CHICAGO – For Illinois Veterans in Chicago’s Western Suburbs, getting to Veterans’ services just got easier. Effective today Angel Herrera, the IDVA VSO assigned to the Cook County # 7 VSO office, opened his new office in the Oak Park Veterans Center, 1515 S Harlem Ave Unit 1B, Forest Park IL 60130-2655. The office’s new phone is 708-366-5020; fax 708-366-5059.
The VSO office will be open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily and is co-located within the U.S. Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs Oak Park Veterans Center, which was opened in February 2013. By co-locating within the Oak Park Veterans Center, the IDVA will be able to provide better coordinated services while realizing savings on rent and other operational expenses. The IDVA’s North Riverside office is closed.
Herrera, the VSO for the Cook County #7 office, serves as subject matter expert on federal, state and local benefits and programs available for the area’s veteran community. He is fully-qualified to assist all veterans with a wide range of service and benefit related issues and questions.
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.