March 25, 2009
Calling on All Veterans to Maximize their Benefits

>>SUSAN ALLEN: GOOD AFTERNOON. DOES EVERYBODY HEAR ME? I'D LIKE TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR COMING, AND WE ARE GOING TO BEGIN TODAY WITH A BAGPIPE PRESENTATION. (BAGPIPE MUSIC PLAYING) (BAGPIPE PRESENTATION).

>>SUSAN ALLEN: THANK YOU, JOE SMITHERS. I HAVE SERVED WITH ICED ALMOST 30 YEARS, AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE EVER HAD A BAGPIPE PRESENTATION. BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD ICED TRADITION TO KEEP WITH! I AM REPRESENTING THE STATE INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES. MY NAME IS SUSAN ALLEN. IT IS MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE RAMONDO LUNA, WHO WILL GIVE YOU A WELCOME TODAY. WE'D LIKE TO SAY THAT WE WANTED TO RECOGNIZE THREE VETERANS TODAY AS OUTSTANDING VETERANS IN CIVILIAN LEADERSHIP ROLES. I HAVE KNOWN RAY FOR A LONG TIME. JUST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA ABOUT HIS CIVILIAN LEADERSHIP ROLE, HE JOINED THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AS AN ATTORNEY, AND HE WAS PROMOTED TO SUPERVISOR, AND THEN HE BECAME A MANAGER, AND NOW HE IS IN THE TOP POSITION IN LEGAL JURISDICTION IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS, CHIEF LEGAL COUNSEL. RAY'S MILITARY SERVICE IS CERTAINLY DISTINGUISHED. HE SERVED IN THE U.S. ARMY FOR 20 YEARS. HE WENT IN AS A SECOND LIEUTENANT AND LEFT AS LIEUTENANT COLONEL. DURING HIS SERVICE, HE RECEIVED TWO BRONZE STAR MEDALS AND ARMY ACCOMMODATION MEDALS. LET'S RECOGNIZE RAMONDO LUNA OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

>>RAY: THANK YOU, SUSAN, AND JOE SMITHERS, FOR THE BAGPIPE PRESENTATION. IT WAS CERTAINLY WONDERFUL. GOOD AFTERNOON AND WELCOME TO THIS ACTIVITY TODAY. AS SUSAN MENTIONED, I AM RAY LUNA CHIEF COUNSEL OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS. I REPRESENT -- I AM REPRESENTING TODAY THE STATE INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ROCCO CLABS. I UNDERSTAND SECRETARY ADAMS IS MAYBE HERE OR WILL BE REPRESENTED. ROCCO AND SECRETARY ADAMS ARE THE CO-CHAIRS OF THE ICED. OUR MISSION TODAY IS TWO FOLD. FIRST, WE WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU VETERANS FOR YOUR SERVICE. ANY PROGRAM OF THIS KIND SHOULD BEGIN WITH TWO WORDS "THANK YOU. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SERVICE." SECOND, WE WANT TO INFORM VETERANS ASSEMBLED HERE AND ACROSS THE STATE ABOUT THE MANY AND DIVERSE PROGRAMS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU, YOUR RIGHTS AS A VETERAN AND THE SERVICES AVAILABLE TO YOU AS VETERANS. IF YOU LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT ONE PROGRAM THAT WILL HELP YOU TODAY AND THE DAYS TO COME, OUR PROGRAM HERE IS A SUCCESS. I DARE SAY THAT EVERYONE HAS A VETERAN IN MEMBERS OF THE VETERANS' FAMILIES IN THEIR HOMES, IN THEIR LIVES. IN ILLINOIS, THERE ARE ABOUT ONE MILLION VETERANS. IN STATE GOVERNMENT, IN ILLINOIS STATE GOVERNMENT, THERE ARE ABOUT NEARLY NINE THOUSAND VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES. VETERANS HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY HONOR BLY. I WAS WATCHING TV LATE LAST NIGHT, AND IT JUST HAPPENED THAT MAC ARTHUR CAME ON. AS SOME OF YOU MAY RECALL HIS WORDS, DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY. I THINK THAT THAT IS APPROPRIATE HERE TY GATHERING AND CERTAINLY FOR ALL OF US, ALL VETERANS THAT HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRIES SO HONOR BLY AND HAVE MADE SUCH A SACRIFICE. WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FITTING ALSO TO RECOGNIZE TWO OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE, AS EMPLOYEES, BECOME OUTSTANDING VETERANS IN CIVILIAN LEADERSHIP ROLE. THE FIRST ONE THAT WE WANT TO RECOGNIZE IS STEWART REIVE. HE IS THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. (APPLAUSE) MR. REIV HAS SERVED AS CHIEF OF STAFF FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS SINCE JUNE, 2004. IN THAT JOB, HE ASSISTS THE AGENCY IN PROVIDING BENEFITS TO ILLINOIS VETERANS. BEFORE JOINING THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, HE HAD A 25 YEAR CAREER IN WRITING AND EDITING MAGAZINES FOR FARMERS. CERTAINLY ILLINOIS IS HONORED TO HAVE MANY FARMERS WHO GROW OUR CORN AND OTHER CROPS. HE IS A GRADUATE -- MR. REIV IS A GRADUATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, AND THE U.S. ARMY WAR COLLEGE. THAT'S REALLY AN HONOR TO GO TO THE WAR COLLEGE. HE IS A VETERAN HAVING SERVED IN THE U.S. ARMY IN FORT CARSON, COLORADO SPRINGS, FROM 1972 TO 1976. HE ALSO SERVED IN THE ILLINOIS ARMY NATIONAL GUARD FOR 31 YEARS, RETIRING AS THE DEPUTY COMMANDER GENERAL OF THE 31ST INFANTRY DIVISION. MR. REIV, COULD YOU STAND UP: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. (APPLAUSE) THE SECOND PERSON THAT VETERAN WE'D LIKE TO HONOR IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, DAN GRANT. HE IS A 2002 GRADUATE OF WEST POINT. I AM ROTC, WE ALWAYS USED TO KID ABOUT WEST POINTDZERS. (LAUGHING) DON'T TAKE OFFENSE! AND HE ALSO GRADUATED FROM THE U.S. ARMY RANGER SCHOOL IN AIRBORNE SCHOOL. THE OLD SAYING RANGER AIRBORNE. I WENT TO AIRBORNE SCHOOL, BUT NOT THE -- NOT TOUGH ENOUGH TO BE A RANGER! (LAUGHING) CONGRATULATIONS. IN 2003 AND 2004 IN IRAQ, HE LED 28 MEN IN COMBAT ARMS, COMBAT ARMS PLATOON. HE HAS RECEIVED TWO ARMY ACCOMMODATION MEDALS AND THE COMBAT ACTION BADGE. DIRECTOR GRANT IS CERTAINLY A CAPTAIN -- CURRENTLY A CAPTAIN IN THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD WHERE HE SERVES AS INSTRUCTOR AND TRAINER. DIRECTOR GRANT HAS SERVED IN THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S OFFICE AS AN ORGANIZER AS AND ADVOCATE. HE HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN DEVELOPING AND SUPPORTING LEGISLATION TO BENEFIT MILITARY VETERANS. INCIDENTALLY, I DO PART OF MY JOB IS MONITOR LEGISLATION, AND I KNOW THERE ARE SEVERAL BILLS COMING UP CONCERNING VETERANS, MAYBE GRECT OR GRANT WAS BEHIND THOSE. SOME OF THEM HAVE BECOME LAW. SO THAT'S REALLY GREAT. DIRECTOR GRANT, WOULD YOU STAND UP AND TAKE HONOR. (APPLAUSE) WE SHOULD BE PROUD, AND WE ARE AS A STATE, IN EMPLOYING ALL OF THESE VETERANS WHO HAVE SERVED THEIR COUNTRY SO HONOR BLY. OUR COMMITTEE, ICED, THAT IS, BEGAN TO DISCUSS THIS PROGRAM ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO. GOOD THINGS TAKE A LITTLE LONGER. AND IT WAS BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION THAT CATHERINE GARDNER WHO HAS BEEN OR WAS A STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF DISABILITY RIGHTS AND EMPLOYEES RIGHTS HAS PASSED AWAY. BEFORE WE BROUGHT TO THE PROGRAM, AS I MENTIONED, TO -- BEFORE WE BROUGHT THE PROGRAM TO THIS FRUITION, MISS GARDNER PASSED AWAY. WE'D LIKE TO DEDICATE THIS PROGRAM IN HER MEMORY. I THINK WE COULD PAUSE A FEW SECONDS IN REMEMBERING. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND OFFICE OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND JIMMIE MILLER, JIMMIE MILLER INCIDENTALLY WAS INVESTIGATOR WITH ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS UNTIL HE GOT PROMOTED UP HERE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. HE IS DOING A GREAT JOB. WE -- I AM ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EEO -- STATE EEO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM. SO I STAY ON JIMMIE TO GET HIS PROGRAM MOVING. RIGHT, JIMMIE?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: ABSOLUTELY, RAY.

>> RAY: AS I SAID, HE ASSISTED IN MAKING THIS PROGRAM WHAT IT IS, I THINK IT IS A SUCCESS FOR ALL THE MANY VETERANS WE HAVE. FINALLY WE'D LIKE TO THANK MARTHA YOUNGER WHITE AND SUSAN MASTEN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF ACCESS AND YOU CUSTOMER SUPPORT FOR PROVIDING THE INTERPRETER AND THE CAPTIONING TODAY THAT YOU SEE TODAY. AS I SAID, SECRETARY ADAMS MAYBE HERE. IS SECRETARY ADAMS REPRESENTED BY ANYONE? IF NOT, I DO WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE HER SUPPORT IN ASSISTANCE OF THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM. WITH THAT, WE WILL TURN IT OVER TO YOUR FIRST SPEAKER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. (APPLAUSE).

>>DAN GRANT: THANK YOU, RAY, AND SUSAN. I AM PLEASED TO WELCOME EVERYONE HERE TODAY. THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE EVENT AND IT IS AN HONOR TO BE A PART OF IT. I FIRST WANT TO THANK ALL THE VETERANS, AND WE HAVE SOME SOATDZ HERE, TOO, I SEE, FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS WHO ARE TAKING PART IN THIS SEMINAR AND ESPECIALLY FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. A SPECIAL THANKS IS OWED TO JIMMIE MILLER, FROM OUR DEPARTMENT, FOR ALL OF YOUR WORK IN MAKING THIS POSSIBLE ON TOP OF WHAT I CAN ATTEST TO IS ALREADY A VERY BUSY SCHEDULE. THANK YOU, JIMMIE. AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, AN IRAQ VETERAN AND SOLDIER IN OUR STATE'S NATIONAL GUARD, I TAKE MY JOB VERY SERIOUSLY IN ENSURING WE ARE BRINGING ALL THE RESOURCES TOGETHER, ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE INFORMING OUR VETERANS OF THE RIGHTS AND THE BENEFITS THAT THEY HAVE EARNED. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT, AS VETERANS, YOU NEED TO EDUCATE YOURSELF AND YOUR FELLOW COMRADES ABOUT THE LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL BENEFITS THAT ARE AVAILABLE. I HAVE LITERALLY SEEN IT COUNTLESS TIMES WHERE A VETERAN OR SERVICE MEMBER FEELS THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL THEIR RESOURCES. IN WORKING FOR THEN LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR QUINN AND WORKING IN MY CURRENT JOB AND EVEN ON THE ACTIVE ARMY, VETERANS FACING ANY NUMBER OF ISSUES FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE NO WHERE TO TURN AND VERY RARELY IS THAT THE CASE. FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE OUR OWN STATE DEPARTMENT THAT IS 100% DEDICATED TO THE MISSION, AND I AM QUOTE THS "ASSISTING VETERANS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND SURVIVORS IN OBTAINING THE BENEFITS THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED, THAT THEY HAVE EARNED." UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, THE STATE OF ILLINOIS OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY. SO IT IS THE JOB OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO ENSURE THAT EVERY VETERAN AROUND THE STATE IS FULLY INFORMED ABOUT THE MAGNITUDE AND SCOPE OF SERVICES AVAILABLE TO HIM, HIM OR HER AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT. WE ARE TAKING ON THAT TASK FOR EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. IN ILLINOIS, WE HAVE 73 VETERANS SERVICE OFFICERS IN 49 OFFICES AROUND THE STATE WHO WORK WITH VETERANS, WIDOWS AND DEPENDENTS. THEY HELP VETERANS IN APPLYING FOR AND RECEIVING THE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS THAT THEY HAVE EARNED AND INFORMING THE VETERANS ABOUT WHAT ELSE IS A AVAILABLE TO THEM, OTHER RESOURCES AT THAT LOCAL LEVEL, AND AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT. SOON YOU WILL HEAR FROM ONE OF OUR VETERAN SERVICE OFFICERS WHO WILL GO IN MORE DETAIL ABOUT HER JOB IN HOW YOU CAN FIND YOUR LOCAL VETERAN SERVICE OFFICE. AFTER THIS SEMINAR, I STRONGLY URGE EVERYONE TO GO VISIT THE SERVICE OFFICER IN THEIR LOCAL AREA. OUR SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN HAVE SERVED THIS COUNTRY BRAVELY AND HONOR BLY, AND WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE PROPERLY CARED FOR. THAT INCLUDES AFFORDABLE HOUSING, ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE AND QUALITY HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION AND JOBS. I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I BELIEVE ILLINOIS IS COMMITTED TO THAT. I TRULY HOPE THAT YOU USE YOUR RESOURCES, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU ABOUT HOW THINGS CAN BE IMPROVED. TODAY YOU WILL HEAR FROM THE EXPERTS FROM OUR AGENCY. ON THE NEW GI BILL, THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, ILLINOIS WARRIOR ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, AND THE TROOPS TO TEACHERS PROGRAM. PLEASE TAKE IN AS MUCH INFORMATION AS YOU CAN, BUT KNOW THAT WE ARE HERE TO HELP, THAT YOU HAVE SOMEONE IN YOUR LOCAL AREA THAT YOU CAN GO TO FOR MORE INFORMATION ANY TIME FOR A GOOD FOLLOW UP. AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE HERE FOR PARTICIPATING IN TODAY'S SEMINAR. I HOPE YOU WALK A WAY WITH A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU. I WON'T DELAY THIS ANY MORE TO KICKOFF THE FORUM BRINGING ON ONE OF OUR VERY BEST, KELLY CRAVENS, DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER. (APPLAUSE).

>>KELLY CRAVENS: HI. AS DAN SAID, I AM KELLY CRAVENS, I AM A VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER WITH THE STATE. SOMETIMES THERE IS CONFUSION BETWEEN THE FEDERAL VA AND THE STATE VA. I WORK FOR THE STATE. THEREFORE, I AM HERE TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE PAPERWORK AND THE PROCESS OF FILING A CLAIM WITH THE VA. SOMETIMES WHEN YOU FILE A CLAIM WITH THE VA, YOU HAVE A HARD TIME PUTTING INTO WORDS WHAT YOU WANT TO CLAIM. THE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND IS YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO ANSWER TWO QUESTIONS, BASICALLY HOW DID MY SERVICE CAUSE A DISABILITY, AND, NUMBER TWO, HOW IS THIS DISABILITY AFFECTED MY LIFE, THE QUALITY OF MY LIFE. SOMETIMES IT IS HARD TO PUT INTO WORDS, AND THAT'S WHY WE ARE HERE. WE CAN HELP YOU. WE CAN HELP YOU PUT INTO WORDS AND EXPLAIN YOURSELF CLEARLY. SOMETIMES IF YOU MAYBE HAD A SERVICE CONNECTED KNEE INJURY, YOUR KNEES HURT, AND BECAUSE YOUR KNEE IS HURT, YOU PUT A LOT OF STRESS ON YOUR OTHER KNEE, THEREFORE CAUSING IT PROBLEMS. THESE ARE THE TYPE OF CLAIMS THAT WE CAN HELP YOU WITH AND HELP YOU MUDDLE THROUGH. SOMETIMES IT CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT AND VERY CUMBERSOME. VA HAS A TENDENCY TO GIVE YOU LOTS OF PAPERWORK THAT CAN INTIMIDATE AND SCARE PEOPLE. I KNOW WHEN I FIRST STARTED SEEING THESE LETTERS AS A NEW SERVICE OFFICER, I WAS INTIMIDATED. BRING THESE LETTERS TO US. DON'T BE INTIMIDATED. WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU. WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS. ARE THERE ANY VETERANS HERE THAT SERVED IN VIETNAM? OKAY. NOW, AS VIETNAM VETERANS, IF YOU SERVED IN COUNTRY, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A SCREENING THROUGH THE VA, THEY WILL SCREEN YOU FOR CERTAIN DISEASES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR SERVICE IN VIETNAM. IF YOU MAYBE HAVE DIABETES OR PROSTATE CANCER OR LUNG CANCER ISSUE, JUST TO NAME A FEW, THESE ARE DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR SERVICE IN VIETNAM. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THIS. YOU REALLY NEED TO GET INTO A SERVICE OFFICER AND GET YOURSELF CHECKED OUT OR IF YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN DIAGNOSED, LET'S FILE A CLAIM AND GET COMPENSATION GOING FOUR. LIKE I SAID, NOTHING IS EVER GUARANTEED, BUT WE WILL HELP YOU DO WHATEVER WE CAN. IF YOU HAVE A DISABILITY AND CURRENTLY RECEIVING A DISABILITY FROM THE VA, AND IT IS TEN PERCENT OR MORE, YOU ARE EVEN EN TITLED TO FREE HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BRING IN YOUR DISCHARGE AND YOUR AWARD LETTER FROM THE SWR. A AND LOCAL SERVICE OFFICER WILL BE HAPPY TO ISSUE YOU A LICENSE. THESE LICENSE ALSO DON'T EXPIRE. IF YOU ARE LISTENING ON THE PHONE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO HIT STAR SIX ON YOUR PHONE TO MUTE IT SO WE CAN'T HEAR YOU TALKING. IF YOU WANT TO ASK A QUESTION LATER, STAR SIX WILL ALSO UNMUTE YOUR PHONE. WE HAVE SEVERAL VA CLINICS AND A FEW HOSPITALS AROUND THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. I URGE ANYONE WHO IS UNINSHIEWRNED TO LOOK INTO THE VA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. YOU CAN APPLY THROUGH YOUR LOCAL SERVICE OFFICER. THERE ARE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS SUCH AS SERVICE REQUIREMENTS AND FEW INCOME REQUIREMENTS, BUT YOUR SERVICE OFFICER CAN HELP YOU THROUGH THAT. THESE ARE WONDERFUL CLINICS. I VERY SELDOM HEAR COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE VA CLINICS AND THE HOSPITALS PEOPLE HAVE USED. IF FOR SOME REASON YOU SHOULD FIND YOURSELF DENIED THROUGH VA HEALTH CARE, THE STATE OF ILLINOIS DOES HAVE VET CARE. VET CARE IS FOR VETERANS IN THE STATE WHO HAVE SERVED I THINK 180 DAYS WITH HONORABLE SERVICE OR GOOD DISCHARGE, AND THERE IS A PREMIUM FOR THIS. BUT YOU CAN GO TO YOUR LOCAL DOCTOR AND USE MEDICARE. I CAN'T ENCOURAGE PEOPLE WHO ARE UNINSURED, VETERANS UNINSURED ENOUGH TO GET INTO VET CARE. I HAD A GENTLEMAN WHO WAS UNINSURED, AND HE HAD A HEART ATTACK. WELL, HE HAD NOBODY TO PAY HIS BILLS, AND VA HAD DENIED HIM BECAUSE HE HAD A VERY HIGH INCOME. SO I PUT HIM FOR VET CARE. HE WAS ACCEPTED, AND WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT IT OR NOT, THAT VET CARE HAS THREE MONTH LOOK BACK PERIOD, AND THEY WENT IN AND THEY PAID THIS GENTLEMAN'S MEDICAL BILLS WHICH WERE OVER $125,000. THIS GUY WENT FROM ONE DAY GOING INTO BANKRUPTCY TO EVERYTHING BEING BACK TO NORMAL AS WELL AS IT COULD BE, AND HE IS ON VET CARE AND HAS REALLY, REALLY BEEN HAPPY WITH IT. WE ALSO HAVE FOUR VETERANS HOMES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. THEY ARE VERY AFFORDABLE, AND THEY ARE THE BEST OF CARE. I HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT POSITIVE RESPONSES FROM PEOPLE THAT HAVE ACTUALLY ENTERED THESE HOMES. THEY ARE TRULY THE CADILLAC OF CARE, AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY AFFORDABLE. I ENCOURAGE VETERANS WHO THINK THEY MAY BE INTERESTED IN THIS TO GO IN AND CHECK THEM OUT AND SUPPORT THEM IF YOU CAN. FINALLY, ONE OF THE THINGS WE WILL TOUCH ON ARE VA HOME LOANS. CAN YOU GO AND GET A CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY, THROUGH THE VA, AGAIN YOUR VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU. YOU NEED TO BRING IN A COPY OF YOUR DISCHARGE TO YOUR HE SERVICE OFFICER AND THEY CAN HELP YOU COMPLETE THE FORM FOR THE CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY REQUIRED BY BANKS TO GET A VA LOAN. A VA LOAN IS GUARANTEED THE BY VA, BUT IT IS STILL UP TO THE BANK TO GRANT THE LOAN. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A VETERAN DOESN'T MEAN YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY GET IT, BUT THE BANKS ARE WILLING TO WORK WITH PEOPLE. ALSO, IF YOU ARE A VETERAN AND YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH PAYING YOUR MORTGAGE, OR YOU ARE IN TROUBLE WITH YOUR VA MORTGAGOR JUST EVEN A STRAIGHT CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE, I WENT OUT ON THE VA WEB SITE YESTERDAY TO SEE IF THERE WAS ANYTHING NEW IN THE HOME LOAN ARENA IF THERE WAS ANYTHING TO REPORT, AND THEY HAVE A NUMBER OF LINKS OUT THERE FOR VETERANS WHO ARE IN TROUBLE WITH THIS, AND THEY ARE WILLING TO HELP YOU. THEY HAVE PEOPLE OUT THERE WILLING TO STAND BY AND HELP. THE WEB SITE IS THE VA.GOV WEB SITE, AND JUST GO INTO HOME LOANS, AND THERE IS QUITE A FEW LINKS OUT THERE FOR PEOPLE WHO MAY BE EXPERIENCING MORTGAGE ISSUES. THAT'S ABOUT -- I JUST DID A BRIEF RUN DOWN OF A FEW OF OUR BENEFITS BASICALLY BECAUSE I WANTED TO LEAVE TIME OPEN FOR QUESTIONS. ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE HAVE ON BENEFITS OR ANYTHING MAYBE I DIDN'T COVER YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT?

