Wednesday July 18
Introduction to VA Disability Benefits

This CLE, An Introduction to Veterans’ Disability Benefits, is geared towards attorneys with all levels of experience and backgrounds who are interested in representing Veterans with their claims and appeals for Veterans benefits as a VA accredited attorney. Both VA accredited attorneys and attorneys who are not yet accredited to practice at the VA but are interested in becoming accredited or learning more about Veterans Law are encouraged to attend.  The program will start with an overview of the VA system and benefits, will discuss how to navigate the VA process, how and when to file an appeal, how to meet the requisite evidentiary standards for the specific benefit, how procedure may be changing or may have recently changed, and how this affects the practice. This 3 credit CLE complies with the CLE requirements set forth under 38 C.F.R. § 14.629 requirements for the initial year accreditation and for the ongoing biannual recertification for VA accredited attorneys.


The CLE will cover the following topics:

  • Representation Before the VA
  • Basic Eligibility for VA Benefits
  • VA Claims Procedures
  • Right to Appeal
  • Disability Compensation Benefits (38 U.S.C. Chapter 11)
  • Survivors’ Benefits including Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Benefits (38 U.S.C. Chapter 13)

  • When
    Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Location
    Legal Services NYC - Central
    40 Worth St., 6th floor
    New York, NY 10013

  • CLE Credits
    Areas of Professional Practice: 3.00
  • Format
    Traditional Live Classroom
  • Practice Area(s)
    Public Benefits
  • Price: $0
  • Materials
    Contains 1 training item(s)

About the Faculty

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    Christine Clemens (Speaker)

    Christine Khalili-Borna Clemens specializes in Veterans disability compensation benefits at Finkelstein and Partners, LLP in New York. After receiving her JD from the University of Michigan Law School and MPP from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in 2008, Christine worked as an attorney in the Homelessness Prevention Law Project at Public Counsel in Los Angeles. Christine ran an advocacy program serving homeless individuals in need of legal advice and connection to vital resources at social services offices throughout L.A. county. Christine also coordinated numerous weekly legal clinics at a variety of homeless service organizations. In 2010, Christine started a medical-legal partnership with SHIELDS for Families' Healthy Start Program and St. John's Well Child and Family Center, to promote better health outcomes for pregnant and parenting mothers in South Los Angeles. Christine began working exclusively with disabled homeless Veterans in January 2012 at Public Counsel's Center for Veterans' Advancement. In October 2012, Christine joined the Veterans' Services Group at Finkelstein and Partners where she continues to represent disabled Veterans. Christine also coordinates pro bono outreach and events for the Veterans' Services Group.
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    Melissa Molfetas (Speaker)

    Melissa A. Molfetas, Esq. is the Coordinating Attorney of the Veterans Legal Assistance Project at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), where she and her team provide general civil legal services to veterans, military service members, and their families with an emphasis on housing defense and disability benefits. Previously, she was a staff attorney at Brooklyn Legal Services' Veterans Justice Project, where she represented veterans and military families as tenants in housing court and in various family law matters. From 2014-2016 Melissa was an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at Legal Assistance of Western New York, where she assisted veterans in obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in VA benefits. She also staffed a legal clinic at the VA Medical Center, revamped the Veterans Legal Hotline and coordinated a large pro bono network. Melissa is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to represent veterans and their dependents in benefits claims before the agency. She is also an adjunct professor at New York Law School’s Veterans Justice Clinic. In 2017, Melissa became the founding coordinator of CUNY School of Law’s Office of Veterans Affairs, where she continues to recruit and advise military connected students. Melissa received her J.D. from CUNY School of Law in 2014 and her B.A. in Government from Skidmore College in 2008. Melissa served in the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York Army National Guard from '08-'16.