Veterans Service Offices Closed Next Week

SPRINGFIELD, IL – All of the State’s Veterans Service Offices will be closed for annual training, as the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veteran Service Officers (VSO) will be attending mandatory annual training at the Chateau Conference Center & Hotel, Bloomington, from Tuesday, April 14 through Friday, April 17, 2015.

The IDVA’s Veterans’ Service Offices are part of a statewide network that assists Illinois veterans in navigating those benefits, resources, and programs available to them. Offices are staffed by professionals – men and women who are all veterans themselves – who provide accurate, up-to-date information, answer questions, and assist with preparing and filing of claims for federal, state and local benefits completely free of charge.

Assistance provided by VSOs includes:

• Compensation Benefits and Document Assistance – Combat and service-related bonus payments and compensation, DD214 certificates.

• Survivor and Burial Benefits – Graves registration, grave markers.

• Educational Benefits – G.I. Bill, Troops to Teachers, Scholarships.

• Employment Benefits – Employment preference, Jobs for Vets program.

• Real Estate and Permits – Homestead and Disabled Veterans Standard Homestead exemptions, Adapted Housing exemptions, camping and admissions fees, hunting and fishing licenses.

• Referral Assistance – Facilitating access to federal VA health care and counseling services.

• Illinois Veterans’ Homes – Assist in applying for admission to one of four IDVA-managed homes throughout Illinois.

Veterans wishing to contact a VSO during this training period are asked to use the “Stand Up and Be Counted” (SUBC) online portal at or to call 1-800-437-9824. Veterans enrolling in SUBC will be assisting the IDVA and their fellow veterans by helping the entire veteran advocacy community to gain a better understanding of the location and number of Illinois’ veterans. This will in planning future services, seeking additional federal VA funding and facilities, and generally help to serve Illinois’ veterans better.

Illinois’ long and proud history of service to veterans began in 1886 with the establishment of the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home for Civil War Veterans. Created through legislation enacted in 1945, the Illinois Veterans’ Commission was responsible for state services to veterans until 1976, when it was succeeded by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). The IDVA, created by Public Act 79-376, is charged with responsibility for the welfare and needs of Illinois veterans, their dependents and survivors. IDVA maintains administrative offices in Springfield and Chicago, four veterans’ homes, and more than 71 full and part-time field offices servicing the 102 counties of the state.