Items of interest specifically for Veterans and their Families.
Are You a Veteran in Crisis?
The Veteran's Crisis Line is available for all veterans experiencing a personal crisis. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All conversations are confidential. If you are a veteran in need of help, contact the Veteran's Crisis Line by telephoning 800-273-8255 then select 1 or 800-799-4889 for a TTY connection. You can also text 838255.
If you are a veteran residing in the northwest suburbs of Chicago? The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Veteran Service Officer Shynae "Shy" Murphy is available to assist veterans and their family members in applying for benefits. Office hours have recently been updated to include the Palatine and Schaumburg Township offices. Shy is available as to meet with you as follows:
Palatine Township Office
721 S. Quentin Rd.
Palatine, IL 60067
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm by appointment only
Schaumburg Township Office
1 Illinois Boulevard
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Monday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 2:45 pm (last person)
No phone calls. Walk-ins only.
Illinois Veteran's Benefits
Attorney General Kwame Raoul has issued an updated guide of benefits for Illinois veterans and their families.
Raoul’s Benefits for Illinois Veterans guide was created by his Military and Veterans Rights Bureau to provide veterans and their families with information regarding federal and state veteran benefit laws.
“The men and women who have served in the military deserve our recognition and our support for the sacrifices they and their families have made to protect our nation,” Raoul said. “My office is dedicated to ensuring that veterans and active duty service members receive the benefits they have earned, and this comprehensive veterans’ benefits guide will ensure Illinois veterans and their families know their eligibility and how to apply for federal, state and municipal benefits.”
The 2022 edition of the Benefits for Illinois Veterans guide features new and updated information on veterans’ benefits including:
Health care for female veterans: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a variety of services for female veterans, including primary care and specialized services such as reproductive services, rehabilitation and mental health. Additionally, the VA has expanded mammograms to all eligible female veterans. The guide provides updated contact information for female veterans seeking medical care.
Veterans experiencing homelessness: The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, which offers a variety of services to combat homelessness, hosts a medical clinic with a Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team that offers primary and urgent care for veterans experiencing homelessness. The clinic offers walk-in access to medical staff and social services. The guide also offers updated information regarding the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Prince Home in Manteno, Illinois, which offers residential care for homeless and disabled veterans.
Vietnam War-related exposures: Vietnam veterans, including Blue Water Veterans who served on U.S. military vessels, may be eligible for compensation due to their exposure to Agent Orange. Children of Vietnam veterans may be eligible for compensation for birth defects connected to their veteran parent’s exposure to Agent Orange. The guide provides information regarding qualifying medical conditions, qualifying military service, and the claims process.
Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure: The VA offers health care and compensation to veterans who served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River between August 1953 and December 1987. Veterans and dependents who have developed certain diseases or conditions related to their contact with contaminated drinking water now receive a presumption that their conditions are service-connected. The guide lists the presumptively connected conditions and provides guidance on how to file for benefits.
Iraq and Afghanistan service-linked illnesses: Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan may be eligible for benefits if they have been diagnosed with certain chronic illnesses due to exposures from burn pit smoke, depleted uranium and extreme temperatures. The guide describes VA Environmental Health Coordinators and Veterans Service Officers who can assist veterans with their questions or concerns pertaining to military toxic exposure.
Attorney General Raoul’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau handles a wide variety of financial and legal concerns affecting service members and veterans, such as military employment rights, housing, consumer fraud, and scams connected with benefits provided by the VA. Military service members, veterans and their families can visit Raoul’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau website for more information. Veterans and their families can request a free, printed copy of the Benefits for Illinois Veterans guide or request other assistance by email at email@example.com or by calling Raoul's Military and Veterans Rights Helpline at 1-800-382-3000 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY).
Best of 2022: Top Veteran Resources
Every week, the VA sends a newsletter that is jam-packed with resources like free concert tickets, farming assistance, workout programs, national park passes and Veteran discounts on hundreds of services. VA makes no endorsements of the privately offered resources, but we share them to generate awareness of all that’s available to the Veteran community.
Here are the Top 10 most popular Veteran resources from 2022:
Veterans, Gold Star Families get free lifetime pass to national parks, wildlife refuges, other public lands
On Veterans Day 2022, the U.S. National Park Service unveiled a lifetime pass providing free entrance to national parks for Veterans and their families. The pass gives them free access to about 2,000 public locations spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands.
A comprehensive list of Veteran and military discounts that are good all year and are updated based on additional awareness.
VA announced compensation payment rate increases based on the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, Veterans and beneficiaries who receive VA compensation benefits began seeing an 8.7% increase in their monthly compensation benefits—the largest increase in over 30 years.
