For help in choosing or applying for any of these programs, contact the nearest Veteran Service Officer. Our VSO’s are ready and willing to assist in determining your eligibility, discussing available options, and submitting the appropriate application/s.
Resources for Job-Seeking Veterans
Illinois Job Link & Veteran Employment Services
Job-seeking veterans -- whether unemployed, underemployed, or just seeking a change -- should enroll in the Illinois Department of Employment Security's (IDES) new, free jobs site, Illinois Job Link (IJL). IJL is an Internet-based job search tool that features current job openings and includes both statewide and nationwide job banks. By enrolling in IJL, veterans will be able to navigate job opportunities; may qualify for assistance from IDES's veteran employment representatives; and will be included in the main database used to search for qualified veterans as IDES works directly with major employers seeking to hire veterans. For advanced job notifications for veterans, skill certification and training programs, and access to other services, sign up for a "Plus Account" today, it's free! For additional information on setting up an account, FAQ's, and IJL resources, please visit IDES's website.
In addition, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has a statewide network of trained Veteran Employment Representatives, fellow veterans who help eligible veterans find employment. Contact your local Employment Security office for more information.
Illinois' Workforce Development system offers helpful resources and programs for job-seekers, including several specific to veterans.
Through Illinois Work Net, sponsored by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, veterans can access online tools as well as in-person assistance at more than 1,150 partner sites providing services. These sites include comprehensive one-stop centers, one-stop satellite offices, community-based organizations, community colleges, libraries, and more. For more information on these available resources or to locate your nearest Work Net Center, please visit the veteran's page at Illinois Work Net. Here, veterans can utilize a customized Veterans Assistance Employment Guide to update their resume, explore careers and training, prepare for a job search, and apply for jobs. They can also utilize tools for identifying current interest and skills, mapping career options by required training, and locating transportation, child care, and other support services.
Unemployment insurance provides financial protection to ex-service members of all ranks who served in the Armed Forces of the United States. If you were on active-duty with a branch of the U.S. military and separated under honorable conditions, you may be entitled to benefits based on that service. Please contact your local Employment Security office for more information.
Resources for Illinois Businesses
Finding & Training Veteran Candidates
Both the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) offer comprehensive assistance to employers seeking to find, hire, and/or train veterans. For more information, please visit Illinois Work Net at DCEO or the employer services page at IDES.
Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium
The Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium (IHHC) is a group of Illinois employers who recognize the great value veterans bring to the workplace and who thus operationalize the term "veteran-friendly" by committing to implement a series of military veteran recruitment, training, and retention practices - one in each of the aforementioned human resource category. Consortium members are then rewarded through no cost recruitment of veterans and the ability to exclusively display the IHHC logo, which will be a tell-tale sign to veterans and consumers that the company meets specific goals to be truly "veteran-friendly". The Consortium will mobilize public attention and employer commitment to addressing the issue of veteran employment. Employers interested in taking the pledge, and/or for further information on this great initiative, please click here.
For resources, programs, and services available to veteran-owned businesses, please click HERE to visit IDVA's entrepreneurship page.
Veteran's Tax Credit
Illinois employers can earn an income tax credit of up to $5,000 annually for hiring veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The credit is 20 percent of the total wages paid up to $5,000 to every qualified veteran hired after July 1, 2012. Alternatively, Illinois employers can also earn an income tax credit of up to $1,200 annually for hiring veterans of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The credit is 10 percent of the total wages paid to every qualified veteran hired after January 1, 2010. Veterans must work at least 185 days during the tax year for the employer to qualify for the Veteran's Tax Credit.
In addition, for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2007, and ending before January 1, 2010, the Veterans Tax Credit is 5 percent of qualified wages and may not exceed $600 per year for any veteran. The Veteran’s Tax Credit can be claimed by employers on income tax returns. To file for the Veteran’s Tax Credit, please visit the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and file Income Tax Form 1299-D for corporations, Income Tax Form 1299-C for individuals, or Income Tax Form 1299-A for partnerships and S corporations. For further questions, please contact IDOR for additional information.