>>HOW ARE THE ILLINOIS VETERANS HOMES FIXED FOR STAFFING? I AM PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN ALZHEIMERS SUPPORT.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: TO BE HONEST I AM NOT SURE WHAT THE STAFF IS. THE ALZHEIMERS IS VERY GOOD AND VERY BUSY PLACE TO GET INTO. I AM JUST NOT PRIVY TO STAFFING INFORMATION TO BE HONEST.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: I HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF INFORMATION ABOUT STAFFING. WE HAVE FOUR VETERANS HOMES. ONE IN ANNA, ILLINOIS, LASALLE, ILLINOIS, MANTENO, ILLINOIS, AND QUINCY, ILLINOIS. OUR VETERANS HOMES ARE STAFFED AS IT RELATES TO THE NURSING CORP, CN A'S, VETERANS NURSING ASSISTANTS CERTIFIED, LPN'S AND RN'S. OUR NURSING HOME, AND I DON'T LIKE THE TERM NURSING HOME. WE CALL THEM VETERANS HOME. THE VETERANS HOME IN LASALLE IS CURRENTLY STAFFING FOR NURSES, LPN'S, AND AS YOU WOULD RECOGNIZE CN A'S CURRENTLY.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: BUT THEY ARE A GREAT PLACE TO BE.

>>

>>JIMMIE MILLER: AND GREAT PLACE TO BE.

>>I AM GLAD I AM NOT THERE!

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I HAVE HAD SENIOR COUPLES CHECK THEMSELVES IN. THEY COME AND THEY WANT TO GO BECAUSE THEY CAN GO THROUGH DOMICILE CARE, AND THEY HAVE BEEN VERY HAPPY. DO WE HAVE ANY INTERNET QUESTIONS OR ANY PHONE QUESTIONS ?

>> I HAD ONE FROM THE INTERNET. GI BILL STILL AVAILABLE? GI BILL, THERE IS A PRESENTERRER COMING UP AFTER ME THAT WILL BE DOING GI BILL INDEPTH.

>>DAN GRANT: THERE WAS A QUESTION IN THE BACK. A WOMAN IN THE BACK.

>> I HAVE A QUESTION. ARE YOU TRYING TO GET -- MOTHER-IN-LAW,ED ARE YOU STILL NOT RECEIVED ANYTHING (CANNOT HEAR).

>>KELLY CRAVENS: YOUR QUESTION WAS YOU PUT YOUR MOTHER IN FOR A WIDOW'S PENSION THROUGH THE VA.

>>YES, MA'AM.

>>

>>KELLY CRAVENS: ARE YOU WORKING WITH A SERVICE OFFICER HERE IN THE STATE ?

>> YES.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: IT HAS TAKEN TWO YEARS.

>>OVER TWO YEARS.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: WELL, WE NEED TO LOOK INTO THAT. I AM SORRY. THAT'S AN ISSUE AT THE FEDERAL VA LEVEL, AND HONESTLY IF THERE WAS SOMETHING I COULD DO ABOUT IT, I WOULD. IT SHOULDN'T TAKE THAT LONG. I WILL BE OUT IN THE HALL AFTER THIS, IF YOU'D LIKE TO TALK TO ME ABOUT THAT AND I WILL SEE IF I CAN'T HELP YOU A LITTLE MORE. THAT IS A VERY LONG TIME.

>> ARE THESE MORE NURSING HOME -- VETERAN HOMES OR ARE THEY LIKE SHELTERS?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: THEY ARE ACTUALLY RETIREMENT FACILITIES. THEY HAVE SEVERAL LEVELS OF CARE. YOU CAN GO IN DOMICILE TYPE ENVIRONMENT WHICH MEANINGS YOU WOULD HAVE YOUR OWN TYPE APARTMENT. AS YOU GREW OLDER AND YOUR HEALTH DETERIORATES, THEY HAVE PROGRESSIVE CARE ON UP THROUGH THE SYSTEM. NOW, IT IS NOT A HOMELESS TYPE SHELTER.

>>DAN GRANT: WE HAVE ONE OF THOSE, TOO.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: WE DO. WE HAVE A SPEAKER ON THAT COMING UP, TOO. THAT'S OKAY.

>> LAST YEAR WE HAD LETTERS THAT WE RECEIVED TELLING US THAT WE HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE SYSTEMS BETWEEN ILIANA AND THE ST. LOUIS SYSTEM HERE IN THE SPRINGFIELD AREA. NOW, BEING LOCATED CLOSER TO ST. LOUIS, WE WERE TOLD THAT WE HAD TO CHOOSE THE CLINICAL -- OUTPATIENT CLINICS CLOSE TO CARLINVILLE AND THOSE AREAS DOWN SOUTH. AND WE CAN GO TO THE SPRINGFIELD AREA CLINICS. IF WE DID GO TO THE SPRINGFIELD CLINICS, THEN OUR HOSPITAL WOULD BE BASED OUT OF INDIANAPOLIS. IS THERE ANY RESOLUTION ON THIS ISSUE YET? I HAVE WRITTEN TO MY CONGRESSMAN, AND THEY SAID THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THE VA HAS PLANNED, AND SO I HAD TO CHOOSE THE ILIANA SYSTEM JUST TO GO TO THE CLINIC HERE IN SPRINGFIELD. IS THERE ANYTHING BEING DONE ABOUT THIS? IT SEEMS THE VA SHOULD BE THE VA, AND I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GO TO ANY FACILITY THAT I NEED TO GO TO IF I NEED CARE.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I AGREE. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE DETERMINATION FOR THE HOSPITAL THAT YOU HAD TO GO TO WAS BASED UPON YOUR SPECIFIC NEED. I AM HERE IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS, TOO, AND MOST OF MY CLIENTS GO TO DANVILLE AND EITHER SPRINGFIELD OR DECATUR. I HAVE NOT HAD ANY OF THEM FORCED TO GO ANYWHERE THEY DIDN'T WANT TO GO UNLESS THE TREATMENT OPTION WAS ONLY AVAILABLE AT INDIANAPOLIS. NOW I DO HAVE VETERANS THAT HAVE TO DO THAT. IS THAT A POSSIBILITY OF WHY THEY ARE DIRECTING YOU TO INDIANAPOLIS? IS IT A SPECIAL TREATMENT ?

>> NO, I HAVE BEEN GOING TO ST. LOUIS FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. THEN I RECEIVED A LETTER STATING THAT IF I WANTED TO CONTINUE TO GO TO ST. LOUIS TO SEEK CARE, THEN I COULD NOT GO TO THE SPRINGFIELD OUT BASED CLINIC ANY MORE. I WOULD HAVE TO GO DOWN SOUGHT TO THE I BELIEVE IT WAS THE CARLINVILLE OUT BASED CLINIC FOR MY REGULAR CARE. AND I HAD TO MAKE A DECISION TO CHOOSE THE ILIANA SYSTEM. NOW, IF I NEED ANY SPECIALTY CARE, I WILL HAVE TO GO TO DANVILLE OR TO INDIANAPOLIS FOR MY CARE. IT SEEMS RIDICULOUS BECAUSE ST. LOUIS IS THE CLOSEST HOSPITAL TO ME. THAT JUST SEEMS LIKE ALLUDE CRUS IDEA WE ARE BEING FORCED TO TRAVEL FURTHER THAN IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. I BROUGHT THIS UP TO ALL MY CONGRESSMEN, AND THEY SAID SORRY, THIS IS A VA PROBLEM. THIS IS THEIR PROGRAM. AND IT IS JUST THE WAY THE ILIANA SYSTEM HAS BEEN DEVISED. I HAVE JUST BEEN TOLD TOUGH LUCK, YOU JUST HAD TO MAKE A TOUGH DECISION.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN TOUCH WITH PATIENT ADVOCATE ?

>> YES. THEY SAID THAT'S JUST THE WAY THE SYSTEM IS SET UP. I THINK IT IS SOMETHING THAT THE VA NEEDS TO TAKE A LOOK AT AS A WHOLE BECAUSE WE ARE BEING FORCED TO TRAVEL MUCH MORE THAN -- SOMETIMES PHYSICALLY IS NECESSARY. IT MAKES IT A HARDSHIP ON THE DISABLED VETERANS.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I AGREE AND UNDERSTAND. AGAIN, NOT TO PUT YOU OFF, BUT COME SEE ME OUT IN THE HALLWAY, AND I WILL TAKE SOME INFORMATION AND MAKE SOME PHONE CALLS. BECAUSE I HAVE HAD THE EXPERIENCE LATELY WHERE MY VETERANS HAVE BEEN PUTTING IN FOR CLAIMS, THEY ARE ACTUALLY BEING SENT TO ST. LOUIS FOR THEIR COMPENSATION AND PENSION APPOINTMENTS. THAT'S ANOTHER PROBLEM I WILL HAVE TO LOOK INTO, AND I WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU WITH IT. DOES ANYBODY ELSE HAVE A QUESTION? ANYWHERE, CHICAGO?

>>WE WOULD LIKE TO -- CAN YOU LET PEOPLE KNOW HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR OFFICE?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: MY PARTICULAR OFFICE? WE HAVE AN OFFICE HERE IN SPRINGFIELD. I CAN GIVE YOU THE HEADQUARTERS NUMBER HERE IN SPRINGFIELD. (217)557-0358.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: OR USE VETERANS 18004379824 OR VISIT THE VETERANS WEB SITE WWW.VETERANS.IL.GOV.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: IS THERE ANYBODY ELSE?

>>CTSDZ UCIALGHTSDZ (CANNOT HEAR QUESTION) FAMILIES, IT IS NOT JUST THE VETERANS, BUT FAMILIES. MY QUESTION IS SEEMS TO ME ARE HAVING CODES FOR NEW SYSTEM MANAGEMENT IN THE GOVERNMENT. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK IF THIS ACCUMULATED QUESTIONS AND GATHERING OF PROBLEMS FROM ALL FAMILIES OF VETERANS ARE BEING CONSOLIDATED SO THAT MANAGEMENT OF THIS VA PROBLEMS AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES SHOULD BE ANALYZED TO ADOPT TO THE NEEDS OF THE VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES BECAUSE WE HAVE KNOWN FOR MANY YEARS THAT THIS VETERANS ARE VERY MUCH NEGLECTED AND TAKEN FOR GRANTED. THEIR RIGHTS AND EXERCISE OF FREEDOM TO LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT THE NEW PERCEPTION AND THE NEW VISION OF THE VETERANS LIFE FOR THIS NEW GOVERNMENT?

>>DAN GRANT: MAYBE I CAN TALK BRIEFLY. THAT'S A TOUGH QUESTION. I THINK I CAN TALK A LITTLE BIT ON THAT BRIEFLY AS THE NEW DIRECTOR FOR THE VA, FOR THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. SO I WOULD JUST LIKE TO TALK ON THAT BRIEFLY AS NEW DIRECTOR FOR ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. REALLY IF YOU LOOK AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT, WE HAVE NEW LEADERSHIP ALL OVER THE COUNTRY WITH NEW PRESIDENT AND NEW U.S. DIRECTOR FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS, GENERAL SCHENSKE. PREVIOUS DIRECTOR OF ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, TAMMY DUCKWORTH WHO WILL DO AN OUTSTANDING JOB FOR SECRETARY AS VETERANS AFFAIRS. NEW GOVERNOR, GOVERNOR QUINN WHO I KNOW IS VERY COMMITTED, AND IF YOU LISTEN TO HIS RECENT ADDRESS TO THE STATE, MENTIONED VETERANS MULTIPLE TIMES DURING HIS ADDRESS. VETERANS HOMES, VETERANS HEALTH CARE, AND SUPPORT FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT ARE COMING BACK TODAY. I DO BELIEVE THAT WE ARE INCREDIBLY -- WE ARE POSITIONED VERY WELL TO MAKE A LOT OF -- TO MAKE A LOT OF PROGRESS OVER THE COMING YEARS WHEN IT COMES TO ALL OF THESE ISSUE. THAT'S THE REASON WE ARE HOLDING EVENTS LIKE THIS, AND MY STAFF, JIMMIE MILLER WHO WILL BE HERE WHOLE TIME, MY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, MY CHIEF OF STAFF WAS JUST HERE. WE ARE LISTENING TO THE ISSUES, AND, LIKE YOU SAID, THEY HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED OVER THE YEARS. WE ARE DOING OUR BEST TO COMBAT THOSE AND IN ADDITION TO THAT LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES TAKING THE SERVICE MEMBERS THAT ARE DEPLOYED RIGHT NOW AND TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE PROACTIVELY COMBATING THE ISSUES WE KNOW THEY WILL BE FACING OVER THE NEXT FIVE, TEN, 30 YEARS.

>>ONE HERE IN THE BACK, KELLY.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: WE CAN'T HEAR.

>>HELLO. WHAT IF ANY --

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I CAN'T HEAR HIM.

>>CONCERNS ANY PARTICULAR WAR OR MILITARY CONFLICT THAT MAY HAVE ASSOCIATION WITH AGENT ORANGE.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: OKAY, AGENT ORANGE WAS DE FOALIENT USED DURING THE VIETNAM WAR. IT WAS ALSO USED IN KOREA IN 1968 ALONG THE DMZ. IF YOU WERE IN COUNTRY OR IF YOU WERE IN NAVY ARE AND WENT UP THE COASTAL WATER WAYS, YOU REALLY SHOULD BE CHECKED OUT FOR ANY AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE TYPE ILLNESSES BECAUSE THEY CAN BE VERY SERIOUS, AND SOMETIMES IF THEY ARE CAUGHT EARLY, THEY CAN BE UNDER CONTROL. IF YOU DO HAVE THEM, THE VA SHOULD COME IN WITH COMPENSATION. THAT'S WHAT YOUR SERVICE OFFICER CAN HELP YOU WITH. BUT, AS FAR AS AGENT ORANGE IN ANY OTHER COUNTRIES, NO, I DON'T HAVE ANY CURRENT INFORMATION ON THAT. ANY MORE QUESTIONS?

>>WHAT DOES THE VETERAN HAVE TO DO TO GET THE PROCESS STARTED?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: JUST SEE A SERVICE OFFICER. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE AGENT ORANGE SCREEN, MAKE APPLICATION TO THE VA ON A SHORT FORM. IT IT TAKES 10, 15 MINUTES TO FILL OUT IN THE OFFICE, AND THEN YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO GO TO VA HOSPITAL FOR THE EVALUATION. THE AGENT ORANGE SCREENING DOESN'T TAKE PLACE IN PRIVATE PHYSICIAN, YOU WILL PROBABLY NEED IT TO GO TO DANVILLE OR THE HOSPITALS UP NORTH, TOO, WHEREVER YOU GO.

>>CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE BENEFIT IN VETERAN OR FAMILY MEMBER OR DEPENDENT MEMBER GOING TO SEE SERVICE OFFICER RATHER THAN GOING AND TRYING TO FILE DIRECTLY WITH U.S. DVA.

>>

>>KELLY CRAVENS: DID CAN BE A VERY CUMBERSOME PROCESS, FILING CLAIMS WITH THE VA. THERE IS LONG FORMS, AND THEY CAN BE OVERWHELMING. SOMETIMES THE VA WILL COME BACK AND ASK QUESTIONS THAT YOU ARE SURE YOU HAVE ANSWERED FIVE OTHER TIMES, AND IT CAN BE VERY -- YOU KNOW, JUST VERY INTIMIDATING AND PUT VETERANS OFF. THAT'S WHY A SERVICE OFFICER IS THERE. YOU COME TO US. YOU BRING US THESE PROBLEMS, AND WE WILL MAKE THEM GO AWAY FOR YOU. WE WILL TAKE ALL THE PROBLEMS OUT OF FILING CLAIMS AND HELP YOU EVERY THE BY OF THE WAY. THAT WOULD BE THE BENEFIT. I DO HAVE PEOPLE THAT HAVE FILED CLAIMS ON THEIR OWN, AND THEY HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL, BUT MAYBE THEY DIDN'T GET EVERYTHING THEY WERE ENTITLED TO BECAUSE THE SERVICE OFFICER DIDN'T POINT OUT SECONDARY TYPE CONDITIONS THAT COULD BE CAUSED BY AN INJURY OR AN ILLNESS.

>> WHAT IS YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE VETERAN OR THE DEPENDENT AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK AND FORWARD ON TO THE U.S. DVA?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: ONCE THAT IS DONE, THAT USUALLY TAKES QUITE AWHILE. EVEN AFTER THE CLAIM IS SAID AND DONE, AND YOU HAVE BEEN GRANTED YOUR AWARD, WE ALWAYS WANT YOU TO COME BACK AND SEE US BECAUSE THERE MAYBE OTHER BENEFITS THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO. IF YOU HAVE A DISABILITY, WE HAVE HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE WE CAN GIVE OUT. A THE LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT. BUT MOSTLY, A FOLLOW UP. I ALWAYS ENCOURAGE MY VETERANS, HEY, JUST BECAUSE WE ARE NOT DOING BUSINESS CURRENTLY, PLEASE STOP IN BECAUSE, YOU NEVER KNOW. THEY MIGHT COME UP WITH SOMETHING ELSE THEY DIDN'T REALIZE WAS A CLAIM, AND MAYBE I CAN GET A FEW MORE BUCKS.

>>REAL QUICK, I WANT TO TELL YOU A QUICK STORY, AND KELLY TOLD ONE THAT WAS GREAT. IT IS RELATIVE TO VIETNAM VETERANS WHO SERVED IN THE VIETNAM REGION, WHO WERE DIAGNOSISSED WITH TYPE TWO DIABETES. I HAD A LADY WHOSE HUSBAND DIED FROM TYPE TWO DIABETES. HE ACTUALLY WAS DIAGNOSED NINE YEARS PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, WITH TYPE TWO DIABETES. AND EVENTUALLY PASSED AWAY AS A RESULT OF COMPLICATIONS. WHAT THE LADY DIDN'T KNOW WAS THAT HER HUSBAND WAS QUALIFIED FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION OF BEFORE IT WAS UNKNOWN TO HER, THEY LOST THEIR HOME. SHE HAD TO QUIT HER JOB TO CARE FOR HER HUSBAND FULL TIME. IT WASN'T UNTIL SHE WENT TO A CLASS REUNION AND TALKED TO A FORMER CLASSMATE WHO HAD BEEN IN THE MILITARY WHO HAD INFORMED HER, SAID, HEY,ER HUSBAND, HAD TYPE TWO DIABETES, AND SERVED IN VIETNAM, YOU SHOULD BE GETTING COMPENSATION FOR THAT. THE MESSAGE HERE, HAD THEY KNOWN NINE YEARS PRIOR TO WHEN HE DIED, THOSE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR HER HUSBAND I AM CONVINCED WOULD HAVE PROLONGED HIS LIFE. IT WOULD HAVE ALLEVIATED THE STRESS OF HAVING TO DEAL WITH LACK OF MONEY ARE. THE HEALTH CARE WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE FOR THE VETERAN. SO ONE OF THE BENEFICIAL, MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGES WE WANT TO GET OUT OF THIS FORUM IS YOU MIGHT HAVE A NEIGHBOR OR FRIEND WHO IS SUFFERING FROM AN ILLNESS THAT MAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH THEIR MILITARY SERVICE.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: EXACTLY. IT IS WONDERFUL TO BE ABLE TO COMPENSATE A A VETERANS WHILE HE IS ALIVE. IT IS JUST AS REWARDING TO TAKE CARE OF HIS WIDOW AND HIS FAMILY. BUT WE REALLY WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE VETERAN BECAUSE THIS BENEFIT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU DIE OF A SERVICE CONNECTED DEATH, COMPLICATION FROM LIKE LUNG CANCER, PROSTATE CANCER, NON-HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA, TYPE TWO DIABETES, THERE ARE BENEFITS, IF IT IS SERVICE CONNECTED, YOUR WIFE RIGHT NOW COULD RECEIVE JUST UNDER $1,100 A MONTH TAX FREE BASICALLY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. THERE IS A FEW CONTINUE GENESIS IN THERE. BUT THAT'S PRETTY MUCH HOW IT WORKS. IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, UNEDUCATED CHILDREN, THAT HAVEN'T BEEN TO SCHOOL, THERE ARE BENEFITS NOT ONLY THROUGHOUT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND STATE OF ILLINOIS, SHOULD YOU PASS FROM SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY WAS THERE WAS A NEW ONE TO TOUCH ON, IT IS SO WIDE RANGING, SERVICE CONNECTION FOR LOU GHERIG'S DISEASE OR ALS, IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS GOT ALS, DID 90 DAYS OF SERVICE IN THE MILITARY OR HAS DIED FROM THIS, THEY NEED TO COME IN AND MAKE A CLAIM AT THE VA. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT IS RELATIVELY NEW. FROM WHAT I HAVE READ, THERE IS NO AGE, TIME, PLACE REQUIREMENTS. THE ONLY THING IS YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE SERVICE FOR 90 DAYS, ACTIVE DUTY. THAT'S ANOTHER ONE TO GET OUT THERE AND PEOPLE TRY TO GET SOME BENEFITS FOR THAT. DO WE HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ?

>> I AM 50% DISABLED VETERAN. I GET ALL MY MEDICAL BILLS TAKEN CARE OF. WHAT I AM CURIOUS ABOUT, EXCEPT FOR DENTAL, WHAT I AM CURIOUS ABOUT IS THERE SOME KIND OF INSURANCE THROUGH THE VA WE CAN PAY FOR AND SIGN UP FOR SAY LIFE INSURANCE AND DENTAL BEING SOMETHING WE PAY FOR, BUT THROUGH THE VA.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: LIFE INSURANCE AND DENTAL INSURANCE ARE DIFFERENT SPECTRUMS. WHEN YOU RECEIVE --

>>WHAT WAS THE QUESTION?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: HE WAS ASKING IF THERE IS ANY TYPE OF LIFE INSURANCE AVAILABLE TO VETS WITH DISABILITIES OR DENTAL INSURANCE. THERE IS NO DENTAL. LIFE INSURANCE WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR LETTER, WAR LETTER FOR SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY, THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PAMPHLET IN THEREABOUT VA LIFE INSURANCE. YES, THERE IS, AND I SUGGEST YOU GO TO SERVICE OFFICER AND HAVE THEM HELP YOU THROUGH THAT. I MEAN THERE ARE PAMPHLET, AND THERE IS A FORM TO FILL OUT. BUT, YES, IT DOES EXIST.

>>CAN A VETERAN NAME THE IDVA AS POWER OF ATTORNEY?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: YES, YOU CAN. WE ACTUALLY HAVE A WONDERFUL OFFICE THAT IS UP IN CHICAGO, AND THEY SIT RIGHT THERE WITH THE FEDERAL VA, AND THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL. THEY WILL -- THEY HELP US A LOT WITH WITH OUR CLAIMS.

