The Veterans Advocacy Project: An Inside Look with Richard A.J. Prebil Esq.

Today we are joined by Richard A.J. Prebil, Esq., a Supervising Attorney of the Veterans Advocacy Project at Legal Aid of Southeastern PA. This project offers multi-faceted services to veterans in Pennsylvania, helping them navigate VA benefits, discharge upgrades, and Social Security matters.

With their unwavering dedication, the Veterans Advocacy Project has successfully helped numerous veterans stabilize their housing and income, ultimately addressing mental health, addiction, and other challenges servicemen and women face. Richard shares some of those success stories with us today and explains the importance of education in understanding the claims process. He also provides some helpful resources for those in need.

We hope this episode encourages more veterans to reach out for the help they deserve.

Highlights of this episode:

  • 1:18 – How Legal Aid of Southeastern PA’s veteran’s unit is helping veterans obtain income stability through VA benefits, Social Security, and discharge upgrades
  • 8:17 – What is the typical waiting period for veteran benefits? + Challenges with the VA system
  • 14:45 – Important resources for veterans + Why veterans with less than honorable discharges should not automatically assume they are ineligible for benefits

Richard A.J. Prebil, Esq.

Richard is Supervising Attorney of the Veterans Advocacy Project at Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, a project he helped establish in mid‐2020. The Project provides representation, advice, and outreach to veterans experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness, income insecurity, or living with a disability. He primarily practices in the areas of VA benefits, discharge upgrades, and Social Security. When he joined LASP in 2019, Richard, based in the Chester City office, represented individuals in landlord/tenant, subsidized housing, child custody, public benefits, and unemployment compensation matters.

Prior to joining Legal Aid, Richard was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at a nonprofit in Philadelphia where he provided representation and outreach to veterans, current military personnel, and their families, in the areas of veterans benefits, discharge upgrades, and Chapter 7 bankruptcies, in PA, NJ, and DE. During law school, he worked with many veteran and legal service organizations from Minneapolis to Chicago to Philadelphia. Richard holds a JD from the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, where he now teaches “Representing Veterans in Administrative Practice” as an adjunct professor. He holds a BA from the University of Illinois Springfield.

https://www.lasp.org/veterans

LASP’s veteran’s helpline: 610-283-0884

Resources:

Need immediate help? Contact the Veterans Crisis Line via phone, text, or online chat. Dial 988 then Press 1 or text 838255 or use the online chat at https://bit.ly/3OunXzg

Voice & Vision: https://bit.ly/3miwFoy

CompeerCORPS: https://bit.ly/3GgKryU

Information on how to apply for VA Healthcare Benefits from anywhere in the USA: https://bit.ly/40PtrrN or call 877-222-8387 (M-F 8am-8pm EST)

To apply for veteran’s benefits and find resources in Pennsylvania veterans need to contact their County Office of Veterans Affairs as listed in this document: https://bit.ly/3m8PBWS

View more about PA’s resources for veterans: https://bit.ly/416cf0Q

Financial support for Untold Valor is provided by a Veterans’ Trust Fund grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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