Lastly, the State of Illinois certifies businesses eligible for work opportunity tax credits available for veterans via the federal government. Interested employers should contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) for further information.
State Employment & Licenses
Veteran Preference for State Employment
Under State law, qualified veterans seeking employment with the State are entitled to points added to a passing grade and receive absolute appointment preference withing a given grade. Illinois National Guard/Reserves non-activated only receive points added to a passing grade. All veterans will be required to submit a certified copy of their DD214/DD215 as proof of service at the time of application. For further information on veterans preference and available work opportunities, please contact Central Management Services’ Work 4 Illinois website.
Please view the following State Employment Tip Sheet for Veterans (PDF, 200KB), which provides critical information pertaining to application essentials, employment counseling, CMS testing, and veterans' preference guidelines.
Illinois State Police & Illinois Conservation Police
The educational requirements needed to join the Illinois State Police will be waived for veterans who have been honorably discharged with a campaign medal of service in Afghanistan or Iraq. All other requirements to join the Illinois State Police will still apply. For further information, please contact the Illinois State Police.
The educational requirements needed to join the Illinois Conservation Police (a component of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) will be waived if they:
- have been honorably discharged and awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by the United States Armed Forces
- or are active members of the Illinois National Guard or a reservist compnent of the Unites States Armed Forces and awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal as a result of honorable service during deployment on active duty
All other requirements to join the Illinois Conservation Police will still apply. For further information, please contact the IDNR Office of Law Employment.
Education Waiver for Municipal Police and Firefighters
The educational requirements of an Associate's Degree needed to be hired as a firefighter or policeman [woman] are waived if (1) applicant served honorably for 24 months of active duty or (2) the applicant served 180 days in combat. The educational requirements of a Bachelor's Degree needed to be hired as a firefighter or policeman [woman] are waived if (1) applicant served honorably for 36 months of active duty or (2) the applicant served 180 days in combat. The law takes effect on August 19, 2013.
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
In connection with the licensure of EMTs, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has the authority and responsibility to review applications for EMT licensure from honorably discharged service members with military emergency medical training. Applications shall be filed with IDPH within one year after military discharge and shall contain certain identifying information that clearly demonstrates that the training and experience meets prescribed standards. If applicants satisfactorily meet the requirements, IDPH will offer the applicant the opportunity to successfully complete an IDPH-approved EMT examination for which the applicant is qualified and upon passage of an examination, issue a license. For further information, please contact the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Commercial Driver’s License – Military Skills Test Waiver
Under the Secretary of State’s Military Skills Test Waiver Program, effective on January 1, 2014, military personnel and recently discharged servicemembers seeking to obtain an Illinois Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) have the opportunity to have their skills testing (pre-trip, skills, and road) waived. To qualify, the applicant must submit, within 90 days of discharge, a fully completed and acceptable Application for Military Skills Test Waiver signed by their Commanding Officer. Applicants must also successfully complete the relevant written testing and pay the necessary fees.
Download the Application For Military Skills Test Waiver. For further information, please contact your local CDL Secretary of State Facility.
Police Academy Intern Program at Southwestern Illinois College
The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and
Standards Board (ILETSB) Intern Program is an ideal training outlet for
veterans seeking a career in law enforcement. Successful intern
applicants attend a basic law enforcement training academy (400-hour program)
and, upon passing the state certification examination, will receive ILETSB
State Certification. Interns are integrated into classes with sworn
officers and receive the same training. The costs for training (tuition,
housing, meals, etc.) are the responsibility of the intern, but eligible
interns may use the Illinois Veterans’ Grant, GI Bill or the Workforce
Investment Act to pay tuition. This program is for Illinois residents
only and seats are limited. Applicants must have valid Illinois driver's
license and Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card. Other facts:
- 90-95% of Interns (1/3 are veterans), have been hired as part-time or full-time peace officers.
- Receive college credit that may be applied to Southwestern Illinois College’s Administration of Justice AAS Degree.
- Police Agencies grant Veteran’s and Education Preference Points in accordance with 65 ILCS 5/ Article 10-1-16.
Click here to see a program brochure. For more information and to access the application,
visit the following : http://swicpa.com/veteran.htm.