>>IF I CURRENTLY HAVE A VA DISABILITY RATING AND I FEEL MY CONDITION IS PROGRESSIVELY GETTING WORSE, HOW DO I GET THAT CLAIM REEVALUATED TO COMPENSATE ME MORE?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: THAT'S A VERY EASY PROCESS. AGAIN, WITH THE SERVICE OFFICER. ALL IT TAKES BASICALLY IS A STATEMENT FROM THE VETERAN SAYING MY SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY FOR MY HURT SHOULDER RS I BELIEVE HAS GOTTEN WORSE. PLEASE SCHEDULE ME FOR REEVALUATION, AND THAT'S ABOUT ALL IT TAKES. VA WILL REEVALUATE YOU AND GIVE YOU EITHER THE SAME RATING OR A NEW RATING.

>>MY QUESTION IS ABOUT MORTGAGE LOAN RATES. ARE THEY GOING DOWN LIKE THE OTHER BANK LOAN RATES ARE?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: YES. I CAN'T QUOTE YOU THE EXACT RATE. BUT, YES, THOSE RATES HAVE FALLEN AS WELL.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: GENERALLY, WITH THE VA HOME LOAN GUARANTEE, IT IS GREAT. I PURCHASED MY HOME, VA HOME LOAN GUARANTEE WHEN I BOUGHT MY HOME, THE RATE WAS 6.275, AND I GOT A RATE ALMOST ONE PERCENT LOWER THAN THE CONVENTIONAL RATE. I'D HAVE TO PAY CLOSING COSTS. I DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY PMI. DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY SOME ADDITIONAL THINGS, AND, IN FACT, I NEGOTIATED WITH THE SELLER THAT THE SELLER GIVE ME 2500 TOWARDS CLOSING COSTS. WELL, THERE WEREN'T ANY CLOSING COSTS. I WAS ABLE TO TAKE THAT $2,500 HOME. RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE OF THE MARKET IS THE WAY IT IS, VETERANS SHOULD BE FLOODING. IF YOU CAN AFFORD THE MORTGAGE, VETERANS SHOULD BE FLOODING TO LOAN OFFICES TO BUY A HOME USING THE VA HOME GUARANTEE. A LOT OF BANKS WILL SAY THEY DON'T DO THAT. THEY WILL SAY THAT BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THE PAPERWORK. THE DAY YOU DECIDE, YOU WANT TO APPLY FOR ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE, IT WILL TAKE THREE WEEKS, 30 DAYS. IF YOU GO TO BANK, AND THEY SAY WE DON'T DO THE VA GUARANTEE MORTGAGE BECAUSE THEY FEAR YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR CERTIFICATE. YOU WILL WALK AWAY FROM THEIR OFFICE, AND YOU WILL END UP GOING TO SWB ELSE WHO WILL WRITE THE LOAN AND THEY WON'T GET THE COMMISSION. IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BUY A HOME, IF ARE YOU LOOKING TO BUY A HOME, AND YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOU CAN GET OUT OF THAT PURCHASE OF THAT HOUSE THAT YOU LOVE, GET YOUR VA ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE AND FIND YOU A LENDER THAT WILL DO THE VA HOME LOAN. IF YOUR BANK WON'T DO IT, GO TO ANOTHER BANK. THEY MAYBE YOUR HOME TOWN PEOPLE, BUT THEY ARE NOT PAYING THE BILLS AT YOUR HOUSE. I WOULD -- THAT'S WHAT I WOULD PUSH.

>> IS THERE A ONE TIME ONLY ?

>> NO, NOT ONE TIME ONLY. CAN YOU BUY YOUR HOME WITH THE VA ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE. YOU CAN REFINANCE IT WITH THE VA ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE. YOU CAN SELL YOUR HOUSE AND GO BUY ANOTHER HOUSE WITH THE VA ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATES. YOU CAN USE IT AS LONG AS THE PROPERTY THAT YOU INITIALLY PURCHASE WITH THE CERTIFICATE IS EITHER PAY IT OFF OR YOU HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE BANK FOR ANOTHER MEANS OF BEING -- MORTGAGE BEING PAID. QUESTION IN THE BACK. (CAN'T HEAR).

>>JIMMIE MILLER: THE QUESTION IS WHY YOU ONLY RECEIVE VETERANS PREFERENCE WHEN YOU FIRST APPLY FOR A POSITION WITH THE STATE OF ILLINOIS THAT YOU DON'T GET VETERANS PREFERENCE WHEN YOU LOOK TO PROMOTE FROM ONE POSITION TO ANOTHER.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: WELL, YOU KNOW, I WILL BE HONEST I DON'T REALLY KNOW. THAT IS A STATE POLICY. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS PUT OUT BY OUR AGENCY. I GUESS IT IS BASICALLY TO GET YOU ON BOARD, AND THEN ONCE YOU ARE ON BOARD, THE PLAYING FIELD IS LEVELED, AND EVERYBODY COMPETES EQUALLY.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: IF YOU WOULD WRITE THIS NUMBER DOWN, MACK MCKELVEY IS VETERANS OUTREACH COORDINATOR FOR THE CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES. HIS PHONE NUMBER HERE IN SPRINGFIELD (217)524-1313. HE IS AT 800 NUMBER, 800-643-8138. WE ARE BLESSED TO HAVE MACK IN THE HOUSE! MACK. GENTLEMAN HAS A QUESTION. I APOLOGIZE!

>>THE QUESTION I HAVE -- SOME STATE AGENCIES WHEN YOU PROMOTE, IT IS FINE. BUT OTHER STATE AGENCIES, BEFORE YOU TAKE THAT PROMOTION, YOU HAVE TO RESIGN. SO, NOW, YOU ARE TAKING A NEW POSITION, DOESN'T VETERANS PREFERENCE KICK IN?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I WILL BE HONEST. I CAN'T ANSWER THE HR QUESTIONS. THESE ARE HUMAN RESOURCE. THESE HIRING PRACTICES, I AM HERE FOR COMPENSATION FOR VETERANS. I CAN'T COMMENT ON POLICIES OR PRACTICES BY THE STATE TO BE HONEST. I CAN GIVE YOU VA INFORMATION, BUT I CAN'T GO INTO THE HR.

>>I WOULD THINK IT WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH A LOT OF THE POSITIONS ARE NOW UNIONIZED. AND THEY WOULD GO BY SIEWN SENIORITY.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I CAN'T HELP YOU.

>>I CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTION REGARDING VETERANS PREFERENCE. I DID A LEGAL STUDY ON VETERANS PREFERENCING IN GRAD SCHOOL. VETERANS PREFERENCE WAS INITIATED TO HELP VETERANS WHEN THEY RETURNED TO THE STATE BECAUSE THEY HAVE LOST A LOT OF THEIR NETWORKING SKILLS. SO WHEN THEY COME IN AND THEY INITIALLY APPLY FOR STATE JOB PREFERENCE, THOSE POINTS ARE AWARDED TO THEM TO ASSIST THEM IN GETTING STATE JOBS. SO ONCE THEY HAVE ESTABLISHED STATE EMPLOYMENT, THAT'S WHY VETERANS PREFERENCE IS NOT INITIATED BECAUSE THEY ARE CONSIDERED ALREADY IN THE STATE SYSTEM. SO BASICALLY THEY ARE DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU A HAND UP. BUT ONCE YOU ARE IN THE SYSTEM, THAT'S ARE WHY VETERANS PREFERENCE DOES NOT APPLY. THEN YOU ARE SUBJECT TO DIFFERENT BARGAINING REGULATIONS AND RULES AND AGREEMENTS THAT ARE ALREADY IN PLACE. SO BASICALLY THAT'S THE GENERAL IDEA OF VETERANS PREFERENCE.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: WE WILL MOVE THE PROGRAM --

>>I HAVE ONE MORE THING, JIMMIE. ON THE QUESTION REGARDING IF YOU HAVE TO RESIGN FOR A POSITION, FOR ANOTHER STATE POSITION, IF YOU ARE COMING OFF THE OPEN COMPETITIVE LIST, YOU STILL GET YOUR VETERANS PREFERENCE. YOU STILL GET THE VETERANS PREFERENCE. YOU DO GET THAT PREFERENCE AGAIN IF YOU ARE COMING OFF THE COMPO TIVE LIST.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: WE WILL MOVE THE PROGRAM ALONG. KELLY, AND WE HAVE ANOTHER VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER IN THE HOUSE WILL ANSWER ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS YOU HAVE. CHICAGO, WE HAVE GOT VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER IN YOUR CONFERENCE ROOM AS WELL. MOVING O ON TO THE NEXT PRESENTER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, KELLY CRAVENS. (APPLAUSE).

>>JIMMIE MILLER: MOVING ON TO THE NEXT PRESENTER, IS YOUNG LADY WHO HAS BEEN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS. KATHY DAVIS IS ONE OF THE GRANT ADMINISTRATORS, AND WILL TALK TO YOU ABOUT THAT.

>>KATHY DAVIS: GOOD AFTERNOON. AGAIN, MY NAME IS KATHY DAVIS. I AM WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. I WORK IN THE GRANTS SECTION, AND I ASSIST IN PROCESSING SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOUSING TAX EXEMPTIONS. IN 2007, THERE WAS TWO NEW EXEMPTIONS THAT WENT INTO LAW. ONE WAS FOR RETURNING HOME VETERANS EXEMPTION, AND THE OTHER ONE WAS DISABLED STANDARD HOMESTEAD EXTENSION. FOR THE RETURNING HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION, THERE IS ONE TIME $5,000 REDUCTION TO A VETERANS HOME EQUALIZED THE ASSESSED VALUE. WHENEVER YOU -- HOW MANY EVER TIMES YOU COME BACK FROM SERVICE, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THIS EXEMPTION. CAN YOU GET IT ONCE A YEAR. SO IF YOU ARE EVACUATED THIS YEAR, AND THEN YOU GO NEXT YEAR, YOU WILL GET IT EACH YEAR THAT YOU RETURN HOME. YOU NEED A COPY OF YOUR DD214 DISCHARGE. YOU MUST OWN THE PROPERTY, AND THIS CAN BE FOUND AT YOUR LOCAL COUNTY ASSESSOR'S OFFICE. LOCAL COUNTY ASSESSOR'S OFFICE IS THE ONLY AGENCY WHERE YOU CAN OBTAIN THE FORMS. THAT'S A TAX FORM 341. FOR THE DISABLED VETERANS STANDARD HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION, THIS EXEMPTION IS ELIGIBLE TO ALL VETERANS THAT ARE RECEIVING THE DISABILITY FROM 50 TO 100 PERCENT SERVICE CONNECTED BY THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. IF YOU ARE 50 TO 74%, YOU ARE EXEMPT $2,500 OFF THE ASSESSED VALUE OF YOUR HOME WHICH IS ALSO CALCULATED BY THE COUNTY ASSESSOR'S OFFICE. IF YOU ARE 75% TO 5 -- 75% TO 100%, YOU ARE EXEMPT $5,000 OFF THE ASSESSED VALUE OF YOUR HOME. AGAIN, IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THIS, YOU MUST BE ILLINOIS RESIDENT. YOU MUST SUBMIT A COPY OF YOUR DD214 AND AN AWARD LETTER THAT IS ISSUED TO YOU BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. WHEN YOU ARE SUBMITTING THIS INFORMATION, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOUR AWARD LETTER FROM THE VA STATES WHAT YOUR SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY RATING IS. THIS BENEFIT IS ELIGIBLE TO THE SURVIVORS IF A VETERAN PASSES AWAY. IT FOLLOWS HER WHEREVER SHE GOES AS LONG AS SHE DOES NOT REPAIR RY. SHE CAN TRANSFER THIS EXEMPTION TO OTHER PROPERTIES (AS LONG AS SHE DOES NOT REMARRY) HOW DO WE GET IN CONTACT WITH THESE VETERANS. ANY VETERAN THAT COMES BACK TO ILLINOIS, DD214 IS SUBMITTED TO ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. A LETTER IS GENERATED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS WELCOMING THESE VETERANS HOME, AND THERE IS INFORMATION AS TO WHERE THEY ARE TO CONTACT THEIR LOCAL DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE TOSS APPLY FOR ANY OTHER BENEFITS THAT THEY MAY BE ABLE TO RECEIVE. IS THERE ANY QUESTIONS ?

>> THERE ARE SO MANY NATIONAL GUARDS PERSONS NOW BOTH DOING ACTIVE SERVICE AND THE REGULAR GUARDS MAN DUTY. THEY DON'T RECEIVE DD214, WHAT DOCUMENTS?

>>KATHY DAVIS: GUARDS GET NGB22'S. SUBMIT THAT OR MILITARY ORDERS.

>> THAT'S TOO BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL ENTITIES IS THAT FEDERAL ONLY?

>>KATHY DAVIS: THIS IS STATE BENEFIT THAT I AM REFERRING TO.

>>REPEAT THE QUESTION PLEASE.

>>THERE WERE BOTH NATIONAL GUARD AND REGULAR MILITARY, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY NATIONAL GUARD PERSONS PERFORMING ACTIVE DUTY SERVICES NOW. SHE MENTIONED WE SHOULD BRING DD214 ISSUED ONLY TO REGULAR SERVICE MEMBERS. THE NATIONAL GUARDS MEN SHOULD BRING NGB22 FOR ANY STATE AND FEDERAL AS WELL, FOR ANY STATE OR FEDERAL BENEFITS THAT THEY LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING.

>>KATHY DAVIS: YOU ALWAYS NEED YOUR MILITARY DISCHARGE FOR ANY STATE OR FEDERAL BENEFITS. THAT HAS TO A COMPANY ANY TYPE OF CLAIMS THAT YOU ARE FILING FOR. BUT WHEN YOU ARE FILING FOR THE TAX EXEMPTION, I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT, THERE ARE DIFFERENT FORMS THAT EACH MILITARY HAS. THE NATIONAL GUARD IS THE NGB22. IF YOU ARE A REGULAR SERVICE DD214. IF YOU ARE IN THE GUARD AND ACTIVATED FOR ACTIVE DUTY, YOU ARE ISSUED DD214. OKAY. DID I ANSWER YOUR QUESTION ?

>> YOU DID.

>>KATHY DAVIS: ALSO THERE IS MILITARY ORDERS, TRAVEL VOUCHERS STATED YOU RETURNED FROM AN ARMED CONFLICT OF THE FORCE OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THAT TAX YEAR.

>> I HAVE QUESTION -- (CAN'T HEAR).

>>KATHY DAVIS: IS THERE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? I THINK --

>>YES, I HAVE A QUESTION. IS THERE CURRENTLY LEGISLATION WITHIN THE STATE THAT WILL ALLOW DISABLED VETERANS TO HAVE THEIR ASSESSED -- FOR THEIR PROPERTY TAXES REDUCED BY THE PERCENTAGE THEY ARE DISABLED?

>>KATHY DAVIS: NOT AT THE PRESENT TIME, NO.

>>THERE WERE A COUPLE BILLS THAT WERE WRITTEN BASICALLY TO -- WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT IF YOU ARE TEN PERCENT SERVICE CONNECTED, YOUR PROPERTY TAXES WOULD BE TEN PERCENT LESS. IF YOU ARE 50% SERVICE CONNECTED, YOUR PROPERTY TAXES WOULD BE 50% LESS. THAT BILL HAS BEEN INTRODUCED A COUPLE TIMES. IT HADN'T -- I THINK THE LAST TIME IT ACTUALLY MADE IT TO THE SENATE, IT MISSED BY LIKE 11 VOTES FOR PASSING. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOU TAKE AN INTEREST IN, WRITE YOUR STATE REPS AND YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND ASK THEM FOR SUPPORT OF THAT BILL. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT, FOR EXAMPLE, MYSELF, YOU SAY I HAVE GOT KIDS IN SCHOOL, AND I SHOULD BE PAYING MY FULL PROPERTY TAXES, BUT MY DAD WHO IS A DISABLED VETERAN, 80 YEARS OLD AND IT WOULD BE A VERY, VERY BENEFICIAL RESOURCE TO HAVE HIS PROPERTY TAX REDUCED AS A RESULT OF HIS PERCENTAGE OF DISABILITY.

>>ON THE RETURNING VETERANS EXEMPTION, A LOT OF THE YOUTH COMING BACK, THEY WILL BE COMING BACK GOING TO SCHOOL AND MAY NOT BE LOOKING TOWARDS PURCHASING A HOME ANY TIME SOON. IS THIS JUST AVAILABLE -- THEY JUST KEEP A COPY OF THOSE TRAVEL VOUCHERS?

>>KATHY DAVIS: IT IS PER YEAR. SO I THINK IF YOU ARE GOING TO APPLY FOR IT, YOU HAVE TO APPLY WITHIN THAT YEAR. EVEN IF YOU COME BACK NOVEMBER 31, IT HAS TO BE WITHIN THAT YEAR. I DON'T THINK THERE IS NOT A RETRO.

>>IS THIS ELIGIBILITY THING LIKE YOU APPLY, GET PROOF YOU ARE APPROVED FOR IT, BUT IF YOU DON'T PURCHASE A HOME UNTIL IT IS ONLY IN THAT YEAR THAT YOU SERVE ?

>>

>>KATHY DAVIS: FOR RETURNING HOME VETERANS. YOU HAVE TO RETURN THAT YEAR IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE BENEFIT.

>>PURCHASE THE HOUSE WITHIN THE YEAR?

>>KATHY DAVIS: RIGHT.

>>I AM SORRY, PAY TAXES.

>>

>>KATHY DAVIS: MOST RETURNING ALREADY OWN THEIR HOPES. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? MOST OF THEM ALREADY OWN THEIR HOME.

>>REALLY?

>>KATHY DAVIS: YES. NOT ALL OF THEM, BUT THAT'S WHAT THIS IT IS GEARED TOWARDS ALL VETERANS RETURNING HOME. EVEN IF YOU PURCHASE A HOME LATER ON, YOU WILL GET THAT EXEMPTION. BUT DEFINITELY LIKE THE ONES THAT HAVE HOMES AND THEY ARE COMING HOME, AND THIS KIND OF HELP THEM OUT. JIM JI ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

>>WILL THE GENTLEMAN TALKING ON THE PHONE, PLEASE MUTE YOUR LINE.

>>DOES IT ONLY APPLY TO VA LOANS IF YOU HAVE GOT YOUR HOME THROUGH VA LONE LOAN?

>>KATHY DAVIS: IT DOES NOT MATTER. THERE IS NO CONNECTION, JUST THAT YOU OWN YOUR HOME. THERE IS ONE MORE I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU GUYS. THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER DISABLED VETERANS TAX EXEMPTION FOR DISABLED VETERANS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TOTALLY DISABLED, MOST ARE PARAPLEGIC, AND THEIR HOUSES ARE SPECIALLY ADAPT TODAY MEET THEIR LIVING NEEDS. THIS BENEFIT IS AVAILABLE TO VETERANS AND YOU HAVE TO APPLY THROUGH THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND APPLY FOR SPECIAL HOUSING GRANT WHICH IS $50,000 THEY GIVE TO YOU REMODEL YOUR HOME. ONCE YOU BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR THAT, YOU WILL GET THE DISABLED VETERANS TAX EXEMPTION WHICH IS EXEMPT $70,000 OF THE ASSESSED VALUE OF YOUR HOME. BUT IN ORDER TO GET THAT, YOU MUST RECEIVE THE FEDERAL ESPECIALLY ADAPTED HOUSING GRANT FIRST. SO I JUST WANTED TO KIND OF PUT THAT OUT THERE BECAUSE WE HAVE OVER 400 VETERANS THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF ILLINOIS THAT ARE RECEIVING THIS SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOUSING GRANT.

>>ARE THERE ANY LIMITS AS FAR AS THE VA HOME LOAN GOES? BECAUSE I HAVE HEARD, JUST RUMORS, THAT IT IS EASIER TO BUILD YOUR OWN HOME BECAUSE THE VA HAVE TO INSPECT ANY HOME, AND MOST OF THE TIME THAT HOME WILL FAIL. AND THEY WILL TURN YOU DOWN?

>>KATHY DAVIS: ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOUSING ?

>> NO, REGULAR VA LOANS. THAT'S WHAT I HAVE HEARD. THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO DO INSPECTION.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: IN TERMS OF THE ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE ?

>> YES.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: THAT'S NOT ACCURATE. NO. THE ONLY THING THE VA REQUIRES THAT YOU DO, AND THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO DO IS HAVE A HOME INSPECTION. AND YEAH, HAVE HOME INSPECTION.

>>THERE ARE CERTAIN RULES YOU HAVE TO HAVE FOUR YEARS LEFT ON THE ROOF. HAS TO HAVE HANDRAILS. THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT HAVE TO MEET REQUIREMENTS. IT IT IS ALL SAFETY TYPE REQUIREMENTS THAT WILL QUALIFY FOR VA LOAN.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: CAN YOU REPEAT THAT.

>>THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT NEED TO BE MET BY THE SELLER. THEY HAVE TO HAVE AT LEAST FOUR YEARS OF LIFE LEFT ON THE ROOF, HANDRAILS ON ALL STAIRS. CERTAIN THINGS THAT THEY REQUIRES AS A MINIMUM.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: WE HAVE ONE MORE QUESTION IN THE BACK.

>> WHERE ARE THOSE VA RULES IDENTIFIED AT THAT WE CAN LOOK AT THEM FOR ELIGIBILITY.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: IF YOU MIND LINDA WHO HANDLES THE VA LOAN GAWRN TORE, THEY SHOULD HAVE THOSE RULES. AS THE LADY SAID, SAFETY RULES, MEANING IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUY A HOUSE, AND SELLER WANTS TO SELL YOU THE HOUSE, AND YOU ARE SINCERE ABOUT THE DEAL, AND THE REQUIREMENT THEY PUT A ROOF ON THE HOUSE OR THEY ALLOW ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR YOU TO REPLACE THE ROOF, YOU WANT THOSE THINGS DONE. YOU DON'T WANT TO BUY A HOUSE WITH SAFETY ISSUES, AND YOU HAVE TO FOOT THE BILL FOR THE COST OF THOSE PROBLEMS.

>>KATHY DAVIS: ARE THERE ANY MORE QUESTIONS?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: ARE YOU GOING TO TOUCH ON THE BONUSES ?

>>

>>KATHY DAVIS: YES. WE HAVE A BONUS ACTUALLY WE ARE THE ONLY STATE THAT STILL HAS OPEN THE WORLD WAR II BONUS, KOREAN, VIETNAM, AND DESERT STORM. SO IF YOU SERVED DURING ONE OF THOSE WARS, WE SUGGEST YOU CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO SEE IF YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A ONE TIME PAYMENT. THE WORLD WAR II IS BASED UPON -- IT IS CALCULATED BY TEN DOLLARS A MONTH FOR DOMESTIC SERVICE AND $15 A MONTH FOR FOREIGN SERVICE. OF COURSE ARE THERE ARE QUALIFICATIONS THAT HAVE TO BE MET. IF THERE IS -- IF YOU SERVED IN KOREA, VIETNAM, OR DESERT STORM, THERE IS A ONE TIME PAYMENT OF A HUNDRED DOLLARS. IF YOU ARE A VETERAN -- IF YOU HAVE A VETERANS DEPENDENT AND THEY DIED OF A SERVICE CONNECTED DEATH THAT WAS RELATED TO BEING A VIETNAM VETERAN, THERE IS ALSO A ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PAYMENT THAT GOES TO THE SURVIVOR'S SPOUSE AND PRETTY MUCH THAT SURVIVING SPOUSE IS DRAWING DIC. BUT THE DEATH HAS TO BE SERVICE CONNECTED.

