March 1, 2012

HSLDA Involvement Restores Benefits to Veteran

Litigation attorney Darren Jones has helped restore veteran’s and Social Security benefits to many homeschool families. He and his wife currently homeschool their oldest children. Read more >>

Home School Legal Defense Association is privileged to serve many homeschooling military families around the world as well as veterans of our armed forces. HSLDA has several attorneys accredited with the Department of Veteran Affairs who regularly represent homeschooling families.

Last fall veteran Thomas Mitt (names changed to protect privacy) was notified that his veteran’s benefits were reduced because his daughter Rachel was 18 years old and had allegedly not demonstrated that she was still a full-time student. Because Rachel was in fact a homeschool high school senior and entitled to receive benefits because of her father’s military service, the Veterans Affairs decision was discriminatory. The Mitt family contacted HSLDA to represent them.

We appealed the case to the Department of Veteran Affairs, bringing to their attention the Department’s own guidelines that recognize homeschooled students as eligible for benefits—a guideline HSLDA was instrumental in changing when we won the Veterans Appeal case Thiess v. Principi in 2004. We offered proof that Rachel was homeschooling in compliance with Oklahoma state law, and argued that her benefits should be restored because she met the Department of Veteran Affairs standards for a full-time student.

Six months later, the Mitts received confirmation that their appeal had been decided in their favor. Since the Department of Veteran Affairs usually takes 12–14 months to consider the appeals, this was a quick decision, which we hope means that discrimination against homeschooling students is lessening in the Department of Veteran Affairs.