100% State Benefits – Illinois
Note: Information in this section was gathered from: https://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/illinois-state-veterans-benefits.html
Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Website for more detailed information: https://www2.illinois.gov/veterans/pages/default.aspx
Illinois Veteran Housing Benefits
For more information, visit: https://www.nasvh.org/state-homes/statedir.cfm
Your eligibility for State Veterans Homes is based on clinical need and setting availability.
Each State establishes eligibility and admission criteria for its homes.
Talk with a VA social worker about the eligibility requirements of State Veterans Homes near you and to figure out a plan for paying for State Veterans Home care services.
Veterans Homes Locations:
- ILLINOIS VETERANS HOME – MANTENO
- ILLINOIS VETERANS HOME – QUINCY
- ILLINOIS VETERANS’ HOME – ANNA
- ILLINOIS VETERANS’ HOME – LA SALLE
The homes are open to Illinois veterans with military service of one (1) day or more, Veterans who served during a period of war are given precedence in admission, though peacetime veterans, spouses, surviving spouses, and Gold Star parents are also eligible. Monthly costs are based on income.
For more information visit: https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/state.asp?State=IL
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active-duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. A Veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial.
For more information visit our eligibility web page: https://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/eligible.asp”https://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/eligible.asp
National Veterans’ Cemeteries: Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery; Alton National Cemetery; Camp Butler National Cemetery; Danville National Cemetery; Mound City National Cemetery; Rock Island National Cemetery
State Cemetery: Sunset Cemetery in Quincy, IL is a State Veteran’s Cemetery with limited availability. Contact them directly for eligibility requirements.
Many states have established state veterans cemeteries. Eligibility is like Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries but may include residency requirements. Even though they may have been established or improved with Government funds through VA’s Veterans Cemetery Grants Program, state veterans cemeteries are run solely by the states.
Illinois Veteran Financial Benefits
Active duty, national guard, reserve, retired pay and SBP (Survivors Benefit Plan) payments are tax-free.
Illinois offers many different bonus programs for veterans with varying eligibility.
More information on each is available at the following website: https://www2.illinois.gov/veterans/benefits/Pages/compensation-benefits.aspx
To apply for any of the following bonuses, applications can be downloaded, completed and mailed to:
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs
P.O. Box 19432
833 South Spring Street
Springfield, IL 62794-9432
Individuals currently on active duty may apply for the Persian Gulf and or Global War on Terrorism Bonus prior to discharge by also including the Armed Forces Certificate.
1. World War II Bonus Payment
A bonus of $10 per month for domestic service and $15 per month for foreign service is payable to a veteran who was a resident of Illinois at time of entering service, served at least 60 days on active duty between September 16, 1940, and September 3, 1945, and received an honorable discharge. Survivors are entitled to a benefit of $1,000 if the veteran’s death was service-connected and within the period specified.
2. Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Global War on Terrorism (OIF, OEF) Bonus
A $100 bonus is payable for service during one of the following periods:
- Korea – June 27, 1950 – July 27, 1953
- Vietnam – Jan. 1, 1961 – March 28, 1973
- Vietnam Frequent Wind – April 29, 30, 1975
- Persian Gulf – Aug. 2, 1990 – Nov. 30, 1995
- Global War on Terrorism – Sep. 11, 2001 – TBD
You must also be in receipt of one of the following medals: Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Era Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or the Afghanistan Campaign Service Medal; and have been a resident of Illinois for 12 months immediately prior to entering service. Some service periods require an Honorable Discharge and foreign service requirements.
3. Vietnam Veteran Survivors Compensation
Survivors are entitled to a payment of $1,000 if veteran’s death is service-connected or is the direct result of service-connected disabilities incurred in the period specified. A separate application is required.
4. POW Compensation
Persons on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or employed by the United States Government on, or after, January 1, 1961, who were residents of Illinois 12 months prior to entry, and who were taken and held prisoner by hostile forces in Southwest Asia, are entitled to $50 for each month held captive.
State Tax Exemptions
Illinois offers several Tax Exemptions to Veterans.
More information on the following Tax benefits are available at the following link: https://www2.illinois.gov/rev/localgovernments/property/Pages/taxrelief.aspx
Consult the local assessor’s office for detailed requirements regarding these exemptions.
Find your local tax assessor at this link: https://www.publicrecords.onlinesearches.com/Assessor-and-Property-Tax-Records.htm
Specially Adapted Housing Tax Exemption
Up to a $100,000 reduction in the property’s value for taxation purposes is available for homes that were purchased or modified with the Specially Adapted Housing Grant for as long as the veteran, spouse, or unmarried surviving spouse live there.
Contact local VSO for more information.
Mobile Home Tax Exemption
Mobile homes purchased with the Specially Adapted Housing Grant are also exempt from county mobile home tax.
Contact your county tax assessor’s office or please contact your local Veteran Service Officer for further information.
Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption
Qualifying veterans receive a one-time $5,000 reduction to their home’s assessed value upon return from active duty in an armed conflict.
Upon return, they can file for this exemption.
To apply for this exemption, please contact or visit your local County Assessor’s Office.
Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption
A reduction in the assessed value of the home of a veteran with a service-connected disability. For veterans with a disability between:
- 30% – 50% the exemption is $2,500
- 50% – 70% disability the exemption is $5,000
- at least 70% are exempt from property taxes on their primary residence.
Note: An un-remarried surviving spouse of a veteran who was disabled and is now deceased can continue to receive this exemption on his or her spouse’s primary residence, or transfer this exemption to another primary residence after the original primary residence of a veteran with a disability is sold, provided this exemption had previously been granted to the veteran with a disability.
Beginning in tax year 2015 (property taxes payable in 2016), an un-remarried surviving spouse of a veteran killed in the line of duty will be eligible for a 100% reduction in the EAV on his/her primary residence, even if the veteran did not previously qualify for or obtain the SHEVD.
You must file an annual application with the county tax assessor to receive this exemption.
Illinois Veteran Employment Benefits
Veterans Employment Preference
Honorably discharged veterans who served during wartime get preference in state job hiring.
Education Requirements for Police & Firefighters
The educational requirements needed to join the Illinois State Police will be waived for veterans who have been honorably discharged with a campaign service medal for Afghanistan or Iraq. The Illinois Conservation Police will waive their educational requirements for honorably discharged veterans who have certain campaign medals. The educational requirement for a firefighter or municipal police officer is waived for veterans discharged honorably after 24 months of active duty or 180 days in combat.
State Licenses & Credentials
Licenses & Credentials testing and fees for EMT, CNA, EMR, and CDL may be waived if you have military experience in that job.
Veteran Entrepreneurship provides a variety of venues to (1) help returning servicemembers and veterans start their own business and (2) assist existing veteran-owned businesses in expanding their operation and accessing procurement opportunities. These include training seminars, educational sessions, and other related events that enable veterans and veteran business owners to gain targeted assistance relating to:
- Procurement opportunities;
- Business certifications;
- Application procedures;
- Writing a business plan;
- Managing business finances;
- Gaining access to capital;
- Marketing and branding; and
- Other key steps in the entrepreneurial process.
Visit to following website for more information:
The Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program pays tuition and certain fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities and community colleges for Illinois Veterans.
An individual must:
- have an honorable discharge; and
- reside in Illinois six months before entering the service; and
- have at least one full year of active duty in the military; and
- return to Illinois within six months of discharge
Applications and additional information are available from the VSO Offices of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, college financial aid offices or the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), 1755 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, IL 60015, telephone: 847-948-8550 or 800-899-ISAC, www.isac.org.
Illinois National Guard Grant
The Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant pays tuition and eligible fees (registration, graduation, general activity, matriculation and term fees) at all Illinois public universities or public community colleges. Recipients who have completed less than 10 years of active guard time may accumulate up to 120 eligibility units. Recipients who have completed more than 10 years of active-duty guard time may accumulate up to 180 eligibility units.
Children of Veterans Scholarship
Visit the following website for more details: https://osfa.illinois.edu/types-of-aid/waivers/children-of-veterans-tuition-waiver/
The application is available at the above site and must be submitted by the assigned deadline date at the beginning of the year.
Each county in the state shall be entitled, annually, to up to 3 tuition waivers at the University of Illinois, for the benefit of children of veterans of WWI, WWII, Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict and any time on or after August 2, 1990 and until those persons in service are no longer eligible for the Southwest Asia Service Medal.
Preference is given to the children of deceased and disabled veterans.
Such children shall be entitled to receive, without charge for tuition, instruction in any or all departments of the University of Illinois for a term of at least four (4) consecutive years. Details may be obtained from the University’s Financial Aid Office.
Academic Credit for Military Training
Visit the following website for more information: www.iTransfer.org/MyCreditsTransfer
Veterans and service members can enter college with earned course credits, useful credits that apply toward meeting degree requirements, simply by documenting their already-completed military training. See how your military coursework, exams, and/or learning experiences count at specific schools using Transferology.
You can also find out what your options are for taking classes at another school to transfer back to your current school by using the “Find a Replacement Course” feature.
Many Illinois colleges have developed transfer credit for military learning experience, including City Colleges of Chicago, College of DuPage, College of Lake County, DePaul University, Kaskaskia College and Southwestern Illinois College.
Illinois Veteran Recreation Benefits
Camping & Admission Fees
Illinois veterans are exempt from admission and camping fees at Illinois state parks.
Documentation is required.
Apply at local Veterans Service Office.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Fishing and hunting licenses are not required for disabled veterans receiving 10% or greater service-connected compensation, or total disability pension benefits. Veterans who served abroad may be eligible for half-price licenses.
Apply at local Veterans Service Office.
Honorably discharged veterans of all ages and their families shall be admitted FREE, when they properly identify themselves, on Veterans’ Day at the fair. Veterans Day includes a day-long program of drum corps, drill teams, and color guard competition. Admission is FREE to people 60 and older on Senior Day.
For dates, please check the Illinois State Fair Homepage: https://www2.illinois.gov/statefair/Pages/default.aspx.