On November 12, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.45B/A.8097) enacting The Restoration of Honor Act, giving LGBTQ veterans who were denied an honorable discharge because of their sexual orientation or gender identity the right to apply to have their New York State veterans’ benefits restored.

Under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and similar policies hundreds of thousands of veterans received less than honorable discharges. As a result of that those individuals are ineligible for veterans’ benefits.  While military discharge decisions can only be formally changed by the federal government, The Restoration of Honor Act allows these veterans to apply to claim their New York State benefits.

To complement these efforts, the New York State Bar Association, in partnership with the New York State court system and with assistance from other bar groups, has developed a network of volunteer lawyers, like yourself, to provide free legal representation to individuals who cannot afford a lawyer in these cases.

Please review the following training portal to assist you with any questions or resources that you may have in order to assist your clients with their needs.

View our website designed for members of the public:


NYSBA is providing an online community forum for volunteers to share information and relevant resources and materials.  Please do not use this forum to request cases or to discuss the personal details of any case assigned to you.

You can also send a message to the online community using the following e-mail address:

[email protected]