As a military family with special needs, you may face unique financial, medical and legal challenges caused, in part, by the demands of military service. Fortunately, you do not need to address these burdens alone; free, military department-provided support services exist to help overcome these challenges.
One powerful resource is free legal advice and educational materials provided by installation legal offices. The hours and policies for legal assistance vary by service and installation so you should contact your local legal office in advance.
Upon establishing contact, you will be able to use attorney support to help you navigate the range of legal issues that affect some military families with special needs, in particular families whose children have special education needs. Legal support can include:
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- Educational law – for example, the federal rights to free, appropriate public education and free disability evaluation
- Advanced estate planning – for example, special needs trusts
- Guardianship proceedings
- Permanent change of station and deployment issues.
Moreover, installation legal office personnel stand ready to provide educational materials to aid you in your self-help and planning efforts.
Installation legal offices can also refer your military family, based upon financial need, for more advanced and in-depth specialist assistance through the American Bar Association’s Military Pro Bono Project. You may be eligible for this service if your legal issues are determined to exceed available local resources. You can be matched with a specialist volunteer attorney associated with the ABA to provide further assistance on even the most complex special needs issues.
As a military family with special needs, you have access to free and reliable legal assistance. Installation legal offices and legal assistance providers stand ready to support you in addressing these legal matters.