Veterans have access to many benefits due to their service in the military, but sometimes gaining access to their benefits isn’t a simple process. Vets in the Chicago area can contact several different resources locally that can help discover healthcare benefits (including programs for mental health and substance abuse), services to search for jobs, and programs for housing.
Not all veterans are aware that VA healthcare benefits are available to them. According to the VA, veterans who served active duty and have a discharge, Reservist, and National Guard vets who served their federally ordered period are likely eligible for enrollment in VA healthcare. Dishonorable discharges aren’t eligible to participate in the program. Applications for enrollment are sorted via priority group and veterans will be placed in the highest group they’re eligible for.
The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago provides vets with a variety of care services including geriatric and home-based care, women’s health programs, hospice care, and services that support family caregivers of veterans. The mental health services provided at the JBVAMC include psychiatry, substance-abuse programs, and treatment for confused thinking and memory issues.
The City of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and the Chicago Regional Benefits Office offer a number of resources for vets and their families to assist with housing, including programs to prevent homelessness and assist with obtaining home loans and long-term care. Programs include:
Information on the VA Home Loan program, eligibility criteria, and instructions on how to apply.
Information on the Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative (EVHI) and involved non-profit organizations.
Information on housing grants that can be used to make a veteran’s home accessible.
Details on veteran nursing homes and admission criteria throughout the state.
The city can also assist with emergency help for veterans or their family members are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Spouses and widows of vets are also entitled to benefits and can request help through the City of Chicago.
Chicago Veterans is a local volunteer-driven organization that works to raise money and support vets in the community. Vets can get involved through volunteering, or request legal, education, and disability assistance from the organization. They also offer a robust job-search site and a place for employers to post openings for skilled military vets.
Other local groups that can assist you with access benefits for veterans are the Chicago Veterans Resource Center and the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs. The agencies have staff to help with healthcare applications, housing assistance, education, and job placement for vets.
At the Illinois Department of Employment Security, veterans searching for a job get top priority. They have 40 offices state-wide with staff to help with your search.
For more information on the Aid & Attendance Benefit and to learn how it can help pay for assisted living, please visit VeteranAid.org.
Find assisted living in Chicago near you.