According to this at the Peoria NBC affiliate, our state has been insufficient in providing benefits to its veterans.
A study by the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs shows the state's veterans are missing out on $400-million in federal disability benefits a year.
The Governor announced the hiring of 25 new service officers to help the state's one-million veterans apply and receive more benefits.
Hmm. Solve the problem by hiring more people to sit at desks. I suppose that might work, although I'm thinking that just pushing them to pay fair claims might help more. Case in point: a local disabled vet has been applying for financial aid to pay for the nurse she needs to visit her in-home, for the past 2 years and change. She has also required weekly household help, and has paid for that from her own pocket. Her doctor has said that, due to the nature of her injuries, the VA should have been paying for both since day one. Congressman Lane Evans, to whom she has written repeatedly, has given no help. She's waiting to hear back from the POTUS. I don't think she's holding her breath.
The Governor hopes to use venues like the "Supermarket of Veterans' Benefits" fair in Chicago as places to get the word out.
And what about downstate? Those who are out in the boonies? He's already cut a number of public aid offices down this way -- and the poor around here can't use public transportation to go to the next-nearest office, since the next-nearest office is 50 miles away, in the next county.
How about putting information in the many community libraries and/or town halls, and providing free access (e.g. provide state funding for dedicated line) on the internet to vets, then putting all the info on a couple of well-designed websites? And I mean well-designed, readable, and internet-rookie-friendly. It's possible that the state could find volunteers from VFW, American Legion, etc, to serve as assistants at localities, as well. Pay to train them, then let them train others...