Deported Veterans, Stranded Far From Home After Years of Military Service, Press Biden to Bring Them Back

Written by Jennifer Martinez-Medina affiliated with Repatriate Our Patriots, an advocacy organization that supports deported veterans, and is Co-Editor for Desolate Zine. Ivan Ocon thought he would be headed back to civilian life as a U.S. citizen after serving the U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Ocon, who was born in Mexico, came […]

Veterans Defense Project

Written by Denis McDonough with the Veterans Defense Project. For those of you that know me, you know that I am passionate about ensuring our fighting men and women of the Armed Forces get home safely after serving our Nation. They served our Nation with honor, courage and commitment. We have a responsibility to make […]

Remembering Pearl Harbor

There are special days of remembrance throughout the year that do not receive much recognition because they are not official federal holidays for which we get time off. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is one of those days, possibly because some may say it is covered by Veterans Day and Memorial Day.   In 1994 Congress […]

Can I Still Receive Services at the VA Even if I Have a Conviction?

“Can I still receive services at the VA even if I have a conviction?” – Jason H. Hi Jason, If you served in the military and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, you likely qualify for services at the VA. If you served before September 8, 1980, you only need one day of […]

Registration Open: Defender Summer School, August 6-7

Registration is now open for the 2018 Defender Summer School, hosted by Robert Wesley, Public Defender for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Speakers Prof. Denis Keyes, Professor of Education, College of Charleston Dr. I. Bruce Frumkin, Board-Certified Forensic Psychologist, Pulse Trial Tania Alavi, Attorney, Florida Capital Resource Center Brandon K. Breslow, Tampa, Attorney, Kynes, Markman & Felman […]

What Does a Criminal Attorney Need to Know About Brain Injuries?

Courtesy of Godoy Medical Forensics   In April, I covered delirium and noted that there are many underlying etiologies that can cause it. One of those underlying causes is brain injuries, or intracranial processes such as stroke, tumor or traumatic injury. Symptoms of certain intracranial processes are not always immediately apparent or obvious to the person being affected […]

Help with Family and Housing Legal Services

Question I need some help with divorce and possibly help not losing my home. Any help would be appreciated.   Answer If you live in Central Florida, call the Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida Helpline at 800-405-1417 to see if we can help with the family law and housing matters. If you live outside Central […]

Dulé Hill: Veterans Treatment Courts Save Lives and Communities – CNN

West Wing actor Dulé Hill penned an op-ed about the importance of veterans treatment courts. Read more.

My Boyfriend is in Jail. Will This Affect His VA Benefits?

“My boyfriend is in jail. Will this affect his VA benefits?” –Jurlean G. Hi Jurlean, The good news is that he will keep his VA benefits if he is not actually convicted of a crime. We have great attorneys here who understand the needs of our vets and we utilize veteran-related mitigation and services when […]

A Look at Veterans in Criminal Court

Courtesy of Godoy Medical Forensics   Hypothetical Scenario The following is a fictional scenario in which a veteran client may be arrested and charged with a crime. Mr. Smith served two year-long tours in Iraq. He experienced a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) after an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded on the road where he was […]

VA Overpayments Resulting from Open Warrants or Post-Conviction Incarceration

Question: What happens to my VA disability or pension benefits when I have an open felony warrant? Answer: If there is a valid felony warrant for a veteran, no benefits will be paid to that person and overpayments are calculated from the date the warrant was issued—regardless of whether or not the person is aware […]

I’m a Vet and I Need Help with Transportation. Does Orlando Have Anything Like That?

I ‘m a Vet and I need help with transportation a. Does Orlando have anything like that? – Nick Hi Nick, If you are a client of the Public Defender, you’re in luck. While Orange and Osceola County public transportation systems do not offer such programs, we offer all of our veteran clients rides to and […]

I Got Out of Jail Last Week. How Do I Get My VA Benefits Restarted?

“I got out of jail last week. How do I get my VA benefits restarted?” – Jonah H. In order to reinstate your benefits, you will need to send a copy of your official release papers to the VA Regional Office within one year. Be sure to include your Social Security number when you ask […]

How Does Incarceration Affect Social Security Benefits?

Question: I am a veteran receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and have been arrested. What will happen to my benefits? Answer: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits ($735/month for a single veteran) are immediately suspended when you go to jail. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits will be suspended […]