>>EXPLAIN.

>>KATHY DAVIS: DEPENDENCY, HE INDEMNITY, THEY WILL GET MONTHLY BENEFITS FROM THE VA. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? THANK YOU VERY MUCH, KATHY DAVIS. (APPLAUSE) OUR NEXT PRESENTER IS DENA MACKEY, PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE PRINT HOMES PROGRAM IN MANTENO, ILLINOIS. THIS PROGRAM IS ONE OF THE FIRST IN THE NATION, AND OTHER STATES ARE TRYING TO DRAW A MODEL OFF OF THE HOME WE HAVE HERE IN ILLINOIS.

>>DEANNA MACKEY: GOOD AFTERNOON. I WOULD SAY FROM THE FORUM WE ARE EXPERIENCING NOW, I NEED TO MOVE OVER. THANK YOU. THAT KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. AND THAT IS OUR PURPOSE HERE TODAY, TO GIVE YOU MORE AND MORE KNOWLEDGE. SO IF YOU BECOME IN ONE OF THESE SITUATIONS, YOU CAN ASSIST YOURSELF. AS JIMMIE EXPLAINED TO YOU, I AM THE DIRECTOR OF THE HOMELESS AND DISABLED PROGRAM FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. STATE OF ILLINOIS, THIS PROGRAM IS A PILOT PROGRAM. IT IS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND. STATE OF ILLINOIS IS THE FIRST STATE TO HAVE A HOMELESS PROGRAM THAT IS RUN BY STATE GOVERNMENT. SOURCES NATIONALLY STATE BETWEEN 23 AND 40% OF HOMELESS ADULTS ARE VETERANS. THAT'S A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER. THERE SHOULD NOT BE 40% OF ONE POPULATION WITHIN A POPULATION. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A HOMELESS VETERAN ACTUALLY LOOK SIMILAR TO OTHER HOMELESS ADULTS. THE SAME THINGS THAT PREDICT HOMELESSNESS UPON THE GENERAL POPULATION, POVERTY, LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING, POOR ACCESS TO SUPPORT NETWORKS, LACK OF INFORMATION, AND LACK OF KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE GETTING TODAY, UNEMPLOYMENT, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ALSO PREDICT HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS. ONE ADVANTAGE IS THAT -- ONE CHALLENGE IS THAT A VETERAN MAY ATTEMPT TO TACKLE THEIR ISSUES FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME ON THEIR OWN. SO THEY ARE NOT GOING TO SEEK HELP. THEY HAVE BEEN SOLDIERS. THEY ARE STRONG. THEY CAN HANDLE IT. BUT EVERYONE NEEDS A HELPING HAND AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER. IN 2008, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS OPENED THE FIRST HOMELESS DISABLED PROGRAM, PRINCE HOME IN MANTENO, ITS. WE TAKE VETERANS FROM ALL OVER THE STATE. WE -- WE TAKE ILLINOIS VETERANS HAVE A PREFERENCE, A PRIORITY IN BEING PLACED. PROGRAM IS A RESIDENTIAL. BY THAT I MEAN THE VETERANS ARE HOUSED IN THE FACILITY. IT IS A THERAPEUTIC STRUCTURE PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES INDIVIDUAL TO THE VETERAN. AT FIRST, ASSESSMENT IS COMPLETED TO SEE IN WHAT AREA A VETERAN NEEDS ASSISTANCE, WHETHER IT IS IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE, MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, MEDICAL ISSUES, ADVOCACY, WORKING THROUGH THE SYSTEMS. WE WORK WITH THE VSO OFFICERS, WHATEVER THAT INDIVIDUAL NEEDS, WE DO AN ASSESSMENT. AFTER THAT ASSESSMENT IS COMPLETED, WE THEN IDENTIFY A PLAN FOR THAT VETERAN TO PROVIDE SERVICES. SERVICES RANGE FROM TREATMENT GROUPS TO INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT TO FAMILY REUNIFICATIONS. MANY TIMES VETERANS HAVE PROBLEMS GETTING BACK WITH THEIR FAMILIES. THEY NEED A SUPPORT GROUP, NOT JUST A COMMUNITY, NOT JUST A VA, NOT JUST A STATE, BUT THE FAMILY WHO LOVES THEM MOST. THE PROGRAM THAT WE HAVE CAN BE COMPLETED IN A NINE MONTH PERIOD. WE ALSO HAVE JOB PLACEMENT. DURING THIS TIME, THE VETERAN IS RETRAINED IN THINGS THAT ARE REQUIRED IN OUR CULTURE TO BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT. WE PROVIDE THEM SERVICES AND KNOWLEDGE AND ACCESSIBILITY TO GETTING THE THINGS THAT THEY NEED. MANY OF OUR VETERANS WHO HAVE COME THROUGH OUR PROGRAM HAVE FOUND FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT, BOTH IN FEDERAL, STATE, AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, TO ENSURE THEIR EARNING POWER THROUGHOUT THE THE REMAINDER OF THEIR LIVES. CURRENTLY, WE HAVE OPENINGS FOR MALE AND FEMALE WITHIN OUR PROGRAM. SO IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS HOMELESS THAT IS LOOKING FOR A PLACE, WE HAVE OPENINGS. MY NUMBER IS (815)468-6581, EXTENSION 355. A LITTLE EARLIER I WAS HEARING SOMEONE SPEAK ABOUT HOW VETERANS ARE NOT SERVED THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE SERVED. WE CAN'T TALK ABOUT -- WE CAN'T REALLY DEAL WITH WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST. ALL WE CAN DEAL WITH IS MOVING FORWARD. YOU ARE RIGHT. I HAVE SEEN MANY SITUATIONS WHERE VETERANS HAVE NOT BEEN SERVED THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE. BUT, AS THE STATE MOVES FORWARD, AS OUR COUNTRY MOVES FORWARD, AS WE AS A PEOPLE MOVE FORWARD, WE WILL MOVE FORWARD TO TAKING BETTER CARE OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAKEN SUCH GOOD CARE OF US. I THINK WE SHOULD PUSH THE MUTE BUTTON WHICH IS STAR SIX SO WE WON'T HEAR YOUR INDIVIDUAL CONVERSATIONS. ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS? YES, SIR ?

>> HOW MANY OF THESE HOMELESS VETERANS CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE?

>>AT ONE TIME, 15. WE ARE LOOKING TO EXPAND.

>>WHAT CONFLICT -- VIETNAM, SINCE 1975, WHICH CON FLIBLGHT ATTRIBUTES TO THE MOST HOMELESS VETERANS TO YOUR PROGRAM.

>>DEANNA MACKEY: CURRENTLY VIETNAM VETERANS. THERE ARE UPRISE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS THAT ARE HOMELESS. WE ARE SEEING LARGE NUMBERS AS WELL AS LARGER NUMBERS IN FEMALES WHEREAS PREVIOUSLY WE HAD NOT SEEN FEMALES. THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THE PROGRAM SERVICE FEMALES ALSO.

>> IS THERE A COST FOR THIS PROGRAM?

>>DEANNA MACKEY: THERE IS NOT A COST. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY, THEN THERE IS NO MONEY TO PAY. HOWEVER, IF WE GET YOU EMPLOYED OR WE ASSIST YOU IN GETTING FINANCIAL BENEFITS THROUGHOUT VA, SOCIAL SECURITY, OR UNEMPLOYMENT, WHEREAS NO WHEREIN LIFE, YOU HAVE A FREE RIDE, 30% OF YOUR INCOME WILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY MAINTENANCE FEES. THAT'S JUST TO GET YOU ON YOUR WAY. ALSO, IF YOU HAVE AN INCOME, WE TAKE 35% OF YOUR INCOME, WE PUT IT IN A SAVINGS FUND SO WHEN YOU ARE DISCHARGED, YOU HAVE MONEY FOR YOUR SECURITY DEPOSIT OR WHATEVER YOU NEED TO PURCHASE A CAR FOR TRAVELING. SO IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY IT, DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING.

>> HOW DO YOU SCREEN THESE APPLICANTS?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: HOW DO YOU SCREEN THE APPLICANTS?

>>DEANNA MACKEY: ON THE WEB SITE, STATE WEB SITE, THERE IS AN APPLICATION. THAT IS FAXED INTO THE SOCIAL WORKER, AND WE GO OUT AND VISIT EACH APPLICANT PERSONALLY. WE GO OVER THE CRITERIA. THE BIGGEST, MOST IMPORTANT THING AFTER BEING A VETERAN AND BEING HOMELESS IS IF YOU WANT POSITIVE CHANGE, IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WAY YOUR LIFE IS OR THE SPIRAL THAT YOU ARE ON, YOU HAVE THAT. WE CAN WORK FROM THERE. ANY MORE QUESTIONS? THANK YOU. (APPLAUSE).

>>JIMMIE MILLER: NEXT PRESENTER WE ARE BRINGING IS DAN WELLMAN. HE IS ONE OF THE VETERAN EDUCATIONAL SPECIALISTS FOR THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VET VETERANS AFFAIRS. HE WILL TALK TO US ABOUT THE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS THAT OUR VETERANS DESERVE.

>>DAN WELLMAN: GOOD AFTERNOON. FIRST OF ALL, I'D LIKE TO START OUT BY THANKING ALL VETERANS FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR GREAT NATION. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. SECOND, BECAUSE YOU ARE A VETERAN, I'D LIKE TO HELP YOU MAKE A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION FROM THE MILITARY INTO A GOOD CIVILIAN CAREER. AND I WANT TO SHOW YOU HOW YOU CAN USE YOUR GI BILL, YOUR CURRENT MONTGOMERY GI BILL AND POST 911GI BILL AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE THAT TRANSITION. SINCE I TEND TO RAMBLE, I PUT TOGETHER AN AGENDA TO KEEP ME FOCUSED. OF COURSE IT IS MOVING AHEAD OF ME A LITTLE BIT. WE HAVE TO GO BACK. HERE IS WHAT I WILL TALK ABOUT TODAY. THIS IS IMPORTANT. I AM GOING TO START LAYING A FOUNDATION BY TALKING ABOUT THE CURRENT MONTGOMERY GI BILL, ACTIVE DUTY AND RESERVISTS. IT IS IMPORTANT YOU HAVE A FIRM UNDERSTANDING HOW THAT GI BILL WORKS BECAUSE THE NEW POST -- IF YOU MOVE TO THE NEW POST 911GI BILL, YOU HAVE TO MAKE IR REVOKABLE DECISION TO GO FROM THE CURRENT MONTGOMERY BILL TO O POST 911GI BILL. NEW POST 911GI BILL IS A WONDERFUL BENEFIT, HOWEVER IT DOES HAVE SOME LIMITATIONS AND SOME DRAWBACKS, AND WE WILL DISCUSS THAT. ALSO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE WONDERFUL STATE OF ILLINOIS VETERANS BENEFITS THAT WE HAVE, INCLUDING ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, AND THE GUARD SCHOLARSHIP, AND HOW YOU CAN USE IT IN COMBINATION WITH YOUR FEDERAL BENEFITS. I WORK FOR THE ILLINOIS STATE APPROVING AGENCY. IF YOU HAVE USED YOUR GI BILL IN ANY FORM, SOMEONE FROM OUR OFFICE HAS APPROVED YOUR PROGRAM OF EDUCATIONAL TRAINING WITH THE GI BILL. WE GO TO COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND UNIVERSITIES, VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS, FLIGHT SCHOOLS, APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS, ON THE JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS, WE HAVE ENTREPRENEUR SHIP, LICENSE AND CERTIFICATION TESTS, JUST A NUMBER OF WAYS YOU CAN USE YOUR CURRENT MONTGOMERY GI BILL. SECOND PURPOSE OF OUR OFFICE IS PROVIDE OUTREACH SERVICES. TONIGHT I AM GOING FROM HERE OVER TO WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, AND GIVING THE SAME BRIEFING OF THE POST 911GI BILL. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE PROVIDE GOOD SOLID INFORMATION ABOUT THIS NEW BENEFIT TO VETERANS. WITH THAT, I WILL GET STARTED BY LAYING THE FOUNDATION I TALKED ABOUT WITH THE CURRENT MONTGOMERY GI BILL WHICH I WOULD SAY THERE IS THREE CHAPTERS FOR POST 9-11 VETERANS AS CHAPTER 1606 SELECTIVE RESERVE GI BILL. CHAPTER 1607 FOR RESERVISTS WHO HAVE DEPLOYED OR HE SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY SINCE 9-11, AND ALSO CHAPTER 30 WHICH IS TYPICAL TRADITIONAL MONTGOMERY GI BILL FOR ACTIVE DUTY VETERANS THAT'S BEEN AROUND SINCE 1985. WE TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ELIGIBILITY OF EACH OF THE CHAPTERS. FOR CHAPTER 1606, CENTRAL POINTS ARE THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE A SIX YEAR PERIOD OF OBLIGATION TO THE SELECT RESERVES. YOU HAVE TO SERVED -- IF YOU ARE AN OFFICER, YOU HAVE TO DO ADDITIONAL SIX YEARS. YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED BOTH YOUR BASIC TRAINING AND YOUR AIT OR ADVANCED SKILLS TRAINING. YOU MUST HAVE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR EQUIVALENCY, AND YOU MUST, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, REMAIN IN GOOD STANDING WITH YOUR RESERVE OR NATIONAL GUARD UNIT. ONCE YOU HAVE DECIDED NOT TO COME TO DRILL ANY MORE, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LOSE YOUR GI BILL BENEFITS. CHAPTER 1607 GENERALLY FOR THOSE PEOPLE ELIGIBLE FOR CHAPTER 1606 BUT HAVE SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY SINCE 9-11 FOR AT LEAST A PERIOD OF 90 DAYS. THEY RECEIVE A PERCENTAGE OF THE ACTIVE DUTY PAYMENT WHICH I WILL SHOW YOU IN A LITTLE BIT. CHAPTER 30, THE BASIC ELIGIBILITY IS THAT YOU HAVE HAD TO ENTERED ACTIVE DUTY AFTER JUNE 30 OF 1985. YOU HAVE HAD TO CONTRIBUTE ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH FOR 12 MONTHS. AND YOU HAVE TO CONTINUOUSLY SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS OR HAVE SIGNED UP FOR TWO AND FOUR CONTRACT. THERE IS OTHER WAYS YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GI BILL FOR THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL, BUT I DON'T WANT TO GET INTO IT TODAY BECAUSE IT IS VERY COMPLICATED. I WOULD RECOMMEND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, GOING TO WWW GOT GIBILL GOT VA.GOV TO LOOK UP THE OTHER CRY TEAR YA. MOST OF THAT CRITERIA APPLIES TO THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY BEFORE 1985. TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE TIME LIMITS AND HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE TO USE THESE BENEFITS. CHAPTER 1606 SELECT RESERVE GI BILL, IF YOU HAVE ENTERED OR YOU LISTED IN THE RESERVES OR GUARD AFTER OCTOBER 1 OF 1992, THE GENERAL RULE IS YOU HAVE 14 YEARS TO USE YOUR BENEFITS. IF YOU ENLISTED PRIOR TO THAT, YOU HAVE TEN YEARS TO USE YOUR BENEFITS. THERE WAS A WHAT I CALL MOBILIZATION EXCEPTION, I SHOULD STEP BACK, THERE IS ALSO A REQUIREMENT THAT YOU SERVE IN GOOD STANDING IN YOUR RESERVE UNIT WHICH BRINGS UP THE NEXT POINT, WHICH IS THE MOBILIZATION EXCEPTION WHICH COMES OUT OF RESERVE AND GUARDS SERVING IN BOSNIA AND KOSOVO PRIOR TO 9-11, AND THAT IS IT EXTENDED THEIR BENEFITS FOR APPEARED OF THE LENGTH OF THEIR DEPLOYMENT, PLUS FOUR MONTHS. THAT PERIOD DOESN'T REQUIRE RESERVES OR GUARD. THAT'S THE MOBILIZATION EXCEPTION. CHAPTER 1607, FOR THOSE NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE THAT HAVE SERVED IN A PERIOD OF ACTIVE DUTY SINCE 9-11. THEY GENERALLY HAVE TEN YEARS AFTER THEY SEPARATE FROM THE SELECT RESERVE. THIS GETS A LITTLE TRICKY, THOUGH, BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T SEPARATE FROM THE SELECT RESERVE. WHAT HAPPENS IS WHEN THEY SIGN UP, THEY SIGN UP FOR EIGHT YEAR CONTRACT. THEY WILL SIGN UP FOR WHAT IS CALLED THE SIX BY TWO, SIX YEARS IN SELECT RESERVE, AND TWO YEARS IN THE IRR. ONCE THEY TRANSFER INTO THE IRR OR ING, THEY ARE NO LONGER ELIGIBLE FOR CHAPTER 1607. SO THEY HAVE TO FULFILL THEIR TWO YEAR PERIOD OF CONTRACT THERE BY DOING SELECT RESERVE STATUS. IF ANYBODY THAT IS REALLY BEYOND THEIR ORIGINAL CONTRACT, KEY IS SEPARATE FROM THE SELECT RESERVE AND YOU WILL MAINTAIN YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR CHAPTER 1607. CHAPTER 30, GENERALLY HAVE TEN YEARS. THERE ARE SOME MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ALLOW YOU TO EXTEND THIS. THE CURRENT GI BILL PAYS A MONTHLY BENEFIT DIRECTLY TO VETERANS BASED ON THE TYPE OF TRAINING THEY ARE PURSUING. IF YOU SEE THERE IS INSTITUTIONAL RATE, FULL TIME, $329. THAT'S FOR PEOPLE IN THE SELECT RESERVES, CHAPTER 1606 THAT NEVER DEPLOYED OR ACTIVATED UNDER TITLE TEN ORDERS. THEY RECEIVE, IF THEY GO TO SCHOOL, FULL TIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED 12 HOURS AS UNDER #-D GRADUATE, FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS, WHATEVER THE SCHOOL DETERMINES, THEY RECEIVE $329 A MONTH PAID DIRECTLY TO THEM. IF THEY ARE TAKING LESSER AMOUNT OF CLASSES, THEY GET PAID A PRORATED AMOUNT. FOR INSTANCE, HALF TIME WOULD BE SIX HOURS, THEY WILL GET PAID $163. ALSO SHOWS THE PAYMENTS THAT CAN BE MADE FOR OTHER TYPES OF TRAINING, INCLUDING COOPERATIVE TRAINING, CORRESPONDENCE TRAINING, APPRENTICESHIP, AND ON THE JOB TRAINING AND FLIGHT SCHOOLS. THIS IS IMPORTANT, AND YOU WILL SEE IN A MINUTE WHY. HISTORY IS THE THE CHAPTER 1607 PAYMENT AMOUNTS. THIS IS ALL BASED ON HOW MUCH ACTIVE DUTY THOSE RESERVISTS DID. IF THEY DID BETWEEN 90 DAYS, BUT LESS THAN ONE YEAR, YOU CAN SEE THAT THE FULL TIME BENEFIT IS 528.40. IF THEY HAVE SERVED OVER ONE YEAR, WHICH MOST GUARD MEMBER AND RESERVISTS ARE, RECEIVE 792.60. AND SERVED OVER TWO YEARS, THEY GET $1,056 AND EIGHTY CENTS. THE AMOUNTS VARY. THEY ARE PERCENTAGE OF THE ACTIVE DUTY GI BILL. THEY ALSO CAN RECEIVE PAYMENTS FOR CORRESPONDENCE COOPERATIVE, FLIGHT, APPRENTICESHIP ON THE JOB TRAINING. IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE RATES, THE RATE CHARGES, SIX TO EIGHT PAGES LONG. IT IS VERY LENGTHY. GO TO WWW DID THE GIBILL DOT VA.GOV. CHAPTER 30 IS YOUR ACTIVE DUTY VETERANS WHO HAVE SERVED AT LEAST THREE YEARS OF ACTIVE DUTY, RECEIVED $1,321 PER MONTH FOR GOING TO SCHOOL FULL TIME. THAT IS MONEY SENT SENT DIRECTLY TO THEM TO USE ANYWAY THEY WANT. THEY CAN USE IT FOR PAYING TUITION, FOR CAR PAYMENT, FOOD, LODGING, SHELTER, WHATEVER THEY NEED. IT GOES DOWN FROM THERE FOR HALF TIME, TO 660.50. IT ALSO PAYS FOR COOPERATIVE, CORRESPONDENCE, APPRENTICESHIP AND ON THE JOB TRAINING AND FLIGHT TRAINING. THERE IS LESSER RATES FOR THOSE THAT SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY FOR TWO BY FOUR YEAR CONTRACTS I TALKED ABOUT. $1,073 PER MONTH FOR FULL TIME. 536.50 IF THEY ARE HALF TIME. THERE IS A NEW PROVISION THAT'S BEEN IN PLACE A FEW YEARS CALLED THE "BUY UP" IT IS A NEW PROGRAM FOR THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN -- THAT ARE ELIGIBLE UNDER CHAPTER 30 WHICH IS THE ACTIVE DUTY GI BILL, AND CHAPTER 1607 WHICH IS THE G IFLT BILL FOR THOSE RESERVISTS AND GUARDSMEN THAT SERVED ON ACTIVE DUTY. WHAT THEY CAN DO IS MAKE A TON CONTRIBUTION UP TO $600, AND THEY WILL DIVIDE THE CONTRIBUTION -- THE AMOUNT THEY CONTRIBUTE, BY ONE FOURTH, ANTHEM ADD THAT TO THEIR MONTHLY BENEFIT. SO IF YOU CONTRIBUTE $600, THEY WILL ADD 150-DOLLARS PER MONTH FOR MONTGOMERY GI BILL FOR 36 MONTHS. TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD SCHOLARSHIP. ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD SCHOLARSHIP FOR THOSE NATIONAL GUARD SERVICE MEMBERS WHO HAVE SERVED IN AT LEAST ONE YEAR OF SERVICE IN THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD. IT MAY BE ENLISTED OR AN OFFICER. THEY MUST BE ENROLLED AT A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE. CAN'T BE AT A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE. WHAT THEY PAY FOR IS THEY PAY ALL TUITION AND CERTAIN FEES. NOT ALL FEES. CERTAIN FEES. IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION, THIS IS AN ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION PROGRAM. THEIR WEB SITE IS WWW.COLLEGEZONE.COM. TALK ALSO ABOUT THE IMS VETERANS GRANT. WE ARE ONE OF A FEW STATES IN THE UNITED STATES THAT PROVIDES ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT WHICH PAYS TUITION AND ALL -- SUPPOSED TO BE ALL MANDATORY FEES FOR UNDER 2K3WR5D WITT OR GRADUATE UNIVERSITIES AT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES OR COMPLEN COMMUNITY COLLEGES. MUST HAVE SERVED ONE YEAR OF ACTIVE DUTY IN THE TARM ARMED FORCES OR THE LENGTH OF ACTIVATION ORDERS AS GUARDS MANOR RESERVIST, MUST HAVE RESIDED IN ILLINOIS FOR SIX MONTHS, BEFORE ENTERING THE SERVICE, AND RETURN TO ILLINOIS WITHIN SIX MONTHS AFTER GETTING OUT OF THE SERVICE. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, YOU WILL HAVE TO SPEAK TO SERVICE OFFICER TO ASSIST YOU IN THOSE CASES. EXCELLENT BENEFIT. WE WILL LEAVE IT AT THAT. LET'S TALK ABOUT THE POST 9-11GI BILL PASSED BY THE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT LAST YEAR. I WILL TELL YOU IT IS A WONDERFUL BENEFIT. BUT IT IS A VERY -- IT IS A BENEFIT THAT MAKES VETERANS HAVE TO MAKE SOME VERY COMPLICATED AND DIFFICULT DECISIONS ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN DOWNSTATE ILLINOIS. POST 9-11GI BILL WILL GO IN EFFECT AUGUST 1 OF 2009. IT WILL ONLY PAY FOR TRAINING DONE AFTER THAT DATE. THERE IS NO RETROACTIVE PAYMENT FEATURE TO IT. ESSENTIALLY TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR POST 9-11GI BILL YOU HAVE TO SERVED AT LEAST 90 DAYS ON ACTIVE DUTY SINCE 9-11 OR SERVED 30 CONTINUOUS DAYS AND RECEIVED A DISABILITY DISCHARGE. IT IS A TIERED SYSTEM SIMILAR TO CHAPTER 1607 IN THAT IT PAYS A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF THE BENEFIT BASED ON HOW MANY DAYS OF ACTIVE DUTY YOU HAVE SERVED. FOR INSTANCE, IF YOU SERVED 90 DAYS, BUT LESS THAN SIX MONTHS OF ACTIVE DUTY, IT WILL PAY 40% BENEFIT. IF YOU HAVE SERVED 12 MONTHS, BUT LESS THAN 18 MONTHS, IT WILL SERVE 60% BENEFIT. UP TO 36 MONTHS, WHERE YOU WILL GET 100% OF THE BENEFIT WHICH YOU I WILL TALK ABOUT HERE IN A SECOND. TIME LIMITS ON POST 9-11GI BILL, YOU GENERALLY HAVE 15 YEARS FROM DATE OF LAST DISCHARGE, 15 YEARS. WHAT -- I KNOW WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY ABOUT THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT NOW. IT IS A LIFETIME BENEFIT. STATE BENEFIT IS LIFETIME BENEFIT. I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT. ENTITLEMENT. WHENEVER YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ANY CHAPTER OF THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL OR THE POST 9-11GI BILL, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO 36 MONTHS OF ENTITLEMENT. SEVERAL PEOPLE ARE ELIGIBLE FOR MULTIPLE CHAPTERS OF THE GI BILL. GENERAL RULE IS WHEN YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR MULTIPLE CHAPTERS OF THE GI BILL, YOU WILL RECEIVE 36 MONTHS OF ANY CHAPTER, BUT NO MORE THAN 48 MONTHS TOTAL. SO WHEN YOU COMBINE 1606, 1607, AND 9-11, IT IS NOW CALLED CHAPTER 33, YOU CAN ONLY GET TOTAL OF 48 MONTHS OF BENEFITS. THE ONE EXCEPTION OF THIS IF YOU ARE COMBINING THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL CHAPTER 30 BENEFIT WITH THE NEW POST 9-11GI BENEFIT. IF THAT CASE, YOU WILL ONLY RECEIVE 36 MONTHS OF BENEFITS. SO IF YOU HAVE ALREADY USED 12 MONTHS OF YOUR CHAPTER 30GI -- MONTGOMERY GI BILL ACTIVE DUTY, YOU ONLY HAVE 4 MONTHS LEFT ON YOUR POST-9-11GI BILL. TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PAYMENT FOR POST 9-11GI BILL. IT IS QUITE A BIT DIFFERENT THAN THE CURRENT MONTGOMERY GI BILL WHICH I TOLD U.S. DIRECT PAYMENT TO THE VETERAN N THIS CASE, I CALL IT A THREE-POINT PAYMENT SYSTEM. FIRST POINT IS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO PAY A PERCENTAGE BASED ON YOUR AMOUNT OF SERVICE TO THE SCHOOL OF TUITION AND FEES. THAT PAYMENT WILL GO DIRECTLY TO THE SCHOOL. SECONDLY, YOU WILL RECEIVE A MONTHLY HOUSING ALLOWANCE, AND, THIRD, YOU WILL RECEIVE A STY PEN FOR BOOKS AND SUPPLIES. WE WILL GO INTO THIS IN A LITTLE MORE DETAIL. AS I STATED EARLIER, INDIVIDUALS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE BASED ON THEIR DAYS OF ACTIVE DUTY. SO IF YOU WERE IN THE RANGE OF 90 DAYS TO SIX MONTHS, YOU ARE GOING TO RECEIVE 40% OF THE TUITION PAYMENT TO THE SCHOOL. YOU ARE AT THAT 40% LEVEL. IF YOU SERVE THREE YEARS, YOU WILL GET THE 100% LEVEL. THERE ARE LIMITS. THE LIMIT WILL BE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO PAY THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF TUITION AND FEES CHARGED FOR FULL TIME, UNDERGRADUATE TRAINING AT A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE IN THE STATE THAT THE STUDENT IS ATTENDING. IN OUR STATE, THAT'S AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. I THINK WE HAVE IDENTIFIED THAT THE CURRENT PER CREDIT HOUR CHARGE IS AROUND $558. THAT'S THE MAX THAT THE VA WILL PAY ANY SCHOOL. IF YOUR TUITION EXCEEDS THAT, THAT'S THE MOST THEY ARE GOING TO PAY. I BELIEVE THE FEES WERE FOR POSSIBLILY THE AVIATION PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS WERE AROUND $17,000. THAT'S A LOT IN FEES. VERY HIGH MAX IN ILLINOIS. I WILL STATE THOSE ARE PRELIMINARY NUMBERS. THEY MAY CHANGE BETWEEN NOW AND THE FALL SEMESTER. FEES, VERY IMPORTANT TO BE DEFINED BY THE VA ARE ANY MANDATORY CHARGES THAT ARE UNIVERSALLY APPLIED TO ALL STUDENTS. IF YOU ARE IN SOME TYPE OF DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSE THAT HAS A LOT OF DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSES HAVE AN AD -ON FEE, THAT WILL NOT BE COVERED BECAUSE IT IS NOT A FEE THAT IS UNIVERSALLY APPLIED TO ALL STUDENTS. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT. THE SECOND POINT OF THE POST 9-11GI BILL, THERE WILL BE A HOUSING STIPEND THAT IS EQUIVALENT TO THE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR HOUSING FOR AN E5 WHICH IN THE ARMY IS A SERGEANT. SO A SERGEANT WITH DEPENDENTS. THE HOUSING SPY PEND WILL BE PAID TO YOU. HOUSING SPY PEND WON'T BE BASED ON YOUR ZIP CODE, BUT THE ZIP CODE OF THE SCHOOL. I SHOULD ALSO ADD THAT ANYBODY THAT IS ON ACTIVE DUTY OR THAT IS TRAINING AT LESS THAN HALF TIME OR PURSUING ALL THEIR TRAINING IN DISTANCE EDUCATION ONLINE WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE MONTHLY HOUSING ALLOWANCE. THE MONTHLY HOUSING ALLOWANCE, LIKE THE TUITION, IS PAID AT A PRORATED LEVEL. IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR 40% OF THE BENEFIT, YOU YOU WILL RECEIVE 40% OF THE STIPEND. 100%, YOU WILL RECEIVE A HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE STIPEND. HERE ARE SOME CURRENT V -- BAH RATES FOR COMMUNITIES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS THAT HAVE COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TOOK A SAMPLING, THE RANGE VARIES GREATLY FROM MACOMB, ILLINOIS, 863-DOLLAR PER MONTH, TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, WHICH PAYS $1,742 PER MONTH. HERE IN SPRINGFIELD, YOU ARE LOOKING AT A BAH PAYMENT OF $922. THERE IS ALSO GOING TO BE A BOOK STIPEND. THE BOOK STIPEND WILL BE PAYABLE UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER YEAR. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THE VA WILL MAKE A PAYMENT OF $41 AND 67 CENTS PER CREDIT HOUR TO THE VETERAN FOR THEIR BOOKS. SO IT IS ALSO A PROPORTIONAL PAYMENT. IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE AT THE 40% LEVEL, YOU WILL ONLY RECEIVE 40% OF THE BOOK STIPEND. 60%, 60% OF THE BOOK STIPEND. ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS WON'T GET THE BOOK STIPEND, JUST LIKE THE BAH. APPROVED PROGRAMS. HERE IS WHERE WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE LIMITATIONS OF THE POST 9-11GI BILL, THE PROGRAMS WE APPROVE, WE APPROVE FLIGHT TRAINING, VOCATIONAL TRAINING, APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS, ON THE JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS, THOSE PROGRAMS FOR THE MOST PART ARE NOT GOING TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR POST 9-11GI BILL. YOU HAVE TO BE PURSUING TRAINING AT AGREE GRANTING COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY. THAT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE PURSUING AGREE. YOU CAN BE PURSUING A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM OR NON-COLLEGE DEGREE PROGRAM, BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT AT AGREE GRANTING INSTITUTION. YOU HAVE TO HAVE AT LEAST ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE. (A, DEGREE GRANTING INSTITUTION) IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CHAPTER 30, CHAPTER 1606 OR CHAPTER 1607, AND YOU MAKE THAT IR REVOKABLE DECISION TO ROLL OVER INTO CHAPTER 33, THE VA HAS STATED IF YOU DECIDE TO GO BACK INTO ONE OF THESE OTHER PROGRAMS OF TRAINING THAT THEY WILL PAY YOU AT THE MAXIMUM RATE YOU YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR TALEVEL. THERE ARE SOME TRANSFER OF ENTITLEMENT PROVISIONS IN THE POST 9-11GI BILL. FIRST REQUIREMENT IS THAT YOU ARE STILL GOING TO HAVE TO BE IN THE SERVICE ON AUGUST 1 OF 2009. MUST HAVE HAVE SERVED SIX YEARS IN THE ARMED FORCES TO BE ABLE TO TRANSFER YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO YOUR SPOUSE. YOU MUST HAVE SERVED FOUR YEARS TO TRANSFER ENTITLEMENT TO A DEPENDENT. ON TOP OF THAT, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, IS GOING TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY OR ANY OTHER ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS THEY WILL PUT IN PLATES FOR SOMEONE TO TRANSFER THEIR ENTITLEMENT TO DEPENDENTS. THEY WILL COME OUT AS DOD INSTRUCTION, AND THEY HAVE NOT YET BEEN RELEASED THIS WAS WHAT IS IN THE LAW, SIX YEARS, FOUR YEARS, WHICH MAYBE ABLE TO TRANSFER, BUT HAVE TO BE IN THE SERVICE IN AUGUST 1 OF 2009.

