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For Veterans  
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.

Veterans Assistance

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

Phone: 847-485-2772

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 latest 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 or by calling Raoul's Military and Veterans Rights Helpline at 1-800-382-3000 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY).

Healthcare Expanded To All Veterans Exposed to Toxins

Effective March 5, 2024, in one of the largest-ever expansions of Veteran health care, all Veterans exposed to toxins and other hazards during military service—at home or abroad—are now eligible for VA health care. Enroll now at or call 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411), press 2.

Top Veteran Resources

Every week, 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 2023:

1. 2023 Veterans Day retail discounts, free meals and other offers

On Veterans Day 2023, Veterans and their families, caregivers and survivors had access to hundreds of free meals, discounts and other freebies. Click here to see a long list of discounts available year-round.

2. Veterans set to see cost-of-living increase to their benefits

On June 14, 2023, President Biden signed into law the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023. The law directs VA to provide a cost-of-living adjustment for Veterans’ benefits in 2024 equal to the COLA applied to Social Security benefits, as determined by the Social Security Administration.

3. Veterans, Gold Star Families get free lifetime pass to national parks, wildlife refuges, other public lands

The U.S. National Park Service offers a lifetime pass that provides 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.

4. Exploring resort, hotel deals through the Armed Forces Vacation Club for Veterans

For Veterans who have served our nation with dedication and sacrifice, finding opportunities to relax and rejuvenate is essential. The Armed Forces Vacation Club is a valuable resource that offers a chance for Veterans to enjoy well-deserved vacations without breaking the bank.

5. Your VA ID Card is the proof you need for discounts

“How do I prove that I’m a Veteran?” That question is often asked by those who once served in the military. First, you’ll want to apply for VA’s Veteran ID Card (VIC), a digital photo ID you can use to take advantage of the many discounts offered by businesses, including restaurants, hotels, stores and recreational activities, among other perks.

6. 200 remote jobs from Veteran friendly employers

Working from home offers Veterans and their families the flexibility they need to carry out their job responsibilities. This article provides a long list of military friendly companies that are offering more than 200 remote jobs, including big corporate names like Amazon, AT&T, American Express, Enterprise, Hilton and Xerox.

7. Experience live events through Vet Tix with friends and family

Vet Tix is a national nonprofit group that provides free tickets to Veterans and service members for live events, including concerts, sports, performing arts and family-themed events. You can become a VetTixer by creating an account for free at

8. Learn to golf from the pros with PGA HOPE

PGA HOPE—Helping Our Patriots Everywhere—is introducing and teaching golf to Veterans and active-duty military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Free to Veterans and service members, PGA HOPE programs are available in 47 states at more than 340 locations.

9. Find your Veterans Day events

November marks National Veteran and Military Families Month, highlighted by Veterans Day on Nov. 11. This list of Veterans Day and Veterans Month events, organized by state, highlighted hundreds of free events in November 2023 that honored those who served.

10. In tax season, how can Veterans maximize their tax benefits?

Veterans may be eligible for certain tax benefits under the tax code. This article summarizes some of the key federal and state tax benefits for Veterans provided by accountant and tax expert Lisa Greene-Lewis of TurboTax.

If you don’t receive the #VetResources weekly newsletter, sign up today at Past newsletters can be found here, and all #VetResources blog posts are online at

The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA.

Veteran Discounts

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 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, 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.

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