2016 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Eleyse D'andrea

Eleyse D'andrea

Name of Host Organization: William & Mary Law School’s Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic
City, State: Williamsburg, Virginia
Issue area: Veterans' Rights
Sponsors: Lockheed Martin; Hogan Lovells LLP

The Project

Provide legal assistance to veterans and service members facing prejudicial characterizations of separations/discharges, and educate JAGs in veterans benefits and the impact of such characterizations.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Since 2001, over 100,000 veterans have been discharged under “Other than Honorable” or “Less than Honorable” conditions. These discharges bar veterans from receiving VA health and disability benefits as well as the GI Bill. Veterans often believe discharge upgrades are easily obtainable, but high denial rates across all service branches are largely due to veterans submitting incorrect or incomplete applications and failing to develop compelling cases with legal assistance.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Eleyse is the right person for the project because:
• She has strong ties to the military community and intimate understanding of the devastating impact denial of veterans benefits can have on service members and their families
• She has an educational foundation in public health and a life-long passion for public services
• She has a research background in co-occurring and underlying mental illnesses

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