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Illinois State Benefits

Children of Veterans Scholarship

Each county in the state shall be entitled, annually, to one honorary scholarship 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 for a term of at least four (4) consecutive years. Details may be obtained from the University's Financial Aid Office. 


State Approving Agency - GI Bill

The State Approving Agency (SAA) approves college and non-college degree programs, vocational flight training, apprenticeships and other on-the-job training so that federal educational assistance benefits may be paid to veterans and other eligible persons under the several programs administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.











The types of approved training establishments include the following: 

Colleges and Universities

  • Vocational Schools
  • Business Schools
  • Professional Schools
  • Vocational Flight Schools
  • High Schools
  • Apprenticeships
  • On-the-Job Training Programs
  • Licensing and Certification Tests

Tax Relief

More Illinois veterans and persons with disabilities will be eligible for tax relief as a result of legislation recently enacted.  Public Act 98-1145 and Public Act 99-0375 expand the existing property tax homestead exemptions and mobile home exemptions, helping more Illinois veterans with disabilities and their families.


Veterans and their spouses who qualified for the Specially Adapted Housing Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities (35 ILCS 200/15-165) for the 2014 tax year will receive additional property tax relief on their 2015 property tax bills. The Specially Adapted Housing Exemption benefit was increased, providing a reduction in the assessed value for specially adapted housing of up to $100,000 (previously $70,000).  Those veterans and their families who qualify for the specially adapted housing benefit on their mobile home will continue to be fully exempt from the full amount of the Mobile Homes Local Services Tax Act. 


The benefits for this exemption will increase as follows:

  • Veterans or surviving spouses of veterans with at least 30% service-connected disability, but less than 50%, will receive a $2,500 annual exemption.
  • Veterans or surviving spouses of veterans with a service-connected disability of 50%, but less than 70%, will receive a $5,000 annual exemption.












World War II Bonus:
A bonus payment of $10 per month for those serving domestically and a $15 payment per month for service on foreign soil is payable to veterans that were residents of Illinois at the time of entering service, who have served at least 60 days on active duty between the dates of September 16, 1940 and September 3, 1945, and who received an honorable discharge.


Survivors of veterans are entitled to receive a one-time benefit of $1,000 if the veteran died as a result of service-related reasons during the specified time period.


For veterans serving during the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf conflicts, a one-time cash bonus in the amount of $100 is payable to service members who served during any of the following time periods:

  • Korea – June 27, 1950 – July 27, 1953
  • Vietnam – January 1, 1961 – March 28, 1973
  • Vietnam Frequent Wind – April 29 – April 30, 1975
  • Persian Gulf – August 2, 1990 – November 30, 1995


Veterans who are interested in claiming the bonus payments must have been a resident of Illinois for 12 months immediately prior to entering the service, having received an Honorable discharge, and must have also received one or more of the following medals:

  • Korean Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Era
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal


Individuals that are currently serving on active duty and who also served in the Persian Gulf are eligible to apply for the bonus before being discharged from the military.


Survivors Compensation. Survivors of military members killed in battle or by terrorist activities while performing military duties are entitled to a payment of $1,000 if veteran’s death occurred in the periods specified above. Residency of at least 1 year in Illinois prior to entering military service is required.


Interested applicants can download an application at the Illinois State website or contact:












Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs
PO Box 19432
Springfield, IL 62794  


Applications should be completed in its entirety and mailed to the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs along with a photocopy of the applicant’s separation or discharge documents (DD Form 214).


State of Illinois Veteran Handbook     

Download free State of Illinois Veteran Handbook