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Featured Articles

  1. Article number 1 - Illinois Joining Forces
  2. Article number 2 - Stand Up and Be Counted
  3. Article number 3 - Illinois Veterans Business Program
  4. Article number 4 - Medical Corpsman to Practical Nurse Program
  •  Illinois Joining Forces

    Illinois Joining Forces

    Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) is a joint Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Department of Military Affairs (DMA) effort designed to better serve veterans, service members, and their families throughout the state. IJF will bring together, under a common umbrella, a field force of public, non-profit, and volunteer organizations in order to continually foster increased awareness of available resources and better partnership and collaboration between participating organizations. Illinois Joining Forces will establish a state-wide public and private organizational network that will identify, collaborate, and marshal available resources and services in order to create efficient access and delivery of these programs to the State’s military and veteran communities.



    Stand Up and Be Counted

    The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is here to help you navigate the many federal, state, and local resources and benefits available to veterans. Whether you have a specific question or would simply like us to help identify programs and benefits for which you may be eligible, our Veteran Service Officers are standing by to help.

    By Standing Up to Be Counted, you will also be assisting your fellow veterans by helping IDVA and the entire veteran advocacy community to gain a better understanding of who and where Illinois' veterans are. This will help us plan for future services, lobby for further federal VA funding and facilities, and generally serve Illinois' veterans better.


    Illinois Veterans Business Program

    Through IVBP, state agencies and universities are encouraged to spend at least 3% of their procurement budgets with certified veteran-owned businesses. That equates to over $300 million that’s specifically targeted to veteran-owned firms every year. State contracting covers everything from construction and building repairs, to building maintenance, office supplies, upkeep for state parks, and a variety of other services. Eligible businesses include companies with annual gross sales under $75 million that are 51% owned by one or more qualified veteran(s) or service-disabled veteran(s) living in Illinois. If that’s you, get certified by submitting an application at the IVBP homepage. And if your business is already certified by the VA or Cook County, there’s an expedited process. For questions, please contact Central Management Services, at (312) 814-4190 or email at

    Medical Corpsman to Practical Nurse Program

    The demand for nurses is on the rise – experts note that there will be thousands of job openings between now and 2020 – and veterans with relevant experience are extremely well-suited for these well-paying careers. That’s why the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs teamed up with several colleges to launch a Military Corpsman to Practical Nurse Bridge Program that gives credit for prior learning and offers eligible veterans an accelerated, more affordable way to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Learn more at our State Licenses webpage.

Welcome to the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, a state agency dedicated to empowering veterans, as well as their dependents and survivors, to thrive.  We do this by helping veterans navigate the complex veteran support system and assisting them in obtaining benefits; by providing long term health care for eligible veterans at our four Veterans’ Homes; and by working with other government agencies and non-profits to help veterans address education, mental health, housing, employment, and other challenges.



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Donate to Veterans Cash

​Now, Illinois citizens can contribute to Veterans Cash Grants year-round, not just when the Vets Cash lottery ticket is sold in stores each November! We have developed a site to facilitate contributions from Illinois citizens directly to the Illinois Veterans Assistance Fund (VAF), the same fund to which proceeds of the Illinois “Veterans Cash” lottery game are deposited. All monies contributed via this VAF link will be granted by the Veterans Cash Grant Committee to help Illinois veterans in the following areas of need: post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness, long-term care, disability benefits, health insurance costs, and employment assistance. Grants are awarded to qualifying public and non-profit organizations serving veterans directly in these areas. We hope you will find this service convenient and easy to use. Thank you for your contribution to empower our veterans to thrive back here in Illinois as they did in uniform!