>>HOW DOES IT WORK WITH THE GUARD?

>>DAN WELLMAN: LET ME FINISH AND WE WILL TAKE THE QUESTIONS. TALK ABOUT THE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM IS WHERE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES MAY VOLUNTARILY ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE VA TO PAY OR PICK UP ALL THE TUITION AND FEES THAT AREN'T PAID FOR BY YOUR POST 9-11GI BILL. THIS IS ONLY FOR THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE ELIGIBLE AT THE 100% ELIGIBILITY LEVEL. SO, FOR INSTANCE, LET'S SAY YOU WANT TO GO TO NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY IN EVANSTON. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEIR TUITION PAYMENT IS, IT LET'S SAY IT IS A THOUSAND DOLLARS PER HOUR. WE STATED UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, MAX IS $558 PER HOUR. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY CAN GO INTO VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT WITH THE VA WHERE THEY WILL TAKE THE DIFFERENCE OF $442 AND SPLIT IT IN HALF. NORTH WRERN WILL PICK UP HALF THE 442, VA WILL PICK UP THE OTHER HALF. THERE ARE A LOT OF SCHOOLS THAT ARE ENROLLING IN THE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM. THEY WILL BE LISTED ON THE VA WEB SITE UNDER THE APPROVED COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. SUPPOSED TO HAVE LITTLE YELLOW RIBBON BY THEIR NAME. HERE IS ANOTHER, I THINK, A SEVERE LIMITATION TO THE POST 9-11GI BILL, AND IT IT HAS TO DO WITH OVERPAYMENT OF BENEFITS. ALTHOUGH THE TUITION AND FEES WILL BE PAID DIRECTLY TO THE SCHOOL, THE VETERAN WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OVERPAYMENTS OF THE POST 9-11GI BILL. IN THE PAST, WHEN IT WAS JUST A PAYMENT MADE DIRECTLY TO THE VETERAN, LET'S SAY YOU DROPPED FROM 15 HOURS TO 12 HOURS, NO OVERPAYMENT OCCURRED. NOW, UNDER THE NEW POST 9-11GI BILL, IF A VETERAN DOES NOT COMPLETE ALL THEIR COURSE, AND THEY DROP FROM 15 TO 12 HOURS, OVERPAYMENT WILL BE INCURRED. IT IS VERY WELL-KNOWN IF YOU LOOKED AT SCHOOL REFUND POLICY DZ, THEY ARE NOT PRO RATA, THEY ARE PRETTY WELL SOME SCHOOLS AFTER A MONTH, YOU DROP A COURSE, NO REFUND AT ALL. THIS COULD RESULT IN SOME VETERANS HAVING TO MAKE SERIOUS OVERPAYMENTS. WHEN VETERANS SIGN UP FOR COURSE, THEY REALLY NEED TO HAVE A GOOD GRASP OR THE FAC THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO COMPLETE ALL THEIR COURSES, OTHERWISE THEY WILL HAVE TO INCUR LARGE OVER PAYMENT. LET'S TALK ABOUT DIFFERENT EDUCATION BENEFIT SCENARIOS, AND LET'S COMPARE THE POST 9-11GI BILL WITH ACTIVE DUTY GI BILL AND TRY TO HELP VETERANS MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH ONE THEY WANT TO USE. FOR INSTANCE, LET'S TAKE A WIU VETERAN, MACOMB, ILLINOIS, THEY HAD THE LOWEST PAYMENT ON THE CHART, $863, TAKE A VETERAN WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, WHICH PAYS ALL TUITION AND MANDATORY FEES TO A STATE SCHOOL, THEY HAVE SEVERED ON ACTIVE DUTY FOR THREE YEARS. THEY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CHAPTER 30. IN BOTH CASES YOU WILL SEE THERE IS A CHAPTER 30 COLUMN AND POST 9-11 COLUMN. BOTH CHAPTER 30, CHAPTER 30GIB WILL HAVE FEES COVERED BY THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT. IF THEY WANT TO GO TO THE POST 911GI BILL, WILL HAVE THEIR TUITION AND FEES COVERED. THERE IS NO HOUSING ALLOWANCE UNDER CHAPTER 30. BUT THE HOUSING ALLOWANCE FOR POST 911 WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY $3,452 FOR STUDENT IN MACOMB, ILLINOIS. AND CAN COMPARE THAT TO THE MONTGOMERY GI MONTHLY RATE, 134 -- THEY WOULD BE RECEIVING $5,284. THERE IS THE BOOKS AND SUPPLIES POST 9-11. IT WILL ADD $500 INTO THEIR ACCOUNT. IF URL YOU WILL RECALL IT TALKED ABOUT THE BUY UP, WHERE A VETERAN COULD CONTRIBUTE, AND ONE FOURTH THAT HAVE MONEY WILL BE ROLLED INTO THE GI BILL. THAT DOES NOT APPLY TO THE POST 911GI BILL. THAT'S ANOTHER $600 UNDER CHAPTER 30 VERSUS NOT BEING THERE FOR POST 9-11. VETERANS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS AND HAVE TO DECIDE WHICH PROGRAM IS BEST FOR THEM. WE WILL DO MORE SCENARIOS. YOU HAVE RESERVIST SERVED O ON ACTIVE DUTY, 12-18 MONTHS. THEY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT. THEY ARE GOING TO BE ELIGIBLE AT THE 60% OF TUITION AND FEES RATE. THEY WILL BE TAKING 12 SEMESTER HOURS OVER FOUR MONTHS. IF THEY ARE CHAPTER 1607, UNDER -- THEY WILL HAVE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE TUITION AND FEES COVERED BY THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT. IF THEY DECIDE TO USE POST 9-11, THEY WILL ONLY HAVE 60% OF TUITION AND FEES COVERED. HOUSING ALLOWANCE COMES OUT TO LITTLE OVER TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. WHILE MONTGOMERY GI BILL RATE WOULD BE 3,170 BUCKS. THERE IS NO BOOKS AND SUPPLIES UNDER 1607, BUT THEY WILL GET $300 PRORATED AMOUNT ON POST 9-11. ON THOSE TWO CASES, IT IT DOESN'T LOOK GOOD FOR POST 9-11. BUT THAT'S A DECISION THAT EVERY VETERAN WILL HAVE TO MAKE BECAUSE POSSIBLY THEY WANT TO UTES POST 9-11 NOW, AND IF THEY WANT TO USE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT LATER, BECAUSE IT IS A LIFETIME BENEFIT. IT IS A DECISION THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE. MORE SCENARIOS. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, CHICAGO, VETERAN, IVG ELIGIBLE, THREE YEARS ACTIVE DUTY, TAKING 12 SEMESTER HOURS OVER FOUR MONTHS, GOING TO HAVE TUITION AND FEES COVERED UNDER CHAPTER 30, POST 9-11. HOUSING ALLOWANCE, UNDER POST 911 WILL BE ALMOST $7,000. VERSUS CHAPTER 30, MONTGOMERY GI BILL RATE WOULD BE 5,284 BUCKS. UNDER ONE, THEY WILL GET THE BOOKS AND SUPPLIES OF $500, UNDER CHAPTER 30, THEY WILL GET THE BUY UP. A LITTLE BIT BETTER CASE POST 9-11 IN THIS CASE, SINCE THE SCHOOL'S ZIP CODE IS CHICAGO, AND MUCH HIGHER BAH IN THAT LOCATION. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO, VETERAN, IVG ELIGIBLE, RESERVIST GUARDS MAN. 12-18 MONTHS OF ACTIVE DUTY. TAKING 12 SEMESTER HOURS OVER FOUR MONTHS. TUITION AND FEES WILL BE PAID BY THE VETERANS GRANT, 1607. POST 911, 60%. HOUSING ALLOWANCE, 4,180 2K08 ARS UNDER POST 911 WHILE THE MONTHLY RATE UNDER OLD CHAPTER 1607, WOULD BE 3,170 BUCKS. EVERYBODY START TO GO SEE THE SITUATIONS? COMPLICATION OF DECIDING WHICH CHAPTER YOU WILL USE. HERE IS THE BEST CASE FOR THE POST 9-11GI BILL, SAY YOU ARE GOING TO BRADLEY UNIVERSITY, PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN PEORIA, ILLINOIS. VETERANS CHAPTER 30, MONTGOMERY GI BILL ELIGIBLE, TAKING 12 SEMESTER HOURS OVER FOUR MONTHS. THEY ARE GOING TO STAY UNDER CHAPTER 30, THEY WILL NOT HAVE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT TO USE BECAUSE IT IS NOT A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE. BUT IF THEY ARE USING POST 9-11, THEY ARE GOING TO GET PAID UP TO $558 PER CREDIT HOUR AND TUITION IN FEES PAID DIRECTLY TO THE SCHOOL. I THINK I LOOKED UP BRADLEY UNIVERSITY'S TUITION, IT WAS 625, 620 OR 625 PER CREDIT HOUR. IF BRADLEY UNIVERSITY DECIDES TO ENROLL IN THE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM, VA WILL PICK UP HALF, AND BRADLEY WILL PICK UP THE OTHER HALF OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 558 AND 625. THE HOUSING ALLOWANCE UNDER POST 9-11 ONLY $4,116. UNDER CHAPTER 30, 5,284 BUCKS. BOOKS AND SUPPLIES, $500. UNDER POST 9-11, $600 UNDER THE BUY UP PROGRAM. AS I STATED, I TALKED ABOUT THIS EARLIER, THESE ARE THE CURRENT MAXIMUM RATES AS IDENTIFIED BY THE ILLINOIS STATE APPROVING AGENCY, $558 PER -- FOR TUITION PER CREDIT HOUR AND $17,500 IN FEES. I SHOULD STATE THAT THOSE FIGURES ARE NOT FINAL. AT THIS POINT, I AM OPENING IT UP FOR THE QUESTIONS. I THINK WE HAD ONE ALREADY. DO WE HAVE THE MICROPHONE?

>>MY QUESTION REFERS TO THE DEPENDENTS. THE YOU HAVE TO BE ACTIVE DUTY AS OF AUGUST 1, OF 2009, RIGHT, IN ORDER FOR DEPENDENTS TO QUALIFY FOR THIS?

>>DAN WELLMAN: CORRECT, ACTIVE DUTY AUGUST 1, 2009, OR THEREAFTER.

>>IF YOU WERE IN THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD AND NOT ON ACTIVE DUTY, YOUR DEPENDENTS WOULDN'T QUALIFY, CORRECT?

>>DAN WELLMAN: THIS IS WHAT THE LAW STATES SO FAR. YOU HAVE TO HAVE -- YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE MILITARY AUGUST 1 OF 2009. YOU HAVE TO SERVED SIX YEARS AND SIGN UP FOR ADDITIONAL FOUR YEARS TO BE ABLE TO TRANSFER YOUR BENEFITS. DEPARTMENT DEFENSE IS GOING TO IDENTIFY FURTHER REGULATIONS, REQUIREMENTS, CRITERIA FOR WHETHER YOU WILL BE TRANSFER ELIGIBLE. THAT'S ALL I KNOW. I CAN'T STATE FOR SURE HOW THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS GOING TO -- IF THEY ARE GOING TO IDENTIFY THE FACT RESERVIST OR GUARDSMEN STILL SERVING AC DIF STATUS WILL COUNT.

