Bowen Veterans Legal Services Clinic Client Awarded More than $150,000 in Benefits Owed by the Department Department of Veteran Affairs

The Veterans Legal Services Clinic (VLSC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law has won a case involving benefits owed from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The client, a United States Army veteran from Arkansas, has been awarded more than $150,000 in VA benefits that they had previously been denied.

Under the leadership of Rebecca Feldmann, licensed and VA-accredited attorney, assistant professor of law, and director of the VLSC at the law school, two students — Elizabeth Kimble and Jake Mason — represented the veteran who suffered a military sexual trauma (MST) and was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“Our purpose is two-fold,” said Feldmann. “We represent veterans who have been injured or disabled during their military service, specifically those with PTSD or a traumatic brain injury, but there’s also an educational purpose to this clinic,” she says. “Students taking the clinic learn the intricacies of veterans law, while developing the tools of advocacy that they will use in any area of practice.”

The Legal Clinic operates as a law firm within the Bowen Law School, giving students practical, hands-on experience in seven different practices of law, and offers legal aid services to Arkansans free of charge. The VLSC is one of the seven programs within Bowen’s Legal Clinic.

“Before coming to the VLSC, our client had previously tried to get VA compensation and was denied several times,” Feldmann said. “When she came to us, our students, six in total, under my supervision, were able to help her file an appeal, get her case expedited on the docket, and represent her at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals hearing.”

In a recent decision, the Veterans Law Judge ruled that sufficient evidence linked the client’s PTSD diagnosis to their MST. As a result of the decision, the veteran will receive more than $150,000 in back benefits owed as well as a regular monthly payment for disability compensation moving forward.


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