In January 2023, VA launched a new life insurance program called Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife). The program provides guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance coverage to Veterans 80 and under, with any level of service-connected disability.
VA announced that Veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Southwest Asia and other locations may be entitled to compensation for medical conditions presumed to be related to exposure to fine particulate matter. For more information on new presumptive conditions, visit the Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures – Public Health page.
VHA Innovation Ecosystem, in collaboration with Evidation, is encouraging Veterans to enroll in Heart Health. This free application-based program helps educate Veterans about their heart health and chronic conditions using their smartphones and wearable devices. Veterans can track relevant health data, including activity, mood, symptom and weight data.
Veterans and their spouses are eligible for free training programs offered by NPower, which is now taking applications for spring 2023 classes. NPower’s program has served more than 1,600 Veterans and spouses with free tech training, professional development, social and mental health support, assistance navigating VA benefits, paid learning opportunities and job placement.
Vietnam Veterans or eligible survivors of a Veteran with a presumptive disease linked to exposure to Agent Orange may be eligible for VA disability compensation. You can file a claim or appeal a decided claim on your own or with help from an accredited attorney, claims agent or Veterans Service Officer (VSO).
The following groups have shopping privileges at commissaries: Veterans with a service-connected disability according to VA; Veterans who are Purple Heart recipients; Veterans who are former prisoners of war; and people assessed, approved and designated as the primary family caregivers of eligible Veterans under VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
VA benefits can help Veterans and their families buy homes, earn degrees, start careers, stay healthy and more. Join an event for conversation and information.
If you do not receive the #VetResources weekly newsletter, sign up today at www.VA.gov/VetResources. Past newsletters can be found here, and all #VetResources blog posts are online at https://news.va.gov/category/vets-experience/vetresources/.
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA.
VA Home Care Programs
We recently received the following from Care Planning Institute:
Here is the link to the recording of last week's LIVE Webinar on three VA Home Care Aide Programs that pay for home care aides to assist Veterans with bathing, grooming, dressing, meal preparation, laundry, etc. These programs also allow a family member/friend to provide the care and get paid: Click this link to watch the 30 minute webinar: www.careplanninginstitute.org/webinar.
We covered the differences between the three programs.... the pro's and the con's of each. We also discussed the top reasons why Veterans get denied access to these programs and how our organization can help with that.
We assist Veterans in all 50 states with getting through the pitfalls/red tape and getting access to these home care programs - with no cost or obligation. There is no cost or obligation for this service as we are a Home Care Provider across 22 states and make revenue from providing home care services. It's easy to send referrals to our VA Case Management Team: www.careplanninginstitute.org/homecare We will reach out within one business day and discuss their situation to see which of the 3 programs they could qualify for.
Have a great long weekend!
Mark Dunning, CSCM, BSPH, MPA
Care Planning Institute
VP, Strategic Partner Solutions
7545 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 200
Irvine, CA. 92618.
Direct Phone: (949) 608-0042
Fax: (800) 466-6001
U.S. Military On The Move
Tom Cunningham, from Baird & Warner, has informed us that Baird & Warner has introduced the Military On The Move program. The program provides a substantial rebate for veterans and immediate family members of veterans when purchasing a home through a Baird & Warner broker or agent. Incentives as high as $500 for every $100,000 of the sale or buy price are available. For more information contact Tom Cunningham at 847-809-9700 or your local Baird Warner representative.
For a list of companies offering discounts and resources for veterans and active duty personnel go to VAantage Point. There is also another organization that offers many discounts and specials for veterans through a very reasonable monthly/annual subscription--Veterans Advantage. Check them out and see if they don't have something for you.
Veterans may register at the website ID.me. The website allows you to be authenticated as a veteran for access to a number of government websites and retailers offering substantial discounts to veterans. Veterans Affairs uses this site to safely authenticate individuals applying for and accessing veteran benefits. If your not yet registered on ID.me, you should be.
Cook County Illinois Property Tax Benefits for Veterans
The Illinois Cook County Assessor's Office has recently published information for veterans explaining how they may be eligible for a reduction in their property taxes. For more information go to Cook County Assessor's Office Veterans With Disabilities Exemption. Veterans in other counties may also benefit. Check your county assessor's website or office.
Veteran Burial Benefits
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has published Planning Your Legacy. A kit detailing survivor and burial benefits for veterans. The kit provides a source for pre-need planning information and record storage for veterans and their families. This a valuable source for any veteran and their family to use when discussing internment or inurnment in a national or private cemetery.