2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Jonathan Killoran

Jonathan Killoran

Name of Host Organization: Inner City Law Center
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Issue area: Health Care/Medical-Legal Partnership
Sponsors: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP

The Project

Jonathan formed the “Lawyers Partnership to Serve Veterans” medical-legal partnership (MLP) with the Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Medical Center (VAMC) in order to provide chronically homeless and low-income veterans with legal services focused on achieving income and housing stability.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
This medical-legal partnership will provide legal assistance to chronically homeless veterans who are among the poorest and most vulnerable in Los Angeles. More than 8,000 veterans sleep on the city's streets on a given night. There is no formalized system that connects VAMC patients with nonprofit attorneys who can remove barriers to accessing disability benefits and stable housing. As a result, veterans remain homeless. Connecting veterans with legal services at the VAMC through an MLP where they seek medical treatment is the best entry point to screen veterans for needed legal assistance. An attorney is necessary to assist where benefits are wrongfully denied and where the veteran must establish service-connection of the disability, particularly in the case of mental health disabilities.
Fellowship Highlights: 
During his Fellowship, Jonathan has:
• Established an MLP clinic within the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team (H-PACT) located in the VAMC emergency room
• Provided full representation to 131 homeless veterans in the H-PACT clinic on issues such as Veteran Affairs (VA) service-connected disability benefits, military discharge upgrades, fiduciary relationships and traffic citations
• Secured more than $800,000 in retroactive and ongoing VA disability benefits for H-PACT veterans
• Developed curriculum for and guest-lectured in a veterans benefits practicum course at UCLA Law School
Where are they now?: 
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Jonathan will continue on as a Staff Attorney at the Inner City Law Center where he will continue to manage the medical-legal partnership clinic he formed during his Fellowship.

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