, instruction, enrichment, and other academic support activities. Forty-seven VUB programs currently exist across the US, including Puerto Rico. This website makes it easy to find a representative near you, as well as determine whether you are eligible for services available through the program.

Vets4Vets is a nonpartisan project in which Iraq-era military veterans take part in and create veteran support groups. Veterans listen and take equal and uninterrupted turns telling their stories with an agreement of complete confidentiality. In this forum, veterans can help and support each other and express feelings that family and/or friends by not be equipped to understand. The forums are free of charge and Vets4Vets pays veterans transportation costs to and from support sessions.

Founded in 1978, Vietnam Veterans of America is the only national Vietnam veteran’s organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's goals are to promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of Vietnam veterans.

 

Legal Resources:

Journals and Publications:

The Court of Veteran Claims has developed a quarterly publication to help keep veterans up to date on recent developments in the legal world that affect them and their families. The journal is made up of articles contributed by its readership.

The Department of Veterans Affairs produces a yearly publication of articles, commentary, and book reviews addressing hot topics amongst active duty service-members and veterans as they pertain to existing law. The Review is made up of articles contributed by its readership and edited by a team of lawyers and veteran law judges.

Webinars:

Medical and financial assistance are available to men and women who have served in our military, but some who can qualify are not receiving the benefits that they need.  Attorneys can assist veterans with the problems that preclude them from receiving benefits. This webinar helps attorneys connect veterans with services and benefits for which they are entitled.

 Websites:

Veterans face a wide array of legal issues resulting from the unique circumstances of their military service. These ABA resources are designed to provide attorneys and veterans with assistance related to challenges in obtaining medical care, disability benefits, reemployment rights, consumer rights information, housing, information on criminal proceedings, family law matters, and general legal counsel.

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1967, the Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) is a law firm that empowers low-income people by providing legal information, advice, and other services free of charge.  MLSA works both on individual cases and under a systemic approach to help low-income people escape domestic violence, keep their housing, preserve their public benefits, protect their finances, and much more. You can also call the HelpLine at 1-800-666-6899 to apply by phone, or click here for an application form.

The Self-Help Law Program is an initiative of the Montana Supreme Court that helps people with non-criminal legal problems. The goal of the program is to give citizens the information they need to understand their legal rights and responsibilities, and to help them resolve their legal problems, on their own, when they cannot afford an attorney or they choose not to hire one. This website is useful in finding and contacting a facility near you.

This program is a network of attorneys, legal workers, law students and JAGs interested in issues that effect military service-members and veterans. It is a standing project of the National Lawyers Guild and is a great place to keep up with news and legal topics that effect current service members and veterans alike.

The People’s Law Center’s primary practice area is in representing individuals who are attempting to get Social Security Disability benefits. They serve clients in all parts of Montana, and do hearings over video conferencing as well as in person with the Administrative Law Judges from the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Billings. They take cases on a contingency basis with a maximum fee of $6000 per case. In most cases the fees are much less. This website includes contact information for their 4 site areas in the state. 

Stateside legal is designed to be “one stop shopping” for legal information of interest to Montanan veterans. Their website outlines basic information about government programs, regulations, and civic obligations; including information on what you need to know about taxes, social security, public services, education benefits, employment opportunities, civil rights, and more.

 

Employment Resources:

Publications: 

 A brochure to help veterans better understand and connect with the TAP initiatives offered through the Department of Labor and Veterans Affairs.

 Websites:

 This page outlines the provisions of the Vet Success program and how to proceed through the application process. Benefits include skill assessments, vocational counseling, job-training, help with post-secondary training at a college or technical school, and independent living services for disabled veterans.

A network of volunteers and former service-members that work to provide opportunities for veterans to break into the workforce through building and construction trades. 

 

Personal Finance and Loans:

Publications:

 A guide produced by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans utilize the Web LGY website to determine their eligibility for loans through the VA.

This guide produced by the General Services Administration, has been produced to assist citizens in becoming smart shoppers with the aid of helpful tips addressing the prevention of identity theft, understanding credit, filing a consumer complaint, and much more. Information in the guide is organized into 4 categories: Be A Savvy Consumer, Filing A Complaint, Key Information Resources, and Consumer Assistance Directory.

 Websites:

 The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans; whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing a credit card, or using any number of consumer financial products. Use this organization to find educational materials to help you and your family become savvier consumers and avoid scams.

 Created by the Montana Legislature in 2011, this program is designed to assist Montana National Guard and federally-qualified eligible veterans achieve the American dream of owning and living in their own homes. Use this webpage to help find out if you qualify for the program and begin the application process online. 

Veterans United Home Loans is the nation’s largest dedicated provider of VA Loans, determined to make the American dream of homeownership a reality for our nation’s veterans. Learn if you are eligible for a VA home loan by filling out their questioner or by calling their toll free number, get all the facts you need before applying, and guidance in submitting your application.

 

 

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