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December 22, 2021

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ISSUES UPDATED VETERANS BENEFITS GUIDE

Guide Highlights Benefits Provided To Veterans And Their Families Under State, Federal Laws

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today 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 mvrb@ilag.govor by calling Raoul's Military and Veterans Rights Helpline at 1-800-382-3000 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY).

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