>>THAT'S MY QUESTION.

>>DAN WELLMAN: I DON'T KNOW.

>>DO THESE SPEAKERS WORK ON THE DESK?

>>DAN WELLMAN: JIMMIE IS COMING AROUND WITH THE MICROPHONE.

>>DAN WELLMAN: I WILL TRY MY BEST TO ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS. BUT AS IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN VETERANS PUT OUT, THERE IS 314,000 BENEFIT COMBINATIONS NOW AVAILABLE TO VETERANS UNDER THE GI BILL. I WILL TRY MY BEST. IF I DON'T KNOW, I WILL TELL YOU I DON'T KNOW.

>>THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. EDUCATION BENEFITS IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS I AM HERE. I AM A COLLEGE STUDENT, AND THESE SITUATIONS ALL APPLY TO ME. INITIAL TIME, TRAINING TIME, IS IT CONSIDERED PART OF THE CALCULATION TIME, LIKE THE ORIGINAL OR DP THEY DROP THAT?

>>DAN WELLMAN: RULE IS YOU HAVE TO SERVED TWO YEARS OB ACTIVE DUTY FOR YOUR TIME IN, ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING TO COUNT TOWARD --

>>FOR CHAPTER 30. I AM TALKING CHAPTER 33.

>>

>>DAN WELLMAN: SAME RULE FOR CHAPTER 33. WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT, YOUR BASIC TRAINING AND AIT TRAINING FOR THE MOST PART COUNT TOWARD PERIOD OF SERVICE FOR POST 911GI BILL. RULE IS YOU HAVE TO HAVE SERVED TWO YEARS ON ACTIVE DUTY FOR THAT TIME TO COUNT. SO IF YOU HAVE SERVED LESS THAN TWO YEARS, THAT IADT TIME, AS THEY CALL IT, WILL NOT COUNT.

>>WHAT HAPPENS IF I START CHAPTER 33, I AM IN THE NATIONAL GUARD, ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD RIGHT NOW, I GET DEPLOYED, IT WILL PUT ME IN A DIFFERENT PERCENTAGE BRACKET. I COME BACK, DO I GET ANY LIKE BACK PAY OR IS IT GOING FORWARD HAD? I GO FROM 60% TO 700% -- CORRECTION, TO 70%.

>>DAN WELLMAN: THE BACK PAY IS AGGREGATE. ANY DE PLIEMENT EMPLOYMENT TIME WILL ADD TO ELIGIBILITY. UNLIKE UNDER 1607 WHICH REQUIRED IT TO BE IT CONTINUOUS SERVICE. IT WILL ALLOW YOU TO ACCUMULATE.

>>SOMETHING I WANTED TO DOUBLE TAP ONTO MAKE SURE I AM TRACKING. 48 MONTHS TOTAL. I HAVE USED -- I WILL TALK ABOUT MY PARTICULAR SITUATION AND SEE HOW IT APPLIES TO EVERYONE ELSE. I USED MY 1606. ALL 36 MONTHS. I HAVE 1607 AND NOW CHAPTER 33 AVAILABLE. I AM LIMITED TO 12 MONTHS. ONE OR THE OTHER OR A COMBINATION.

>>DAN WELLMAN: 12 MONTHS TOTAL.

>> OF THE I ALWAYS GET ASKED HOW THE TRANSFER ABILITY. BUT YOU SAID THE DOD IS ISSUE GUIDANCE ON THAT. I WILL WAIT AND SEE HOW THAT TRACKS OUT.

>>WELL WHETHER SUPPOSED TO BE ISSUING DOD INSTRUCTION IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

>>ONE LAST QUESTION. GOING THROUGH YOUR STEREOS, I WAS LOOKING THROUGH ALL THESE, AND LIKE FOR ME, I CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD GRANT IT PAYS TUITION. HOW DOES CHAPTER 33 THEN, DOES IT GET REFUNDED TO ME? IS IT UP TO THE SCHOOL HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT? WHAT HAPPENS THEN IF I AM IN CHAPTER 33, AND THE NATIONAL GUARD GRANT?

>>DAN WELLMAN: I WILL BE SPEAKING OUT OF TURN. THAT'S DEFINITELY NOT MY LANE. IT IS ADMINISTERED THE BY ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION. BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT BASED ON MY CONVERSATIONS WITH SOME PEOPLE THAT WORK AT ISAC, AND IT WILL ALLOW YOU, THIS IS VERY COMPLICATED, IT WILL DEPEND HOW YOUR SCHOOL BILLS THE ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION FOR THAT TUITION REMAINING TUITION. IF IT SHOWS AN AMOUNT, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO USE YOUR GUARD SCHOLARSHIP TO PICK UP THE REMAINING 40% OR IVGA. THAT'S INITIALLY WHAT THEY ARE PUTTING OUT F YOU REALLY WANT TO FIND OUT THE RIGHT ANSWER, CALL THE ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION AND VIER FI WITH THEM BECAUSE THAT'S THEIR PROGRAM.

>> THAT'S PRETTY MUCH CONSISTS OF THE NOTES I HAVE. IF ANYONE ELSE HAS QUESTIONS.

>>DID YOU DISCUSS THE EXCEPTIONS FOR ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT? I WAS DENIED BECAUSE -- I WAS MARRIED AT THE TIME AND DIDN'T RETURN TO ILLINOIS WITHIN SIX MONTHS. MY HUSBAND WAS STILL IN THE SERVICE.

>>DAN WELLMAN: STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY ?

>> YES.

>>DID YOU RETURN ILLINOIS OF HIM GETTING OFF SIX MONTHS.

>>NO, I DIDN'T.

>>

>>DAN WELLMAN: IF YOUR HUSBAND OR SPOUSE IS STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY, YOU CAN STILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, BUT YOU HAVE TO RETURN TO ILLINOIS WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF YOUR SPOUSE GETTING OFF ACTIVE DUTY. IS THAT CORRECT, KELLY?

>>KELLY CRAVENS: YES.

>>

>>DAN WELLMAN: I WAS TOLD IT IS CORRECT.

>>BECAUSE OF OUR DIVORCE SETTLEMENT, I WAS PREVENTED FROM DOING THAT.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: YOU CAN ALWAYS, DID YOU EVER ASK FOR A WAIVER? DID YOU MAKE SO MANY KIND OF AN APPEAL TO THE ISAC.

>>I WASN'T TOLD I WAS ALLOWED TO.

>>I WAS TOLD YOU AREN'T ALLOWED TO. I HAD A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT WOULDN'T ALLOW ME TO TRAVEL BACK.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I DON'T BELIEVE THAT'S TRUE. CALL THE ISAC NUMBER.

>>THEY WILL TELL YOU THERE IS NO RE-- VIEW WAY OF WHAT THEY ARE FINDING. I WAS TOLD BECAUSE I DIDN'T RETURN WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF MY RETIREMENT I WAS NOT ELIGIBLE, BUT MINE WAS A MEDICAL CONDITION, AND I WAS NOT MEDICAL CALLY ALLOWED TO TRAVEL.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: NOBODY GAVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL ?

>> NO, THEY TOLD ME NO APPEAL PROCESS. I ASKED WHAT THE APPEAL PROCESS. I EVEN WROTE A SENATOR, AND ?RT DIDN'T KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THIS.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: I HAVE GIVE YOU MY CARD, AND I WILL CALL MY CONTACT AT ISAC, AND I COULD HAVE SWORN WE JUST SAW HER LAST WEEK, AND I THOUGHT SHE SAID THERE ARE CASE BY CASE BASES THEY LOOKED AT. I CAN'T SWEAR TO THAT. BUT I WAS UNDER THAT IMPRESS. OKAY.

>>DAN WELLMAN: I THINK JIMMIE IS WALKING HIS WAY AROUND THE ROOM.

>> I TURNED MY GI BILL DOWN. I AM DISABLED VETERAN. IS THERE ANYTHING EXTRA FOR EDUCATIONAL --

>>DAN WELLMAN: WHEN DID YOU GET OUT OF THE SERVICE?

>>2004, FEBRUARY.

>>DAN WELLMAN: YOU SERVED 90 DAYS SINCE 911.

>>YES.

>>

>>DAN WELLMAN: ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR POST 9-11. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT. I HOPE I MADE YOUR DAY! (LAUGHING).

>>CAN YOU QUALIFY FOR CHAPTER 31.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: DO WE HAVE ANY INTERNET QETS OR FROM CHICAGO ?

>> I HAVE TWO FROM THE INTERNET. FIRST OF ALL, CAN YOU MAKE THIS POWER POINT PRESENTATION AVAILABLE ONLINE? CAN YOU GET A COPY TO JIMMIE OR MYSELF.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: I BELIEVE IT WILL BE SAVED AS WELL AS THIS PROGRAM ON THE INTERNET, AM I CORRECT, SUSAN?

>>

>>JIMMIE MILLER: I BELIEVE IT WILL BE. WE WILL MAKE THIS POWER POINT AVAILABLE.

>> THE OTHER QUESTION, THIS PERSON PREVIOUSLY USED ALL THEIR GI BILL ENTITLEMENT, PRIOR TO 9-11, HOWEVER ACTI DATED POST 911, AND MET REQUIREMENTS, DO THEY HAVE ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS, AND ARE THEY TRANSFERABLE TO THEIR CHILDREN?

>>DAN WELLMAN: BASED ON WHAT YOU HAVE TOLD ME, YES, IF YOU HAVE SERVED 90 DAYS ON ACTIVE DUTY SINCE 9-10-01 YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR NEW POST 9-11GI BILL. REQUIREMENT YOU HAVE TO STILL BE IN THE SERVICE ON AUGUST 1 OF 2009, TO BE ABLE TO TRANSFER TO YOUR DEPENDENTS. 9-11.

>>DID THAT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION?

>>IT IS ON THE INTERNET. I GUESS IT IS RIGHT.

>> ARE THERE ANY SCHOLARSHIP OR OTHER EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR THE DEPENDENTS OR SPOUSES OF VIETNAM VETERANS. SOME OF US ARE STILL AROUND.

>>DAN WELLMAN: KELLY, DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT.

>>KELLY CRAVENS: ARE YOU TALKING SCHOLARSHIPS FOR CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS, VIETNAM? U OF I GIVES OUT SIX SCHOLARSHIPS TO EVERY COUNTY FOR CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS. THERE ARE SIX SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE SIX CONFLICTS THAT WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN TO DATE. AS FAR AS OTHER TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIPS AND THINGS GO, I ALWAYS RECOMMEND THAT YOU MAYBE CONTACT YOUR VFW'S, AMERICAN LEGION, AM VETS, THINGS LIKE THAT. BUT THE VA DOES NOT HAVE THOSE TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIPS FOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN UNLESS YOU DIED OF SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY OR ARE A HUNDRED PERCENT DISABLED. DOES THAT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION?

>>DAN WELLMAN: HE IS WORKING HIS WAY TO THE BACK.

>>

>>JIMMIE MILLER: I LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AND I SEE A BUNCH OF PEOPLE, AS YOUNG AS I AM, BUT SERVED PRIOR TO THE 9-11 POST 9-11 GI BILL. LET'S SAY WE WANTED TO TAKE A CERTIFICATION CLASS IN BASS FISHING, OFFERED AT U.I.S., IS THE IVG AVAILABLE TO US? WHAT WOULD BE THE ELEMENTARY APPROACH TO APPLYING TO U.I.S. FOR THAT CLASS?

>>DAN WELLMAN: SURE. FIRST, YOU MEET ALL ELIGIBILITY FOR THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, HONOR BLY DISCHARGED, RESIDE ILLINOIS SIX MONTHS ACTIVE DUTY, RETURN TOES SILS ILLINOIS FOR SIX MONTHS, CAN USE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT AT U.I.S. YOU WOULD APPLY. COUPLE OF WAYS OF DOING THAT IS CORRECT EASIEST WAY GOING TO WWW COLLEGEZONE AND DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION. SECOND WAY TO DO IS CONTACT THE VETERANS CERTIFYING OFFICIAL AT THE CAMPUS. EVERY CAMPUS THAT IS APPROVED HAVE A VETERAN CERTIFYING OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON CAMPUS THAT HELPS VETERANS AND DEPENDENTS WITH THEIR EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. THAT PERSON SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THAT APPLICATION. THAT'S PROBABLY THE BEST WAY, JIMMIE.

>> IS THE ILLINOIS STATE SCHOLARSHIP AND THIS ILLINOIS VETERAN GRANT ONE IN THE SAME?

>>DAN WELLMAN: WHAT IS THE ILLINOIS STATE SCHOLARSHIP ?

>> WHEN I GOT OUT 20 YEARS AGO, THAT'S WHAT THEY CALLED IT, YOU ONLY HAD TEN TO 14 YEARS TO USE UP THE BENEFIT. WILL I STILL QUALIFY FOR THE ILLINOIS VETERAN GRANT?

>>DAN WELLMAN: DO YOU MEET ELIGIBILITY FOR VETERANS GRANT? I WOULD APPLY, THAT'S THE BEST WAY TO FIND OUT.

>>I THOUGHT THEY CALLED IT THE ILLINOIS STATE SCHOLARSHIP.

>>DAN WELLMAN: I HAVE BEEN IN THIS POSITION TEN YEARS. IF IT WAS 14 YEARS. IT WAS BEFORE MY TIME.

>>I APPLIED, AND STILL HAVE THE CERTIFICATE, CAN I USE IT OR REAPPLY.

>>DAN WELLMAN: YOU STILL HAVE THE CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY, YOU NEED TO PRESENT THAT TO THE VETERANS' CERTIFYING OFFICIAL IN THE CAMPUS, AND THEY WILL POINT YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO USE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT.

>>STILL LIFE TIME TORE ME, EVEN THOUGH AT THE TIME I GOT OUT, FILED FOR IT, IT WAS 10-14 YEARS.

>>DAN WELLMAN: THAT'S MY UNDERSTAND BEING, LET ME PUT THE CAVEAT. I DON'T THINK WORK FOR THE ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE. GO TO WWW.COLLEGEZONE.COM. THEY HAVE 1-888 NUMBER, AND CALL THEM AND SPEAK TO THE EXPERT FOR THAT ARENA.

>> WERE YOU SAYING MONTGOMERY GI BILL HAD HOUSING STIPEND AS WELL? NO?

>>DAN WELLMAN: IT HAS HOUSING STIPEND EQUAL TO HOUSING FOR E5 WITH DEPENDENTS. MONTGOMERY GI BILL HAS MONTHLY STIPEND THAT IS SENT DIRECTLY TO THE VETERAN. THERE IS NO -- IT IS A MONTHLY AMOUNT. LET'S GO BACK HERE. MAYBE CAN PUT THIS BACK UP. IS THAT SEPARATE FROM THE TUITION, WOULD THAT BE A SEPARATE APPLICATION.

>>DAN WELLMAN: REMEMBER, UNDER THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL, IT IS ONE PAYMENT PLAN SYSTEM. MAKE A MONTHLY PAYMENT DIRECTLY TO THE VETERAN BASED ON WHAT THEIR ATTENDANCE IS AT A UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE. MONTGOMERY GI BILL, DOES NOT MAKE A TUITION AND FEES PAYMENT TO THE SCHOOL, NOR DOES IT MAKE A BOOK AND SUPPLIES PAYMENT. ONLY GET THE MONTHLY PAYMENT. THAT'S IT. UNDER THE CURRENT MONTGOMERY GI BILL. IT IS UNDER THE HE POST 9-11 GI BILL. WHERE YOU GET THESE THROUGH POINTS. YOU GET THE TUITION AND FEES CHARGED. YOU GET THE MONTHLY HOUSING ALLOWANCE, AND THEN YOU GET THE STIPEND FOR BOOKS AND SUPPLIES. DOES THAT CLEAR IT UP?

>>I WAS IN THE GUARD.

>>DAN WELLMAN: GET THE MICROPHONE AGAIN.

>>I WAS IN THE NATIONAL GUARD. I WENT TO SCHOOL, AND THE SCHOOL FILLED OUT EVERYTHING FOR ME. ALL I DID WAS PAY MY TUITION. I NEVER GOT ANY MONEY FOR ANYTHING.

>>DAN WELLMAN: YOU NEVER HAD A MONTHLY AMOUNT? HAS IT BEEN WITHIN THE PAST YEAR? NO. YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A MONTHLY AMOUNT SENT TO YOU. WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL ?

>> HERE AT LINCOLN LAND.

>>DAN WELLMAN: AT LINCOLN LAND. IF YOU WOULD HAVE WENT IN AND SEEN THE VETERANS CERTIFYING OFFICIAL AND ASKED THEM TO CERTIFY YOU FOR YOUR SELECT RESERVE OR CHAPTER 1607 BENEFITS, DEPENDING WHAT YOUR SITUATION IS, YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED MONTHLY AMOUNT, DIRECT DEPOSIT IN THE MAIL. THAT'S TOO BAD. THEY CAN ONLY GO BACK ONE YEAR. OTHER QUESTIONS? JIMMIE, WE HAVE A COUPLE QUESTIONS UP FRONT. DO HE WE HAVE ONE IN BACK? UP FRONT HERE BY THE PREVIOUS.

>>I THOUGHT OF SOMETHING ELSE. WITH RESPECT TO BOTH THE NATIONAL GUARD GRANT, VETERANS GRANT AND CHAPTER 33, ARE THEY PRORATED? IS THIS LIKE 12 MONTHS OR WHATEVER ON FULL TIMING AND YOU GET 24 MONTHS OF HALF TIME, LIKE THE CHAPTER 1606? DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING.

>>DAN WELLMAN: SAY THAT AGAIN.

>>FOR EXAMPLE, IMMEL GIBLE FOR 12 MONTHS OF CHAPTER 33. WHAT IF I GO TO SCHOOL HALF TIME, WOULD I BE ELIGIBLE FOR 24 MONTHS AT HALF TIME?

>>DAN WELLMAN: YES. YOU HAVE TO GET THE POST 9-11 GI BILL, YOU HAVE TO BE ENROLLED AT MORE THAN HALF TIME TO GET THAT HOUSING.

>>THREE QUARTERS. IF I WENT THREE QUARTER TIME, I WOULD BE ELIGIBLE.

>>DAN WELLMAN: YOU GET 12 MONTHS. EACH MONTH YOU ARE THERE, YOU WILL GET THE BAH PAYMENT.

>>YOU WOULDN'T BE ELIGIBLE FOR, WHAT, 16 MOPTSZ.

>>DAN WELLMAN: YOU ARE RIGHT. 16 MONTHS. IT IS PRORATED.

>>IS THAT THE SAME WITH NATIONAL GUARD GRANT OR ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD GRANT AND VETERANS GRANT? THEY ARE GOOD FOR FOUR YEARS. ARE THEY ALSO PRORATED LIKE THREE QUARTER TIME, HALF TIME?

>>DAN WELLMAN: PICK UP A HUNDRED PERCENT -- HOW THEY WORK, YOU GET 120 CREDITS. 120 CREDITS. THAT'S HOW IT WORKS. UNTIL YOU USE YOUR 120 CREDITS.

>>IF IT TAKES YOU A HUNDRED YEARS, YOU CAN DO IT IN TWO YEARS, YOU DO IT IN TWO YEARS?

>>DAN WELLMAN: CORRECT.

>>I JUST.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: HYPOTHETICALLY, I JUST GOT OUT OF THE MILITARY, IRAQ, I WANT BACHELOR'S DEGREE AND MASTER'S DEGREE. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH THAT USING MY VETERANS BENEFITS, EDUCATIONAL BEN SENATORS?

>>DAN WELLMAN: THAT'S A VERY COMPLICATED QUESTION, JIMMIE, BECAUSE IT WILL DEPEND ON A NUMBER OF THINGS. BUT REMEMBER, THERE IS 314,000 COMBINATIONS.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: CAN I USE IVG FOR MASTER'S PROGRAM?

>>DAN WELLMAN: IF YOU STILL HAVE ELIGIBILITY REMAINING, YES. YOU COULD, FOR INSTANCE, TAKE THE POST 9-11 GI BILL, USE IT FOR FOUR YEARS, AND NOT TOUCH YOUR ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, AND THEN GO USE YOUR ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT FOR ANOTHER 120 CREDITS. THAT IS ONE WAY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BENEFIT.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: SAY THAT AGAIN. MAXIMIZE YOUR BENEFITS.

>>DAN WELLMAN: WE HAVE ONE MORE UP FRONT.

>>SO YOU SAID THAT THE NEW GI BILL STARTS AUGUST 9 OF THIS YEAR?

>>DAN WELLMAN: AUGUST 1, AUGUST 1 OF 2009.

>> NOW I AM ALREADY IN SCHOOL. I AM ON MY SECOND YEAR NOW. SO IS THERE ANYWAY THAT IT WOULD COVER ALREADY EXPENSES OR, NO, IT JUST STARTS?

>>DAN WELLMAN: NO RETROACTIVE PAYMENTS ON GI BILL. START AUGUST 1 OF THIS YEAR AND FORWARD. JIM JI ANY INTERNET QUESTIONS ?

>> I HAVE ONE LAST ONE. A PERSON SERVED ACTIVE DUTY FROM NOVEMBER '96 TO SEPTEMBER 2000. AT WHICH TIME HE WAS EARLY RELEASE TODAY A SCHOOL IN VIRGINIA. WENT BACK TO ILLINOIS IN MAY OF 2001, AFTER SCHOOL WAS OVER, EIGHT MONTHS AND SERVED A TOTAL OF 45 DAYS WITH THE IMADET PROGRAM AT CAMP SMITH. AT WHICH TIME HE WAS LIVING IN ILLINOIS BEFORE AND AFTER. IS HE STILL ELIGIBLE FOR THE IVG?

>>DAN WELLMAN: HOW MANY DAYS AFTER YOU GOT OFF THE ACTIVE DUTY OR MONTHS DID YOU RETURN TO ILLINOIS? EIGHT ?

>> EIGHT MONTHS.

>>DAN WELLMAN: WELL, I AM NEVER ONE TO SAY NO. I AM NOT GOING TO. BUT BASED ON THE QUALIFICATIONS, YOU HAVE TO RETURN TO ILLINOIS WITHIN SIX MONTHS. I WOULD APPLY AND MAKE YOUR CASE. IT NEVER HURTS TO APPLY.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: ANY QUESTIONS? CHICAGO? CHICAGO, YOU ARE AWFUL QUIET TODAY! (LAUGHING) BUT YOU LOOK GOOD! WE HAVE A QUESTION IN CHICAGO, PLEASE. SORRY. GENTLEMAN IN THE BLACK SHIRT.

>>GO AHEAD. TALK INTO THE MICROPHONE THERE. IS THANK.

>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SIR. MY QUESTION IS IF I HAVE ALREADY USED MY EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS, I WAS IN THE VEET PROGRAM, IS THERE STILL ANOTHER BENEFIT FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS GIVES INDEPENDENT OF THE VA WHICH PAYS FOR THE TUITION FOR FOUR YEAR DEGREE?

