Veterans' Legal Aid | Helping those who fought for our freedom.


VLAS consults with veterans, surviving spouses, and their families to determine their planning options when they have limited income and high out-of-pocket health care expenses. Due to the nature of our organization, and the services we provide, we can only assist indigent residents of Illinois.

Fees for Consultative Services

VLAS may charge fees (based on a potential client’s limited ability to pay) for the following services:

  • Initial consultation
    • No charge for the initial consultation unless VLAS accepts a person as a client, informs the client of fees for its services, and the client agrees to the fees for the services provided
  • Reviewing income, medical, and expense records
  • Researching what options may be available to a potential client
  • Counseling a potential client on his/her planning options

VLAS uses fees generated from providing consultative services to support its effort in providing pro bono (free) assistance to veterans, surviving spouses, and dependents in filing for VA pension benefits.

VLAS fees are based on a client’s income, household size, and assets. Fees can be waived in cases of economic hardship.

NO CHARGE for Assistance with Initial Applications for Veterans’ Benefits

  • By law, an organization or attorney cannot charge for the following services:
    • Assisting with initial applications for VA benefits
    • Gathering necessary information to file a claim for VA benefits
    • Preparing initial VA claims
    • Submitting information to the VA
    • Communicating with the VA on behalf of a client who files an initial claim for benefits
  • If the VLAS determines, after consulting with a client, that he or she may be eligible for VA pension benefits,  there will be no fee in connection with an expressed intention to file for VA benefits, gathering required VA documents, communicating with the VA on behalf of a client, or representing a client before the VA for the initial benefits claim.

Appeals for Denial of Benefits or Denial of a Claim for Increased Benefits

  • Appeals are normally handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning that no fee is charged unless there is a favorable outcome.
  • The contingent fee is based on several factors
    • The amount of work required/complexity of the matter
    • Client’s income and assets
    • Attorney’s skill
  • The typical fee is 20% of past due benefits
  • Attorneys also charge the client for reasonable expenses connected with the appeal