Afghanistan Army Veteran Assisted by Cleary Pro Bono Team

June 13, 2017

Cleary Gottlieb represented pro bono client N.C., a 26-year-old Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, in an application for disability benefits filed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

N.C. received an overall combined rating of 80 percent disability for post-traumatic stress disorder, tinnitus, right-knee strain and right-knee instability on June 13, 2017.

N.C. served in Operating Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from July 2009 to November 2012. In N.C.’s initial intake with the Veterans Assistance Project, he described the incidents that he believes are responsible for his PTSD, including an event in July 2011 that involved suicide bomber attacks, a firefight and a building collapsing in front of him with six soldiers inside.

Cleary filed a disability benefits application on his behalf in June 2016. After preparing him for his claim examinations, which occurred in May 2017, the VA issued its decision of an 80 percent disability rating, which is the highest rating that the VA can issue to a PTSD-afflicted veteran who does not suffer from total occupational and social impairment. As a result, N.C. will receive back payments of approximately $54,000 and will continue to receive more than $1,500 per month going forward.