>>DAN WELLMAN: WELL, THERE IS THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, SIR.

>>YES, SIR. AND THAT WOULD PAY FOR THE TUITION FOR A FOUR YEAR DEGREE?

>>DAN WELLMAN: YES, IT WOULD, AT PUBLIC UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE AS LONG AS ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT.

>> I SEE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SIR.

>>DAN WELLMAN: YOU ARE WELL COME.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: WAY IN THE BACK.

>>I'D LIKE TO KNOW I DIDN'T USE ALL MY 120 CREDITS OUT FOR THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT WHICH I BELIEVE WAS KNOWN AS ILLINOIS VETERANS SCHOOL SLAR SHIP. IF I WRITE IT, CAN THEY TELL ME HOW MANY CREDIT HOURS I HAVE LEFT?

>>DAN WELLMAN: I WOULD HEAD COACH SO. I HAVE DONE THAT, AND I HAVE CALLED IN AND THEY TOLD ME HOW MUCH REMAINING ENTITLEMENT I HAVE.

>> THANK YOU.

>>WE HAVE SOME MORE QUESTIONS. I SEPARATED FROM THE MILITARY IN '91. UNIT WAS DEPLOYED AT DESERT STORM. I NEED TO KNOW -- I USED GI BILL FOR HOUSING. I NEED TO KNOW DO I NEED TO RENEW THE CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY EVERY TIME I GO GET A NEW HOME OR IS IT GOOD FOR LIFE TIME?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: IT IS GOOD NOR LIFETIME AS LONG AS YOU SELL THE HOME THAT YOU ARE IN OR MAKE AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE BANK TO FREE YOU FROM THE TITLE OF THAT HOME THAT ELIGIBILITY, VA ELIGIBILITY IS GOOD FOR LIFETIME UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS.

>>OKAY. NEXT QUESTION, KATHY DAVIS SPOKE ABOUT THE TAX EXEMPTIONS. I BELIEVE SHE SAID IT WAS ONCE A YEAR OR POSSIBLY ONCE IN A LIFETIME WHEN YOU GET A $5,000 EXEMPTION FOR DISABLED VETERANS. I AM SERVICE CONNECTED, 20% DISABLED VETERAN. AND I NEED TO KNOW DID SHE SAY FORM 341 IS THE ONE I NEED TO FILL OUT?

>>KATHY DAVIS: IF YOU JUST RETURNED HOME FROM SERVICE.

>>I WAS SEPARATED IN '91.

>>KATHY DAVIS: THESE ARE FOR RETURNING HOME VETERANS. RETURNING HOME VETERANS, THAT'S THE 341. 342 YOU HAVE TO BE 50% TO A HUNDRED PERCENT IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THAT. IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR 20%.

>>THE NEXT QUESTION IS YOU MENTIONED WE HAVE FORM FOR TAXES TO BE REDUCED BY THE RATE OF DISABILITY YOU HAVE, DO I FALL UNDER THAT CATEGORY?

>>KATHY DAVIS: NO, YOU DO NOT. I BELIEVE WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT IS THE PERCENTAGES. I THINK HE WAS JUST STATING THAT THAT WAS INTRODUCED TO LEGISLATION, BUT IT HAS NOT PASSED BASED ON WHAT YOUR PERCENTAGE WAS. THAT'S JUST A LOT OF LEGISLATION CONSTANTLY BEING INTRODUCED, BUT THERE HAS BEEN NO GROUNDED BILLS OR ANYTHING PASSED ON THAT YET.

>> THE LAST QUESTION. THE FREE HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE, WHERE WOULD I GO TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT?

>>KATHY DAVIS: GO TO ANY OF YOUR LOCAL COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICES FOR THE STATE. WHERE DO YOU LIVE ?

>> RIGHT OUTSIDE OF CHICAGO AREA IN LANSING.

>>KATHY DAVIS: THERE IS SIX -- THE NUMBER FOR YOU TO CALL, 1-84379824.

>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>>

>>KATHY DAVIS: YOU ARE WELCOME.

>> I HAVE ONE QUESTION. I WAS ALSO DURING THE VEET ERA OF THE EDUCATION PROGRAM. I USED UP WHAT I HAD WITHIN A YEAR. BUT I AM ALSO A RETIREE. I DIDN'T JUST GET OUT AFTER SERVING. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT AS A RETIREE?

>>DAN WELLMAN: WHAT DATE DID YOU RETIRE ?

>> MAY 1995.

>>DAN WELLMAN: PRE9-11. I THINK --

>>RIGHT. I WAS IN DESERT STORM.

>>DAN WELLMAN: AS FAR AS GOVERNMENT SOURCE, JUST THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: HAVE YOU RECEIVED DESERT STORM BOW ?US.

>>NO. YOU WANT TO CONTACT WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER, KATHY DAVIS. (217)782-3421.

>>THANK YOU.

>> I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU THIS: IF YOU HAVE A DRIVERS LICENSE OR WILL GET A DRIVERS LICENSE, AND YOU ARE DISABLED VET OF TEN PERCENT OR MORE, WHETHER YOU OWN THE CAR ALONE OR WITH YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE, IF YOU SHOW THAT YOU ARE A DISABLED VET ON YOUR STICKER, CAN YOU GET FREE PARKING FOR DISABLED PERSON?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DISABILITY PLACARD, YOU HAVE TO MEET THE -- WELL, YOUR DOCTOR HAS TO FILL OUT A FORM THROUGH JESSE WHITE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE, INDICATING YOU CAN ONLY WALK A MINIMUM, I AM NOT SURE EXACTLY. MAYBE LIKE 500 FEET. IT WILL BE YOUR PRIVATE PHYSICIAN AND STATE OF ILLINOIS JESSE WHITE'S OFFICE WHO WOULD AUTHORIZE WHETHER OR NOT YOU COULD GET A DISABLED PLACARD. THERE IS A LICENSE PLATE FOR DISABLED VETERANS. BUT IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THAT, YOU HAVE TO BE 100% SERVICE CONNECTED TO GET THAT LICENSE PLATE.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: YOU ARE WELCOME.

>>GOOD AFTERNOON. I CAME TODAY TO HEAR ABOUT THE TEACHERS TROOPS TO TEACHERS PROGRAM. AND IT IS ONLY LIKE, 40 MINUTES LEFT IN THE PROGRAM. DOES THAT TOPIC GOING TO BE DISCUSSED TODAY?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY.

>>OKAY.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: DO WE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FROM THE PHONE, BRIDGE LINE? THANK YOU. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS FOR DAN WELLMAN?

>>DAN WELLMAN: THANK YOU. (APPLAUSE).

>>JIMMIE MILLER: COMING TO THE STAGE IS KEVIN CAVANAGH. HE IS OUR GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE. I WILL TRY TO BE BRIEF AS EMILY IS FOLLOWING ME FOR TROOPS TO TEACHERS! FIRST I'D LIKE TO THANK JIMMIE MILLER AND EVERYONE AT ICED TO PRESENT HERE. TWO PROGRAMS I WILL DISCUSS, ILLINOIS WARRIOR ASSISTANCE AND VETERANS CASH GRANT PROGRAM ARE TWO OF IDV A'S HIGHER PROJECTS. SINCE THIS IS THE CASE, I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY VETERAN IN ILLINOIS UNDERSTANDS THEM AS HAS ACCESS TO THE SERVICES PROVIDED BY THEM. FIRST, I WILL GIVE YOU AN OVERVIEW OF THE ILLINOIS WARRIOR ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OR IWAP. IWAP WAS CREATED BY PREVIOUS DIRECTOR, TAMMY DUCKWORTH TO HELP ILLINOIS VETERANS WHO FEEL THEY MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED SOME SORT OF HEAD INJURY DURING THEIR SERVICE TO OUR NATION. THIS CONFIDENTIAL PROGRAM NOW ABOUT 14 MONTHS OLD HAS HAD GREAT SUCCESSES SINCE ITS INCEPTION LAST JANUARY. OUR CURRENT DIRECTOR, DIRECTOR GRANT, IS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT COMMITTED TO THIS PROGRAM AND ENJOYS THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNOR QUINN. ILLINOIS VETERAN WHO BELIEVES WHO HE OR SHE MAY HAVE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY OR SYMPTOMS OF POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER CAN CONTACT THE HOT LINE AND SPEAK TO A CLINICIAN. OPERATORS WHO ANSWER THE PHONE ARE CERTIFIED CLINICIANS TRAIN TODAY ASSIST VETERANS WHO MAY BE EXPERIENCING RELAP OR RELIVING TRAUMATIC EVENTS FROM THEIR TYPE IN THE MILITARY. PROGRAM WORKS LIKE THIS. AN INDIVIDUAL OR CONCERNED FAMILY MEMBER CAN CALL THE TOLL FREE NUMBER I WILL DISTRIBUTE IN A MINUTE. A CLINICIAN WILL ANSWER AND HELP THE VETERAN OR LOVED ONE THROUGH THE CRISIS THEY ARE DEALING WITH. IF NECESSARY, THE CLINICIAN WILL REFER THEM TO SERVICE PROVIDER FOR FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS. GROUP WE ARE WORKING WITH TO ADMINISTER THIS PROGRAM HAS NETWORK OF SERVICE PROVIDERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF ILLINOIS THERE.S A CASEWORKER ASSIGNED TO EACH CALLER THAT WILL FOLLOW UP WITH THE VETERAN TO MAKE SURE HE OR SHE IS TAKING THE PROPER STEPS TO RECOVERY AND ATTENDING ALL APPOINTMENTS. THE CONTACT NUMBER FOR IWAP, 1-866-554-IWAP, THAT'S 1-866-554-4927. YOU CAN ALSO ACCESS THE PROGRAM NFGHTS ON THE INTERNET AT WWW.ILLINOISWARRIOR.COM. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THIS PROGRAM IS COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE FEDERAL VA. ALL SERVICES RECEIVED ARE STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. I WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THE SECOND PROGRAM THAT I AM IN CHARGE OF AND I WILL OPEN UP THE FLOOR TO QUESTIONS. IT IS THE VETERANS CASH GRANT PROGRAM OR VETS CASH. VETS CASH PROGRAM AWARDS NON-FOR-PROFIT GROUPS AROUND THE STATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT ILLINOIS VETERANS. AWARDS ARE MADE IN FIVE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES. THEY ARE: POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, VETERANS LONG-TERM HEALTH CARE, VETERANS HOMELESSNESS, VETERANS DISABILITY BENEFITS, AND VETERANS HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS. ANY GROUP THAT HAS AN INTEREST IN PROGRAM SUPPORTING ONE OF THESE FIVE CATEGORIES IS FREE TO APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDS. IN ADDITION, I WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE ALL VETERANS IN ILLINOIS TO ACCESS THE PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE SUPPORTED WITH GRANTS AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED. HERE ARE SOME OF THE SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE FUNDED: REVELATION GOLF IN ELK GROVE VILLAGE. THEY PROVIDE VETERANS ARE LIMITED MOBILITY, THERAPEUTIC CARE THROUGH THE GAME OF GOLF. BRAVE HEARTS IN HARVARD, THEY PROVIDE VETERANS ARE ALL FORMS OF DISABILITIES THERAPEUTIC CARE THROUGH EQUESTRIAN PROGRAMS. EVANSTON VET CENTER HAVE BEEN AWARDED GRANTS FOR PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT VETERANS IN THEIR COMMUNITY. MIDWEST HOMELESS SHELTER IN WHEATON. THEY PROVIDE HOUSING SUPPORT SERVICES FOR VETERANS WHO HAVE BECOME HOMELESS AND HELPED THEM GET THEIR LIVES BACK IN ORDER. JOHN MARTIAL LAW SCHOOL, AND S.I.U. SCHOOL OF LAW, BOTH LAW SCHOOLS SET UP CLINICS TO ASSIST VETERANS ON PRO BONO BASIS WITH WIDE RANGE OF LEGAL ASSISTANCE. UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY IN CHICAGO, THROUGH THEIR RAMP UP PROGRAM, THEY HAVE ASSISTED NUMEROUS VETERANS IN MAKING THEIR HOMES HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE 6789 THE VETERANS ASSISTANCE COMMISSION OF VARIOUS COUNTIES INCLUDING MCHENRY COUNTY, LAKE COUNTY, KANKAKEE DUPAGE, TAZEWELL.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: IF I COULD INTERRUPT. JEFF ARERS, IF YOU ARE IN THE FACILITY, YOUR SPOUSE WOULD LIKE TO GIVE HER A CALL IMMEDIATELY.

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: COUNTIES I JUST LISTED HAVE RECEIVED GRANT FUNDS TO SUPPORT THEIR RESIDENTS THROUGH TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS AND HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS. I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU ALL TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VAC'S AND SEE IF THEY HAVE RECEIVED ANY FUNDS FROM THIS PROGRAM. IF THEY HAVE NOT, CALL ON THEM TO APPLY FOR THEM. THE DEPRESSION BIPOLAR SUPPORT A -- ALLIANCE IN CHICAGO ARE WORKING FOR PEER TO PEER NETWORK FOR DISABLED VETERANS. SALVATION ARMY IN SPRINGFIELD, THEY ARE HELPING HOMELESS VETERANS ACHIEVE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH PROACTIVE SOCIAL SERVICES INCLUDING HOUSING ASSISTANCE AND JOB TRAINING. THE BOEING QUARTERS IN CHICAGO, THIS IS A FACILITY ON THE WEST SIDE OF CHICAGO THAT PROVIDES SHELTER AND RESOURCES FOR HOMELESS FEMALE VETERANS. ALEXCIAN IN ELK GROVE VILLAGE. THIS PROVIDES IN PATIENT TREATMENT FOR VETERANS WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS WITH CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY AT ONE OF THE WORLD'S FOR MOST BRAIN RESEARCH CENTERS. LAST TWO I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT, DIPART IN DOWNER'S GROVE ARE THEY TAKE VETERANS WITH LIMITED OR LIMITED MOBILITY SCUBA DIVING. THE INDIVIDUALS CAN HAVE IMPROVED MOBILITY IN GRAVITY FREE ENVIRONMENT. VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA IN CHICAGO ASSIST VETERANS WHO HAVE BECOME HOMELESS WITH JOB SEARCH, APARTMENT RENTAL AND ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. TO DATE, THIS PROGRAM HAS AWARDED APPROXIMATELY $5.5 MILLION TO ORGANIZATIONS THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS. IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN EITHER OF THEETS PROGRAMS, I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTACT ME DIRECTLY, OR ONE OF OUR LOCAL VETERAN SERVICE OFFICERS. MY NUMBER IS (312)814-5744 OR YOU CAN REACH YOUR LOCAL VSO800-437-9824. AT THIS TIME, I WILL OPEN IT UP TO ANY QUESTIONS IF ANYONE HAS ANY.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: LET ME UNDERSTAND, KEVIN. I AM STANDING IN LINE TO BUY A LOTTERY TICKET. I HAVE A WHOLE ARRAY OF TICKETS TO CHOOSE FROM, WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY ?

>>

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: CASH GRANT PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED BY FUNDS RAISED THROUGH SCRATCH OFF LOTTERY TICKET ACTUALLY ON SALE NOW CALLED "COIN CRAZE." TWO DOLLAR SCRATCH OFF LOTTERY TICKET THAT HAS BEEN IN CIRCULATION SINCE LAST OCTOBER. LAST I HAD CHECKED, THEY HAVE TWO GRAND PRIZES LEFT WHICH IS $20,000. ALL THE FUNDS GENERATE FROM THE SALE OF THOSE TICKETS GOES INTO A FUND THAT IS ADMINISTERED BY OUR AGENCY AND IS NOT TOUCHED BY ANYBODY ELSE IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT. THOSE FUNDS ARE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT GIVEN OUT IN THIS PROGRAM TO DIFFERENT AGENCIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE OR DIFFERENT NON-PROFITS.

>>

>>JIMMIE MILLER: WHEN THE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS ACCEPT THE MONEY THAT WE GIVE TO THEM FOR VETERAN SERVICES AND RESOURCES, DOES THAT MEAN THEY ARE REQUIRED TO SERVICE VETERANS?

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: ABSOLUTELY THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE PROGRAM IS THAT THEY PROVIDE SERVICES TO ILLINOIS VETERANS AND ILLINOIS VETERANS ONLY.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: QUESTIONS? QUESTIONS? CHICAGO? A A LOT OF THESE PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES FROM THE LIST APPEAR TO BE IN THE CHICAGOLAND AREA, A FEW HERE IN THE CENTRAL ILLINOIS AREA. EVERYBODY HAVE A GRAVE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THESE PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES ARE FOR.

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: JIMMIE, TO ADD ONTO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING THERE, TOO, THERE IS A GREATER PERCENTAGE OF THE PROGRAMS THAT ARE IN THE CHICAGOLAND AREA, AND THAT IS BY NO DOING OF ANYONE OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THERE HAS NOT BEEN AS MANY PROGRAMS DOWN IN SPRINGFIELD OR SOUTHERN ILLINOIS, APPLYING FOR GRANTS. THERE IS OBVIOUSLY NO PREFER EN SHALL TREATMENT DIFFERENT TO ANY PROGRAMS IN THE STATE. IF ANYONE IS PART OF A NON-FOR-PROFIT IN THE SPRINGFIELD AREA OR LISTENING ON LINE, DOWNSTATE SOMEWHERE, PLEASE, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO APPLY. WE WANT YOU TO APPLY FOR MORE FUNDING THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

>> ONE QUESTION. IS THERE A WAY THAT ONE CAN EITHER USING THE INTERNET OR WHATEVER FIND OUT WHAT LOCATIONS HAVE THESE VETERANS TICKETS AVAILABLE?

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: I UNDERSTAND THAT IS A PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH. THAT INDIVIDUALS IN SOME AREAS CANNOT FIND THE TICKETS. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THE ILLINOIS LOTTERY TO PROVIDE TO PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION. IT IS HARD TO GET IT BECAUSE IT IS BASED UPON THE DIFFERENT VENDORS WANTING TO SELL THE TICKET. I CAN WORK WITH YOU FOR THAT. IF YOU WANT TO GIVE ME A CALL OR TAKE MY CONTACT INFORMATION, I CAN TRY TO HELP YOU FIND SOME IN YOUR AREA IF THAT IS SOMETHING YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. BUT THERE IS NOT ANYTHING AT THIS TIME ON LINE THAT COULD PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION.

>> WELL NOT ONLY FOR MYSELF, BUT ALSO FOR HERE IN SPRINGFIELD WE HAVE UMTEEN DIFFERENT VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS, AND MANY OF THEM BUY LOTTERY TICKETS. MANY OF THEM COMPLAIN THAT THEY ARE UNABLE TO BUY THE VETERANS LOTTERY TICKETS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T FIND THEM.

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: I CAN WORK WITH THAT IF YOU CONTACT ME. THE ONE THING I WOULD SUGGEST YOU DO DO IS GO TO THE VENDORS, GO TO THE GAS STATIONS AND CONVENIENCE STORES AND TELL THEM THEY THAT YOU WANT THEM TO CARRY THE TICKET. ULTIMATELY IT IS THEIR DECISION WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE THE TICKET. THE LOTTERY WOULD BE MORE THAN WILLING TO PROVIDE THE TICKETS TO THEM, BUT THEY ARE THE ONES THAT SELECT WHAT TICKETS THEY SELL.

>>ONE OTHER THING WITH IT FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, WHEN THEY START A NEW VETERANS LOTTERY TICKET ARE PROGRAM, THEY ONLY PRINT OUT X NUMBER AT ONE TIME, AND THEN THOSE ARE DISTRIBUTED, AND ONCE THOSE ARE GONE, THERE IS NO MORE TICKETS PRINTED EVEN IF IN ONE MONTH THEY WOULD ALL BE GONE. THEN THEY HAVE TO WAIT AND WAIT FOR ANOTHER TICKET ALLOTMENT AND WHICH MEANS THEN THE PROGRAM IS ALSO WAITING FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS.

>>

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: ABSOLUTELY. I KNOW THAT THAT IS BASED ON RULES THAT THE ILLINOIS LOTTERY HAS AND ETHICAL STANDARDS THEY HAVE ABOUT NOT FLOODING THE MARKET WITH WINNING AND OR LOSING TICKETS. I CAN'T SPEAK INTELLIGENTLY HOW THAT ACTUALLY WORKS, BUT I KNOW THAT IS LOTTERY POLICY. SORRY ABOUT THAT.

>>CAN YOU REPEAT THE AREAS OF THESE LOTTERY TICKETS?

>>KEVIN CAVANAUGH: FIVE CATEGORIES. POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. VETERANS LONG-TERM HEALTH CARE. VETERANS HOMELESSNESS. VETERANS DISABILITY BENEFITS. AND VETERANS HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS. I DON'T WANT -- WELL, I MEAN I EN ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DISCUSS THE GRANTS TO SEE ME AFTERWARDS OR NOW IF YOU'D LIKE TO. BUT I HAVE A HANDFUL OF APPLICATIONS THAT HAVE ALL THIS LISTED OR I CAN DIRECT YOU TO OUR WEB SITE WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE APPLICATION THAT HAS ALL THIS INFORMATION ON THERE. IF YOU GO TO OUR WEB SITE WHICH IS VETERANS.IL.GOV, THERE IS A LINK ON THE SIDE FOR VETERANS CASH GRANT PROGRAM, AND THEY HAVE THE APPLICATION ON THERE WHICH LISTS THE FIVE CATEGORIES AND ALL THE DIFFERENT INFORMATION YOU NEED TO APPLY. BUT I DO HAVE A COUPLE HARD COPIES IF PEOPLE WANT TO GRAB THOSE FROM ME. ARE THERE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ?

>> ONE QUESTION. HOW CAN I CONTACT JIMMIE MILLER?

>>JIMMIE MILLER: IT WOULDN'T BE FAIR FOR ME TO GIVE YOU MY PHONE NUMBER BECAUSE JIMMIE MILLER IS HAVING KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY. I WILL BE GONE FOR PERIOD OF WEEKS. WHAT PARTICULAR WOULD YOU WANT TO DISCUSS ?

>> WELL, IN SOME AREAS PROBABLY I WILL THINK OF LATER. SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A NETWORK OF PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN CONTACT.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: I HAVE MY HAND ON THE PULSE! (217)557-5667. CALL ME BEFORE APRIL THE FIFTH.

