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Veterans' Benefits and Issues: Resources for Veterans

The Veterans' Benefits and Issues Libguide provides an overview of Veterans' Benefits research, Veterans' issues, and information on Veterans' outreach.

Louis L. Biro Law Library

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The Resources for Veterans page identifies programs and resources that help veterans.  These resources are holistic, looking at furthering a veteran's or servicemember's health, employment prospects, education, and overall quality of life.  Veterans' advocates can also become knowledgeable about the various veterans' programs and resources to better serve veteran clients.  Veterans may suffer during tough economic times.  Veterans may be underemployed or unemployed.   Veterans may also be homeless.  Veterans' advocates may direct clients to the Veterans' Benefits and Issues Libguide or to any of the resources identified below.

Health Related Resources

Eligible Illinois veterans can take advantage of federal and state healthcare programs. 


Federal Benefits

State Benefits

Illinois provides some healthcare benefits and services to Illinois Veterans.  

  • Illinois Veterans Nursing Homes. Illinois Veterans homes were established to take care of certain eligible veterans who need long-term care.  Staying at home may require monthly payments, but the costs is much less than private nursing homes.  Some Illinois Veterans homes also permit a spouse to live with their veteran spouse.  
  • Illinois Healthcare for Veterans Program.  Illinois established an affordable healthcare insurance for veterans with low incomes.  For more informaiton check out the website or call 1-877-4VETSRX.

PTSD and Mental Health Resources

The programs provide resources or aid to Veterans and Military Servicmembers dealing with PTSD and other mental health issues:

  • Crisis Line.  The VA, the Department of Public Health, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline sponsor the Crisis Line, linking up veterans and servicemembers with counselors.  Veterans suffering from PTSD or other emotional issues can consult the Veterans Crisis Line page.  Active Duty servicemembers can consult the Military Crisis Line page.  Veterans and servicemembers suffering from an emotional or social crisis may also call the Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.
  • National Center for PTSD Public Page .  The VA provides descriptions of common symptoms and behaviors associated with PTSD.  The VA provides a concise description of other common problems association with tramautic events or prolonged combat deployments (e.g., anxiety, anger, etc.).
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline .  Many Post 9/11 veterans have deployed multiple times to a combat zone.  With this high operation tempo, suicide rates have increased in the service and amongst returning combat veterans. The Nationa Suicide Prevention Hotline is a resource for anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts.  A crisis center worker can be reached through the site's chat function or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • National Veterans Foundation's Lifeline for Vets. The National Veterans Foundation ("NVF") has been running call centers, staffed by trained veterans, to reach out to veterans suffering from pyschological issues and trauma.  Veterans with issues may prefer to call Lifeline for Vets over other resources becaue they will talk to another veteran.  The Lifeline for Vets number is (888) 777-4443.  
  • VA's PTSD Program Locator.  Veterans experiencing PTSD from their service or those enrolled in VA health care can seek treatment through the VA.  Check out the VA's PTSD Proram Locator for the closest program.  

Organizations for Disabled Veterans

There are NGOs that provide additional resources and programs for disabled veterans.  These programs range from job training, therapy, to social programs.  Organizations include:

  • Wounded Warrior Project.  The Wounded Warrior Project provides a diverse range of programs to wounded veterans, who served on or after 9/11, and their families.  Sponsored events range from baseball games, college basketball tournaments, major concerts (e.g., Pink Floyd's the Wall), sporting excursions, and outdoor programs.   WWP also provides care packages to wounded warriors, provides education programs, rehabilitative programs, and mentorship programs. 
  • Paralyzed Veterans of American. The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) focuses on ensuring veterans with spinal cord injuries or diseases receive the necessary medical care.  The group maintains a doctor and nurse network that helps veterans.  The group's national service officers also assist with veterans' claims.

