Veteran's Information and Assistance

Veterans who generally have a higher income and no service-connected disabilities – referred to as Priority Groups 7 and 8 veterans – will now pay an additional $1 for each 30-day supply of outpatient medication. Taking effect - July1, the increase to $9 from $8. This change does not impact Veterans in Priority groups 2 through 6 who will continue to pay $8 for each 30-day supply of medications for their non-service connected conditions unless otherwise exempted. Veterans who have difficulty paying copayments for outpatient medications should discuss the matter with their local VA enrollment coordinator.

Military veterans interested in becoming owner-operator truck drivers, now can achieve that goal quicker and less expensively due to an agreement between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Schneider National, Inc.
Veterans will have the opportunity to use their GI benefits to cover the cost of commercial driver’s license training at Schneider Driver Training Academies located In Green Bay, Wis. ; Harrisburg, Pa.; Charlotte, N.C.; Fontana, Calif.; and Dallas, Texas.
Veterans interested in learning more about Schneider’s Owner-Operator Program should call 1-800-44-pride or visit:

VA Grant

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has awarded a grant worth $295,100 for improvements at the State-run Illinois Manteno Veterans Home. The grant will cover 65 percent of the total cost of the project. Overall cost for a nurse-call system replacement at the home in Manteno is expected to be $454,000. The Manteno Veterans Home is located on a 122-acre campus, comprised of four major nursing care units and two ancillary service and support buildings. With a total capacity of 352 beds, the Manteno home offers a broad and diverse range of programs and services to eligible veterans
For more information on the Illinois Manteno Veterans Home, or to make a contribution, visit the- Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs- website or call (815) 468-6581.

Certain Payments to Disabled Vets Ruled Tax-Free

Payments under VA’s Compensated Work Therapy program are no longer taxable, and disabled veterans who paid tax on these benefits in the past three years can now claim refunds.
Recipients of CWT payments will no longer receive form 1099 from the VA. Disabled veterans who paid taxes on these benefits in tax years 2004, 2005 or 2006 can claim refunds by filling amended returns using IRS form 1040X.
In January, the IRS agreed with a U.S. Tax Court that CWT payments are tax-free veteran’s benefits. In fiscal year 2007, more than 19,000 veterans received CWT, which provides assistance to veterans unable to work or support themselves. Under the program, VA contracts with private industry and the public sector for work by veterans, who learn new job skills.

Illinois Veterans Mental Health Services

All Illinois National Guard troops returning from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan will now be screened for traumatic brain injury and get access to post-traumatic stress disorder assistance under a new, first-of-its-kind State program. The program includes a provision for voluntary screening for all other Illinois veterans, and a 24-hour toll free psychological help line for veterans suffering from PTSD.

To find more information and resources for PTSD, visit


How to help our Troops . . .

Vet Assistance

The Veteran’s Legal Assistance Program (VLAP) through Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Law handles disability claim cases for veterans throughout Illinois. In its first seven months, the program has grown to handle more than 50 cases and allows 25 law students the opportunity to serve as case managers.
For more information, contact John F. Lynn, Director, VLAP, SIU School of Law,      MC 6804.
1150 Douglas Drive, Carbondale, IL. 62901, telephone (618) 536-8461.