Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—November 10, 2017
By: Rosemary Piser
In recognition of Veterans Day, Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued an updated guide of benefits for Illinois veterans and their families. The “Benefits for Illinois Veterans” guide was created by the Military and Veterans’ Rights Bureau. The updated guide is available online at Madigan’s website.
Attorney General Madigan said when rolling out the new guide, “The people who served in the military have, along with their families, made tremendous sacrifices on behalf of our country, and they are entitled to benefits for their service. I encourage Illinois veterans and their families to review my updated guide to learn about programs and services available to them.”
The updated “Benefits for Illinois Veterans” guide provides new information including:
- National Guard and Federal Reserves: Details about new procedures for members of the National Guard or one of the federal reserves to qualify for VA benefits;
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Additional material about disability compensation for service-connected PTSD;
- Pre-Needs Determinations for Burial Benefits: Additional information explaining how veterans may be eligible for burial in a VA cemetery;
- Blue Water Veterans: New information related to potential Agent Orange exposure to veterans who served on open ships off the shore of Vietnam during the Vietnam War;
- Camp Lejeune and Contaminated Water: Expanded information detailing changes to the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles claims of service-related exposure to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, as well as VA healthcare available to Camp Lejeune veterans and Camp Lejeune family members;
- Ships List: A new “Ships List” has been added to the Appendix, which covers herbicide exposure (for example, Agent Orange) to Navy and Coast Guard ship based personnel; and
- VSO Directories: Updated contact information for veterans service officers working in Illinois.
The Military and Veterans Rights Bureau provides assistance in various matters including mediating landlord-tenant disputes for service members facing Permanent Change of Station orders that conflict with their lease agreements; mediating financial transaction disputes, such as fraudulent credit report entries or erroneous debts; safeguarding employment and accommodations for veterans with traumatic stress; and obtaining compensation owed to veterans or service members on military leave from their primary employer for annual guard/reserve training.
In addition, the Military and Veterans’ Rights Bureau advocates for service members and veterans and investigates and pursues cases of fraud against members of the Armed Forces. To get help from the Military and Veterans Rights Bureau, call the Hotline at 1-800-382-3000 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY) or make a request through Attorney General Madigan’s website.