Chicago – Following Governor Pat Quinn’s FY 2014 Budget Speech to the Illinois Assembly today, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) released details on the proposed FY2014 budget for its operation.
“As is clear in his budget, Governor Quinn remains a steadfast advocate for Illinois veterans.” said Erica Borggren, Director, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “The increased funding he proposes for IDVA will provide for increased staffing at our Veterans’ Homes, helping us to meet our veterans’ care needs.”
The proposed IDVA budget provides $6,548,000 funding to hire up to 173 direct care staff for the four Illinois Veteran Homes, which would allow the IDVA to meet the statutory standards of care required by the Illinois Nursing Home Safety Act (SB 326) (Public Act 96-1372), which was signed in into law by Gov. Quinn on July 29, 2010. The Act mandated that by Jan. 1, 2014, all facilities will need to provide 3.8 hours of direct care staffing for every skilled care resident.
If the proposed funding is not realized, the IDVA will likely be forced to dramatically reduce the number of available beds in the four Veterans’ Homes by up to 358 beds.
To find further offsets to increased staffing costs, the IDVA is actively seeking additional funding from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs though per diem fees and additional federal benefits to residents at our four Veterans’ Homes. In a concerted initiative, IDVA Veteran Service Officers have surveyed all current residents and are assisting many in filing claims for additional federal veteran benefits.
Additional details of the IDVA FY 2014 Budget is available at budget.illinois.gov
IDVA information can be found on pages 56-57 of the Agency Fact Sheets;
Increased federal veteran benefits: Illinois veterans received over $33.5 million dollars in federal benefits in fiscal year 2012 through assistance by Appeals Officer Staff adjudicating federal claims.
Enhanced veteran outreach: Launched the Stand Up and Be Counted campaign which provides online access to IDVA Veteran Service Officers and reaching some 4,500 Illinois veterans, as well as publishing a monthly newsletter with a growing number of veterans and veteran service organizations subscribers. IDVA also conducted an online Women Veterans Survey to learn more about this underserved group in the Illinois veteran community.
Increased veteran educational opportunities: Increased number of approved employer programs and educational institutions, thereby providing more opportunities for veterans to use GI Bill benefits and improving school readiness and post-secondary success for veterans.
Provided veterans with additional long-term care: Increased average hours of care provided to an increased average number of residents in our four Illinois Veterans’ Homes.
Helped more homeless veterans: Increased enrollment and completion of the number of homeless veterans through a transition process at the Prince Home. This program helps homeless Illinois veterans successfully transition to self-sufficiency.