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Loeb & Loeb Secures Pro Bono Victory for WWII Purple Heart Vet in Benefits Appeal

Loeb & Loeb LLP’s Veterans Assistance Project achieved a significant victory on behalf of a World War II Purple Heart recipient who, with the pro bono assistance of attorney Jon Hollis, was successful in raising his disability rating from 30 percent to 100 percent, securing a substantial increase in benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 
Loeb & Loeb’s client served as a combat infantryman with the U.S. Army in France during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart after suffering a gunshot wound to his leg in 1944. His unit was repeatedly shelled by Nazi artillery and the client suffered two concussions during such attacks, one of which killed the soldier in the foxhole next to his. 
 

In 2011, the client was awarded a 30 percent disability rating by the VA for scarring and osteoarthritis related to his leg wound. However, despite the fact that he suffers from severe anxiety, depression and nightmares as a result of his combat trauma, the VA denied his claim for disability due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Hollis began working with the client earlier this year through the firm’s Veterans Assistance Project, which provides pro bono assistance to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to service-connected disability benefits claims. He immediately filed a new claim for spousal benefits, which the client was not receiving despite having been married for more than 30 years, and sought an expedited appeal of the VA’s decision denying PTSD disability. Hollis obtained a new medical examination for the client and submitted new evidence on the client’s behalf, which ultimately led to the VA’s decision to award all requested benefits, including 100 percent disability for PTSD. The client’s monthly financial benefits will more than double as a result.

“Our client is 89 years old and this favorable rating decision will make a real difference in his quality of life. As a Nation, we owe a debt of gratitude to this Veteran, and to so many others who sacrificed through their service,” said Hollis, who is the founding member of Loeb & Loeb’s Veterans Assistance Project team and a Veteran himself. “There is an acute need for pro bono representation and advocacy on behalf of Veterans who are struggling to navigate the complex VA claims system. We are proud to be able to provide that assistance.”