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Transitioning Veterans

Dear fellow Illinois Veteran:

On behalf of Governor JB Pritzker, myself, and the entire State of Illinois, we are honored you have chosen Illinois, a veteran-friendly state with over 577,000 veterans, as your home. If you are not already connected with the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs (IDVA), we would like to introduce you to the resources we have available to help you obtain your earned benefits, services, and compensation. With over 1,200 employees across the state, we are poised to work side-by-side with you to ensure you thrive in Illinois. Within this letter and the enclosed materials, you will discover many opportunities and services established for you in Illinois. The IDVA Veteran Service Officers (VSO) located across the state are equipped with information on a variety of programs and can help you understand how to access the benefits you have earned. Additionally, staff are specifically trained and licensed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) to assist you with disability compensation applications. You can learn more about your benefits HERE.

I cannot overstate the importance of connecting to an Illinois VSO as early as possible. Whether they are part of IDVA, the County Veterans Assistance Commission, or Veterans Service Organization, these officers are here to support you. Another partner of IDVA is the incredible team at Illinois Joining Forces (IJF), developed to connect service members, veterans, and their families to services and resources in their local communities.

I’m also pleased to also share that Illinois’ companies are looking for veterans to fill their ranks. The opportunities are too numerous to list in this letter, but you can start with any of your favorite hiring sites online or the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) to learn more. Additionally, many counties have specific offices dedicated to helping veterans find gainful employment.

Veterans also have the option to live in one of the five veterans’ homes and one transitional housing center in Illinois. These homes are in Anna, Chicago, LaSalle, Manteno, and Quincy, and are specifically designed for veterans in need of domiciliary, skilled nursing care, or assistance with homelessness.

Please click on the link below for information on the Veterans Crisis Line. If you need someone on your side, we encourage you to call the Veterans Crisis Line right away. We must take care of one another other and Veteran suicides will only reduce when we leave no one behind.

I hope you soon discover that at IDVA, we “Thank you for your service” through our daily actions and are dedicated to ensuring veterans thrive in Illinois.

Welcome Home my friend; I look forward to meeting you soon.

Terry Prince, U.S. Navy Veteran and IDVA Director

Helpful Links to Assist in Your Transformation