Legal Services

Swords to Plowshares is one of the few organizations in the country that provides free legal consultation and attorney representation to veterans seeking assistance with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and military discharge upgrade cases. Our attorneys play an essential role by helping veterans remove unjust legal barriers to VA benefits. Our services are targeted to address the needs of homeless and low-income veterans. All services are free of charge.

Our clients have a 90% success rate for claims that come to resolution. Every $1 we spend on the free legal services we provide for veterans leverages $26 in direct VA benefits.

VA Benefits and Related Issues

  • Service-connected disability compensation
  • Non-service-connected pension
  • Character of discharge applications for basic veteran eligibility
  • Medical care entitlement
  • Rating increases
  • Overpayment issues
  • Appeals

Military Discharge Review/Upgrade

  • Discharge Upgrade applications
  • Requests for corrections to military records

Who Qualifies?

Swords to Plowshares only provides assistance with VA benefits issues and discharge upgrades. We are limited to assisting veterans of San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties. Veterans are eligible for a free one-time assessment with our attorneys, regardless of discharges status, the era of service, or length of service. Please note: we do not guarantee representation or ongoing assistance.

If you or someone you know is in need of veterans benefits assistance, please contact our Legal Team at [email protected].

To schedule an appointment:

We offer a limited number of legal appointments each month.

  • Residents of San Francisco: please call (415) 252-4788 to speak with our legal department.
  • Residents of Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and San Mateo: please call our East Bay & South Bay clinic intake line at (415) 798-8387. Please leave a voicemail and we will call you back in a few business days.

Resources for Veterans: Self-Help Guides

If you are a veteran seeking VA benefits, a discharge upgrade, or just need copies of your military records, our self-help materials may have the information you need.

Please review and download our Self-Help Guides.