Attorney general provides veterans benefit guide

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued an updated guide of benefits for Illinois veterans and their families in recognition of Veterans Day.

Madigan’s Benefits for Illinois Veterans guide was created by her Military and Veterans’ Rights Bureau to provide veterans and their families with information about federal and state veteran benefit laws. The updated version is available at Madigan’s website.

“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,” Madigan said. “I encourage Illinois veterans and their families to review my updated guide to learn about programs and services available to them.”

The updated 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 Department of Veterans Affairs 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 handles claims of service-related exposure to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., as well as VA health care available to Camp Lejeune veterans and 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.

Madigan’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau provides assistance in mediating landlord-tenant disputes for service members facing permanent change of station orders that conflict with 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 and reserve training.

The bureau advocates for service members and veterans and investigates and pursues cases of fraud against members of the armed services. Military service members, veterans and their families can contact Madigan’s Military and Veterans Rights Hotline for help at (800) 382-3000 or (800) 964-3013 (TTY) or through Madigan’s website.