Employment and Career Resources

There are increasing number of veterans employments resources and programs, sponsored by state/federal government, corporations and NGOS.  This effort is designed to help bridge the gap of unemployment between veterans and non-veterans.  The Illinois Department of Employment Services' Monthly Employment Situation for Veterans report (March 2013) noted that in 2011, post 9/11 veterans suffered from higher unemployment rates than the national average.  Veterans aged 18-24 suffered from significantly hirer rates than any other demographic, with a 30.2% unemployment rate.  The following resources and programs are designed to help veterans obtain employment:


Federal Programs

  • Veterans Preference in Hiring: The federal government promtoes the hiring of veterans.  The following resources help veterans determine eligibility for veterans preference, the type of preference (e.g.,5 point veterans preference, 10 point veterans preference with service-connected), and federal job resources:
    •  Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor.  This Department of Labor questionaire walks veterans through a series of questions to determine eligibility for veterans preference.  While this screening tool is useful, it does not ask veterans if they have a 30% or more service-connected disability, making them eligible for non-competive status for select positions.  Also, a veterans' spouse may be able to qualify for a veterans preference hiring.  For a full description of veterans preference classification see the Office of Personnel Management's Veterans' Preference page.    
    • Feds Hire Vets.  The Office of Personnel Managment's Feds Hire Vets website is a great resource for veterans and military servicemembers interested in obtaining federal jobs.   The website provides an overview of the federal hiring process, veterans' preference classification, and answers commonly asked questions.
  • Obtaining copies of a Veterans DD-214.  The National Archives page contains instructions and links to obtain DD-214. Veterans can use this site to obtain their DD-214s, which are needed for many federal veteran programs and benefits.  

IL State Programs

  • Illinois Department of Employment Services' Veterans Services Program.  The Illinois Department of Employment Services' provides specialized employment services for veterans.  State unemployment offices are staffed with a counselor dedicated to veteran job seekers.  This site also has links to state run job search engines,, and to state job postings, Work4Illinois
    •   Note: Illinois also supports veterans' preference hiring.  Some of these jobs require a notarized copy of the veterans DD-214.  To get a notarized copy, a veteran can submit his or her DD-214 to a IL county recorder of deeds.  This act helps preserve a record of the veterans military service.  While the Federal government maintains military service records, there has been past instances of fire that destroyed government copies.  Additionally, the county recorder will provide the veteran free certify copies of his or her DD-214.  

NGO sponspored programs

  • VETNET.  The VETNET site is a project sponsored by Hire Heroes USA, Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and the US Chamber of Commerce.  This site can help veterans learn job search strategies, provides job document examples (e.g., resumes), job interview advice, and also search for jobs with veteran friendly employers.  The site also provides a considerable library of resources designed to help veterans start and run businesses.  

Education Resources

Illinois veterans can take advantage of Federal and State Education Benefits.  This section provides links to websites that help veterans and family members apply for education benefits.


VA Educational Programs.  The VA'S GI Bill Education page is a portal to the various VA benefits available.  Eligible veterans seeking education programs can access information on the GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Reserve Eductional Assistance Program (VEAP), Educational Assistance Test Program, National Call to Service Pgoram, And Veterans Retraining Assistance Program.  The VA's site provides information to veterans seeking educational benefits.  Veterans may qualify for more than one education program; for example, a severely disabled veteran may qualify for VEAP, but also is eligible for the Post 9/11 GI bill.  Veterans interested in using these programs can contact a the VA's Education Hotline at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

Illinois State

Illinois Veterans Grant.  The Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG) established a program that veterans can use to pursue higher education at a Illinois state school.  This grant provides a four year tuition waivver for  any level of higher education; veterans have used this program to pay for undergraduate degrees, law degrees, and even medical school.  See the page for eligibility requirements and further details.

The Children of Veterans Tuition Waiver. The University of Illinois awards a limited number of tuition waivers to children of Illinois veterans who served in a recognized conflict period (i.e., World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Southwest Asia Conflict, Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation Iraqi Freedom).  See the site for program and application requirements.  

Homeless Resources

VA Homeless Program.  The VA also provides programs and resources for helping homeless veterans.  The VA has prioritized ending veterans homelessness.  For more information or help call 1-877-424-3838.