Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Lara Sisselman, Press Secretary
ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING'S "VIRIGINIA MILITARY AND VETERAN LEGAL RESOURCE GUIDE" NOW AVAILABLE AT ALL VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
~ Newly launched Guide helps meet the unique legal needs of Virginia servicemembers, military families, and veterans, and helps Virginia's military/veteran community better utilize the protections afforded to them by state and federal law~
RICHMOND (August 25, 2017) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring's newly launched Virginia Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide is now available at all community college campuses across the Commonwealth. The guide is a new tool to help Virginia servicemembers, military families, and veterans utilize the unique legal protections, rights, and resources available to them under the law. Volunteer attorneys from the Office of Attorney General spent more than a year developing the new guide, which is available at www.VaMilGuide.com.
In the 2016-2017 academic year, Virginia's community colleges served 36,868 veterans and military-related students.
"The Virginia Military and Veteran Legal Resource guide helps servicemembers, military families, and veterans understand the many unique rights and protections afforded to them by state and federal law, and connects them with resources that can assist them when they have legal needs," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "Community colleges serve more than 36,000 Virginia veterans and servicemembers, and I'm glad our guides will be available at these locations and make them more accessible for those in need."
"We appreciate the efforts of the Office of the Attorney General to collect and share this information with the veterans and military-related students we serve, and hope that it will be helpful to them as they pursue their academic and workforce training aspirations," said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges.
The free 33-page guide covers areas of unique concern to active duty military, military families, and veterans, including:
- Including the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), pension and deferred compensation payments during military leave, continuing healthcare, and leave for military spouses and other family members
- Consumer Protections
- Including the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) which limits interest rates on loans, limits sale, foreclosure and seizure of homes, restricts repossession and eviction, and allows for the termination of certain leases
- Including the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, re-enrollment rights at colleges and universities, and certain tuition discounts for servicemembers, their families, and veterans.
- Including deductions and exemptions for certain military pay, extensions on filing, and tax relief for disabled veterans and surviving spouses.
- Family Law
- Including legal protections to ensure proceedings are fair to a servicemember who may be called away for service and issues surrounding child custody and visitation
- Voting and Line of Duty Act
- Including programs to ensure easy access to the ballot for deployed service members and state benefits available to certain servicemembers killed or disabled in the line of duty.
- Access to Legal Services
- Including contact information for attorneys and other professionals to assist with benefits issues, criminal matters, family law, and estate planning, including Attorney General Herring's quarterly Veterans Legal Clinics.
Attorney General Herring has made the needs of Virginia servicemembers, military families, and veterans a priority in his administration. In his first year he signed the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve statement and made the OAG a Virginia Values Veterans certified employer. In 2015, he and his team launched a series of quarterly pro bono legal clinics which have provided free estate planning services to nearly 200 veterans and family members during seven events around the state. The next is scheduled for October 25 in Lynchburg.
His reorganized Consumer Protection Section has also focused on the needs of veterans, winning nearly $100 million in debt relief for veterans, including $27.4 million for Virginia consumers, as part of a settlement with retailer USA Discounters. He partnered with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the North Carolina Attorney General to bring legal action against Freedom Furniture, another retailer accused of deceptive and illegal business practices targeting military families and veterans.
The Virginia Military and Veteran Resource Guide was created using the expertise of in-house OAG attorneys, including Senior Assistant Attorney General Heather Hays Lockerman and Assistant Attorneys General James Flaherty, Anthony Bessette, Anna Birkenheier, Flora Hezel, Mark Kubiak, Elizabeth Myers, and Stephen Sovinsky.