Skip to the content

 Veterans Photos

Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center

The Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center is comprised of multiple projects which are dedicated to handling Veterans’ legal issues. Bay Area Legal Services provides assistance to more than 1,000 Veterans in the Tampa Bay area each year through our Veteran support programs and collaborations.

How can Veterans receive legal help from Bay Area Legal Services?

Veterans can apply for civil legal assistance by calling our Veterans Legal Helpline: 813.232.1343 (Residents of Hillsborough County); 1.800.625.2257 (Residents of Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties); 1.800.955.8771 (TTY).

  • Veterans can also apply online through Florida Online Intake.
  • Veterans and their family members in Hillsborough and Pasco counties will be given appointments with our designated Helpline attorneys. Veterans residing elsewhere in our service area may apply for assistance through the same phone number or online and will be offered appointments through our Legal Aid Line.

Veterans may receive legal assistance on-site through our medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) at C.W. Young VA Medical Center in Bay Pines and James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. These MLPs are staffed by Bay Area Legal Services attorneys and provide a variety of civil legal aid services such as help with Veterans benefits (including discharge upgrades), Social Security Disability, family law, landlord-tenant disputes, and expungement.

  • To request an appointment at C.W. Young in Bay Pines and for more information about hours and location, please call 727.398.9592 and leave a message.
  • To request an appointment at James A. Haley in Tampa and for more information about hours and location, please call 813.232.1222 ext. 203 and leave a message.
  • View all free legal clinics in VA facilities.

Eligible Veterans may also meet with Bay Area Legal Services at the Tampa Vet Center at 3637 W. Waters Ave #600, Tampa, FL 33614 on designated days. Please visit the Tampa Vet Center for more information on how to request an appointment.

Bay Area Legal Services partners with other agencies in the community to provide services for Veterans. The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program of St. Vincent de Paul of South Pinellas, Inc. provides direct referrals to Bay Area Legal Services, as does Mission United of United Way Suncoast.

  • Veterans in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk counties experiencing housing crises (including homelessness) may contact St. Vincent de Paul of South Pinellas to apply for SSVF assistance by calling 1.844.455.7783, 24-hours per day, 7 days per week.
  • Hillsborough County Veterans needing legal and other community resources may call Mission United at 2-1-1, 24-hours per day, 7 days per week.

Veterans at Veterans Stand Down events can receive legal information from Bay Area Legal Services attorneys who regularly attend the events.

Veterans Stand Down Court 2019

On March 30, 2019, the Veterans Affairs will be sponsoring a Stand Down event for homeless Veterans and their families at CW Bill Young VA Medical Center from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Bay Area Legal attorneys will staff a table and provide assistance at this event. This Stand Down is designed to help local homeless veterans connect to resources by bringing services and support together in one location. Veterans will be provided with hot meals, supportive housing referrals, hygiene items, medical services, clothing and much more. If needed, PSTA will provide free bus transportation to Veterans attending the event. Just show your VA ID to ride for free.

Please note, there will be a Stand Down Court again this year. The Stand Down Court is an incredible opportunity for low-income Veterans who are being held back by longstanding court costs, fines, and minor warrants related to a municipal ordinance or inactive criminal cases in Pinellas County. The Police Department's office will review their case(s) to see if the old fines and costs can be waived at the Stand Down Court on March 30. Please see the attached flyer for more information.