CHICAGO – For Illinois Veterans in and near Carlinville in Macoupin County, the trip to visit the Veteran Service Officers got a bit easier on March 13, 2013 with the relocation of the Litchfield VSO office to Carlinville.
The Litchfield VSO office in Montgomery County relocated on Tuesday, March 11, 2013 due to changes in state office availability in Litchfield. The new Carlinville VSO office opened for business on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 201 McCasland Avenue, Suite #4, Carlinville, IL 62626 and is co-located with other State agencies.
Kellie Cravens, the Veteran Service Officer (VSO) for the Carlinville office, serves as subject matter experts on federal, state and local benefits and programs available for the state’s veteran community. The office will be open from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Veterans wishing to contact a VSO between office days may use the “Stand Up and Be Counted” online tool at www.veterans.illinois.gov. Veterans who do so will be assisting their fellow veterans by helping IDVA and 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.
The Veterans’ Service Office is part of a statewide network that assists Illinois veterans in navigating a network of resources and benefits available to them. Offices are staffed by professionals 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 state-managed homes throughout Illinois.
For more information, please visit www.veterans.illinois.gov or call 1-800-437-9824.