>> YOU GOT IT.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: THANKS. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? OUTSTANDING. KEVIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. (APPLAUSE) TROOPS TO TEACHERS PROGRAMS. EMILY SIEFKIN.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: I JUST MET HER. TALKED AND EMAILED BACK AND FORTH. TROOPS TO TEACHERS PROGRAM.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. FOR EVERYONE WHO HAS SERVED AND THOSE SERVING OUR SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN. I HOPE THE FELLOW IN CHICAGO IS STILL THERE! YES. I HOPE THE FELLOW IN CHICAGO IS STILL ON BOARD. MY NAME IS EMILY SEIFKEN, I AM THE MANAGER FOR TROOPS TO TEACHERS N A NUTSHELL WHAT WE DO, WE FIND VIA GOING OUT TO TAP CLASSES, GOING TO FESTIVALS, FAIRS, JOB FAIRS, WE TRY TO FIND SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE SERVED SIX YEARS AND ABOVE WHO ARE EVEN REMOTELY CONSIDERING BECOMING A TEACHER THIS. WOULD BE KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12TH GRADE, SPECIAL EDUCATION, OR EVEN VOCATIONAL SUBJECTS, WHAT YOU AND I PROBABLY ONCE KNEW AS SHOP OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. MY CONTACT NUMBER IS AREA CODE (312)814-1831. OR YOU CAN ALSO ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB FIND OUT ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED AT WWW.ILTROOPS.ORG. MY PROGRAM IS A NATIONWIDE PROGRAM. EVERY STATE HAS IT. FOR ILLINOIS, BASICALLY WHAT A PERSON WILL DO, IF YOU HAVE SERVED SIX YEARS AND ABOVE, HOPEFULLY YOU WILL FIND ME AT MY NUMBER ON THE WEB, AND WE WILL BASICALLY LOOK AT YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BACHELOR' DEGREE. WE LOOK AT YOUR BACHELOR' DEGREE. IT CAN BE IN ANYTHING, IN WORK FORCE MANAGEMENT, FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FEE KNOX ONLINE, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THAT BACHELOR'S, WE WILL LOOK AT THAT. WE WILL ALSO LOOK AT YOUR MOS, OR YOUR NEC'S, I AM FORMER MILITARY, SO I AM WELL VERSED IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, LET'S SAY. WE WILL LOOK AT WHAT IS CALLED YOUR SMART TRANSCRIPTS, ARTS TRANSCRIPT, AND BACHELOR'S AND TRY TO FIND THE MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE MEANS TO GET YOUR TEACHING CERTIFICATE IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. WHICH IS NOT EASY. DO I HAVE ANY TEACHER HERE IN THE AUDIENCE AT ALL? ANYBODY WHO HAS TEACHED AT ONE POINT OR IN CHICAGO? WELL, IF YOU ARE IN THE POSITION OF FINDING AN INDIVIDUAL WHO WANTS TO TEACH, PLEASE SEND THEM TO ME. SO WHAT I DO IS I LOOK AT ALL OF THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN ILLINOIS. I LOOK AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS, FOR INSTANCE, IN CARBONDALE. I WILL LOOK AT GOVERNOR'S STATE. WE WILL LOOK AT THEIR TEACHING CURRICULA, AND WE WILL TRY TO FIND THE MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE MEANS BY WHICH TO GET YOU CERTIFIED. THAT MIGHT MEAN YOU TAKE A CLASS OR TWO AT NIGHT. IT MIGHT MEAN YOU TAKE ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM. I WON'T GO TOO MUCH INDEPTH ON THAT BECAUSE I HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME. NOW, I HAVE TO SAY MOST OF YOU IN HERE LIKE EXTRA MONEY. I THINK THE FELLOW IN CHICAGO PERHAPS IS LOOKING FOR A MEANS OUTSIDE OF THE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT, OUTSIDE OF THE GI BILL, IN ORDER TO FUND HIS OR HER TEACHING CERTIFICATE. TROOPS TO TEACHERS HAS SOME MONEY TO GIVE TO YOU. AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE $5,000 FOR SERVICEMAN OR WOMAN WHO HAS SERVED TEN YEARS AND ABOVE. THIS TEN YEARS CAN BE A COMBINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY TIME OR ACTIVE IN RESERVES AS DETERMINED BY YEARLY POINT SUMMARY ARE WE SERVES, ONE THAT TOTALS TEN YEARS AND ABOVE, WE CAN GIVE TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR FEES AND TUITION AT GOVERNOR'S STATE, OR SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CARBONDALE, OR NATIONAL LEWIS UNIVERSITY. IT IS NOT HECK OF A LOT, BUT IT IS SOMETHING. I MUST SAY THAT WE ARE WORKING ON LEGISLATION TO TRY TO INCREASE THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY. I CAN'T SAY ANYTHING MORE ABOUT IT RIGHT NOWING BUT WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT IT. I WILL FALL IN THIS CATEGORY. HAVING SERVED. TRUST ME I AM ON T THIS WILL BE PAID TO YOU. YOU WILL GET YOUR CERTIFICATE. LET'S SAY TEACHING MATH. I WILL WORK WITH YOU TO TRY TO GET YOU A JOB. WE ARE NOT A JOB PLACEMENT SERVICE. BUT IT BEHOOVES US TO LOOK IN YOUR AREA, NETWORK WITH REGIONAL OFFICES OF EDUCATION, SEE WHICH JOBS ARE OPEN. WE WILL TRY TO GET YOU HIRED. ONCE YOU ARE HIRED, TROOPS TO TEACHERS, AGAIN, IF YOU HAVE SERVED TEN YEARS AND ABOVE, WE CAN GIVE YOU ANOTHER FIVE THOUSAND FOR TOTAL OF TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. THAT WILL GO INTO YOUR POCKET, AND YOU WILL DO WHAT YOU WILL WITH IT. EITHER -- IT WORKS MUCH LIKE THE OLD GI BILL. IT IS JUST GOING INTO YOUR POCKET. VO EXAITIONNAL, LET'S SAY THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO TEACH MATH. YOU ARE -- (VOCATIONAL) A LOT OF SCHOOLS FARM OUT "SHOP" CLASS TO BUSINESSMEN AND WOMEN TO TEACH THE CLASS OR WIND TURBINE TECHNOLOGY. YOU HAVE TWO SCENARIOS, 60 CREDITS IN PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING, PLUS 2,000 HOURS OF DOCUMENTED EXPERIENCE IN A FIELD, AND YOU HAVE SERVED SIX YEARS AND ABOVE, YOU CAN JOIN TROOPS TO TEACHERS, AND WE CAN HELP YOU IF YOU SERVED TEN YEARS AND ABOVE, WE CAN ARE PROVIDE THE MONETARY ASSISTANCE FOR YOU TO BECOME A SHOP TEACHER OR TEACHING BUSINESS AT A SCHOOL, PHYSICAL EDUCATION. WE CAN ALSO, IN SOME CASES, FUND JROTC, BUT THERE IS A STIPULATION THAT YOU GET YOUR CERTIFICATE TEACHING SOMETHING OTHER THAN JROTC OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. WHAT OTHER SCENARIOS? WHAT IS THE CATCH? THE NICE THING ABOUT MY PROGRAM IS IT IS PRETTY MUCH CATCH-FREE. IT IS FREE MONEY FOR YOU. BUT THE -- WHAT WE DO ASK IS THAT YOU TEACH AT A HIGH NEEDS SCHOOL WHEN YOU DO START OUT IN YOUR SECOND CAREER. AND HOW DO WE DETERMINE A HIGH NEEDS SCHOOL? AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW, WE DETERMINE THE HIGH NEEDS SCHOOL BY FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH PERCENTAGES. IF 50% OF THE STUDENT POPULATION REQUIRE FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH, THEN THAT SCHOOL IS CONSIDERED HIGH NEEDS. ALSO, IDEA, INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT, IF THE IDEA PERCENTAGE IS 13.5 OR ABOVE, THAT SCHOOL IS ALSO CONSIDERED HIGH NEEDS. I MUST SAY THERE IS LEGISLATION ON THE FLOOR BECAUSE THIS EXCLUDES SCHOOL IN WOOD STOCK. IT EXCLUDES REALLY WEALTHY SCHOOLS. AND SOME OF OUR TEACHERS CANNOT TEACH IN THOSE AREAS. AGAIN, THIS PROGRAM IS TO TRY TO MEET URBAN OR RURAL POOR HIGH NEEDS AREAS. BUT WE ARE WORKING LEGISLATION SUCH TO CHANGE THE CRITERIA FOR A HIGH NEEDS BACK TO TITLE ONE. IT USED TO BE THAT. WE ARE TRYING TO WORK IT BACK THAT WAY. THAT IS MY PROGRAM IN A NUTSHELL. LIKE I SAID, I AM EXCITED ABOUT SOME LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT WOULD INVOLVE, AGAIN, AN INCREASE IN MONEY AND TIME SERVED. BUT TIMENT I CAN'T GO INDEPTH ABOUT THAT. AGAIN, THE WORST CASE SCENARIO WITH MY PROGRAM, YOU GO TEACH AT NUTREA, AND IF YOU HAVE BORROWED $5,000 INITIALLY, WE ASK YOU PAY IT BACK. IT IS A ZERO PERCENT INTEREST LOAN YOU WOULD PAY OUT WITH DONTAES. IT IS CATCH FREE. OTHER THAN THAT, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO FIND ME. I EVEN ENCOURAGE YOU IF YOU JUST SERVED THREE YEARS AND ABOVE TO FIND ME. CAN YOU FIND ME (312)814-1831 OR YOU CAN GO TO TROOPS DOT TEACHERS DOT AT ILLINOIS.GOV. AND I WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION AT WWW.IL TROOPS.ORG WHICH IS OUR ILLINOIS WEB SITE WHICH CAN YOU SIGN ON OR PROUDTOSERVE.COM. I OPEN THE FLOOR TO ANY QUESTIONS.

>>ARE THERE ANY UNIVERSITIES OR COLLEGES IN THE CENTRAL ILLINOIS AREA THAT ARE PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROGRAM?

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: YES, MA'AM. ACTUALLY PRETTY MUCH EVERY UNIVERSITY THAT IS NEAR A MILITARY BASE CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM, BUT THE SERVICE MEMBER WOULD BE ENROLLED AT THE UNIVERSITY. SO HERE IT WOULD BE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT SPRINGFIELD, AND AS LONG AS THERE IS TEACHING CURRICULA, KIND OF, OKAY, WITH THE PROGRAM, THEN A SERVICE MEMBER CAN ENROLL. A SERVICE MEMBER CAN ALSO ENROLL AT A UNIVERSITY IN ORDER TO KNOCKOUT SOME CORE CLASSES. LET'S SAY THEY WANTED TO BECOME A SCIENCE TEACHER. THEORETICALLY THEY CAN GO TO GOVERNOR STATE, EMERY RIDDLE, SOME OTHER PLACES.

>>HE WORKS HERE IN SPRINGFIELD. HE HAS COMPLETED HIS BACHELOR'S DEGREE AND TRYING TO GET INTO THE TEACHER AS PROGRAM.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: THE TROOPS TO TEACHERS PROGRAM WILL WORK WITH ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE UNIVERSITY. WE JUST NEED THE SERVICE MEMBER TO CONTACT US, AND THEN THEY WILL RECEIVE A PACKET IN THE MAIL. THAT PACKET WILL HAVE A SHEET. THAT SHEET IS GIVEN TO THE TRANSCRIPT PEOPLE, REGISTRAR, AND THE REGISTRAR WILL SAY, YES, THIS PERSON IS ENROLLED IN AT LEAST ONE CLASS IN MY SCHOOL. THAT SERVICEMAN OR WOMAN WILL SEND IT IN, SEND THE SHEET IN. AND THEY ARE PART OF THE TROOPS TO TEACHERS PROGRAM. THEM ONLY RECEIVE MONEY IF THEY SERVED TEN YEARS AND ABOVE. BUT THEY CAN AT LEAST BENEFIT FROM COUNSELING FROM SOMEONE LIKE MYSELF IN CONJUNCTION WITH A A TRANSCRIPT REVIEW PERSON FROM THE SCHOOL. I HOPE THAT ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION.

>>

>>PASSED PSYCHOLOGY, TO CONTINUE ON UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, AND RUNNING INTO ALL KINDS OF ROADBLOCKS BECAUSE (CAN'T HEAR) HE WOULD HAVE TO FIND SOME KIND OF FUNDING TO DO THE STUDENT TEACHING.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: HE IS LOOKING FOR FUNDING TO DO STUDENT TEACHING.

>>YES, BECAUSE HE WORKS.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: HOW MANY FULL TIME SERVICE. HE DOES NOT QUALIFY WITH SEVEN YEARS FOR TROOPS.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: NEED TEN YEARS.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: TEN YEARS.

>> AND SIX TO QUALIFY, WITHOUT FUNDING?

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: CORRECT. YES, MA'AM, IN THE BACK.

>>YOU STATED YOU WOULD NOT LOOK AT AN APPLICATION, SOMEONE WHO HAS HAD THREE YEARS OF SERVICE.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: IF SOMEBODY WANTS TO CALL WITH THREE YEARS OF SERVICE AND ABOVE, I WILL TAKE THEIR CALL. I WILL KEEP THEM ON A SEPARATE LIST SERVE IN ANTICIPATION OF PENDING LEGISLATION -- LEGISLATIVE CHANGES. AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW, THIS IS JUST MY OWN ENDEAVOR. AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW, MY PROGRAM CAN ONLY ACCEPT PEOPLE WHO SERVED SIX YEARS AND ABOVE. WE CAN ONLY GIVE -- WE CAN ONLY GIVE MONEY FOR PEOPLE WHO SERVED TEN YEARS AND ABOVE. I WILL KEEP ON FILE A PERSON'S CONTACT INFORMATION JUST FOR MY OWN OUTREACH IN THE EVENT THAT THIS LEGISLATION THAT I HOPE GOES THROUGH GOES THROUGH. THAT'S ALL I CAN SAY ABOUT THAT RIGHT NOW.

>> FOR EXAMPLE, YOU HAVE PEOPLE WITH FOUR YEARS OF SERVICE WHICH WAS STANDARD CONTRACT. BUT THEY MIGHT HAVE A BACHELOR'S AND A MASTERS, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE THE EXTRA FEES OR AVAILABLE MONEY TO GO BACK AND GET THAT EXTRA TEACHING HOURS THAT THEY NEED.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: IF THEY ARE LIKE ME, THEY LONG AGO EXHAUSTED THEIR OLD GI BILL. SO THIS THEORETICALLY COULD BE ANOTHER SOURCE. I AM MORE THAN HAPPY TO HAVE THESE PEOPLE ON FILE. I CAN'T ENTER THEM IN MY PROGRAM. BUT THEY CAN BE ON FILE, AND WE WILL GO FORWARD IF -- UNDER THE NEW LEGISLATION -- OR THIS NEW ADMINISTRATION, THAT VALUES TEACHING, YOU KNOW, I THINK, I HOPE WE CAN MOVE AND CHANGE THIS PROGRAM TO BE ABLE TO EMPLOY A LARGER DEMOGRAPHIC OF FOLKS AND ALSO REACH OUT TO A LARGE DEMOGRAPHIC.

>>

>>JIMMIE MILLER: QUESTION IN CHICAGO.

>>I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU THIS. WHEN I WENT INTO THE SERVICE, THEY HAD TWO YEAR PROGRAMS FOR THOSE THAT SCORED I BELIEVE ON THE TOP THIRD OF THE INTELLIGENCE EXAM ASFAB. I WAS ONE POINT AWAY FROM OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL. FOR THOSE THAT WORKED EXTRA HARD TO DO ACADEMICALLY WELL ON THE FAB TEST TO QUALIFY FOR SPECIAL NEEDS AT THE MILITARY, TWO YEARS FOR THE ARMY. FOR ME, NOVEMBER 86, 88, WILL THEY HAVE ANY KIND OF PROGRAMS FOR NEXT FIVE YEARS TO BENEFIT PEOPLE LIKE ME.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: I AM SORRY, MA'AM, I DON'T ANTICIPATE ANYTHING UNDER A THREE YEAR PERIOD OF SERVICE.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: BUT STILL COULD HAVE IVG.

>>

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: YOU STILL HAVE ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT AND CAN YOU UTILIZE THAT. I WOULD HOPE IT WOULD BE TOWARDS TEACHING. THERE ARE ALSO PROGRAMS CALLED TEACH FOR AMERICA, AND SOME OTHERS. ACTUALLY TROOPS TO TEACHERS MONEY CAN BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANY MONETARY FUNDS YOU MIGHT GET FROM TEACH FROM AMERICA OR ELSEWHERE. THIS IS A STAND ALONE PROGRAM. IT DOESN'T AFFECT THE GI BILL. ILLINOIS VETERANS GRANT.

>>CAN I JUST TELL YOU. ONLY THING I AM CONCERNED WITH, I DO HAVE A TEACHING CERTIFICATE, BUT NOW SUPPOSEDLY SINCE THE NEW PROGRAM, LEAVE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, I WONDER HOW VAL IT IS ANY MORE. I GOT MY CERTIFICATE, NINE, TEN YEARS ASMG ION THOUGH I RENEWED IT EVERY FIVE YEARS OR FOUR YEARS, I DON'T KNOW HOW VAL IT IS, IF IT IS VALID ANY MORE. THAT'S MY CONCERN.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: YES, MA'AM, YOU WOULD HAVE TO CHECK -- SEE ABOUT THE REVALIDATION. AND IF YOU HAVE TEACHING FOR THE SPEGHTS NEEDS CHILD UNDER YOUR BELT, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE ONE OR TWO CLASSES THAT ARE PART OF THE NEW REQUIREMENTS. TEACHING FOR THE SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD AND SO ON. SO I WOULD SAY JUST GO TO THE ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, AND JEFF ARANOSKI WORKS THERE IN THE THOMPSON CENTER ON THE 13TH FLOOR, I BELIEVE. THERE IS SOME REALLY WONDERFUL FOLKS THAT ARE WORKING THERE, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. I CHAT WITH THEM.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>>

>>JIMMIE MILLER: I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU, MA'AM. I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU. BEFORE TODAY, IF EMILY WOULD HAVE SAID TO YOU, YOU NEED TO TAKE THESE TWO CLASSES TO RENEW YOUR CERTIFICATE, WHAT WOULD BE THE FIRST THING TO COME TO YOUR MIND? HOW AM I GOING TO PAY FOR THOSE TWO CLASSES? RIGHT. IVEG WILL PAY FOR THOSE CLASSES, CORRECT ?

>> YES.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: OUTSTANDING.

>>THANK YOU.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: ANY --

>>I HAD A QUESTION. FIRST. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME COMING AND IMPARTING KNOWLEDGE.

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: IT IS MY PLEASURE. TRUST ME.

>>WHEN YOU SAY HIGH NEEDS, DOES ANYBODY PUBLISH A LIST OF HIGH NEEDS DISTRICTS?

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ON THEIR SITE, THEY HAVE A MORE GENERALIZED SHEET OF SCHOOLS THAT ARE CONSIDERED HIGH NEEDS. I HAVE AN EXCEL SHEET, AND I HAVE A YES AND NO AS PERTAINS TO WHETHER OR NOT THEY QUALIFY FOR TROOPS TO TEACHERS. I NEED TO UPDATE FOR 2009. BUT I DEFINITELY HAVE 2008. IS BE. -- ISBE IS LA BRYN THREIAN WEB SOURCE.

>>THERE IS A LOT ON THERE.

>>

>>EMILY SIEFKIN: ME, TOO. AND I AM STILL NAVIGATING.

>>JIMMIE MILLER: ANY OTHER QUESTIONS IN SPRINGFIELD? ANY INT NET QUESTIONS? PHONE BRIDGE QUESTIONS? CHICAGO? PERFECT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, EMILY. (APPLAUSE) NEXT PART OF THE PROGRAM BRINGS ME. I AM JIMMIE MILLER. IF YOU DON'T KNOW BY NOW. I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU JUST BRIEFLY. LET'S DO THIS. EVERYBODY WRITE THIS DOWN FOR ME. DOL, I APOLOGIZE. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. WE UTILIZE OUR RESOURCE. WE GO TO SCHOOL. WE GET EDUCATION, WE GET A JOB. WE STILL WANT TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY OR WE HAVE SEVERED OUR COUNTRY OF WE RETURNED WITH INJURIES. AND THE EMPLOYER WE WORK FOR PRIOR TO LEAVING REFUSES TO HIRE US BACK. THERE IS A LAW THAT SAYS THAT YOUR EMPLOYER, AND THERE ARE CERTAIN CONDITIONS THAT REFLECTING THAT, BUT YOUR EMPLOYER HAS TO REEMPLOY YOU. IF YOU HAVE A DISABILITY, THEY HAVE TO MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS ON CERTAIN CONDITIONS FOR THAT DISABILITY. THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, THE LAW IS SARAH. UNIFORM SERVICES EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ACT. ACRONYM USERRA. YOU CAN FIND OUT AS MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT THAT PARTICULAR ACT BY VISITING THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WEB SITE. WE FINISH AT THREE. NOON TO THREE IS PROGRAM. THAT'S ALL I AM GOING TO SAY ABOUT THAT. BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT TO TALK ABOUT FOR A COUPLE MINUTES WHY WE ARE HERE TODAY. IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, THE ECONOMY, WE ARE AFFECTED BY IT. THE INFORMATION THAT WE PROVIDED TODAY WAS PURPOSELY PROVIDED TO HELP YOU IDENTIFY WHAT THOSE RESOURCES ARE SO THAT CAN YOU OBTAIN THEM AND UTILIZE THOSE RESOURCES TO HELP OFFSET THE WAY THE ECONOMY IS AFFECTING YOU NOW. I SAID IT EARLIER, IF YOU KNOW A NEIGHBOR, A FRIEND, A RELATIVE, WHO ARE VETERANS, DON'T HAVE TO BE DISABLED VETERANS, BUT THEY ARE VETERANS, A KID DOWN THE BLOCK WHO RETURNED FROM THE MILITARY A FEW YEARS AGO, AND SAID WISH THAT KID WOULD DO SOMETHING WITH THEIR LIFE! TOUCH THAT KID, SAY, HEY, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE A LOT OF BENEFITS. YOU ARE PRETTY RICH, AND YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW IT. YOUR POCKETS ARE EMPTY, BUT YOUR RESOURCES ARE MANY. IDENTIFY THOSE INDIVIDUALS, POINT THEM TO YOUR VETERAN SERVICES OFFICES, YOUR VETERAN SERVICE OFFICERS, AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BENEFITS THAT YOU HAVE EARNED THROUGH YOUR MILITARY SERVICE. I THANK YOU. COMING UP NEXT, TO CLOSE OUR PROGRAM IS SERGIO ESTRADA. HE IS THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND RETIRED SERGEANT MAJOR FROM THE MARINE CORPS. YOU MARINES, YOU GO OOOHHH, RAHHHH. (APPLAUSE).

>>SERGIO ESTRADA: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, JIMMIE. IT IS OHHH, RAH, IF YOU LOOK AT MY LICENSE PLATES, IT SAYS OHHH, RAH. WHAT I WANT TO SAY IS THANK YOU TO ALL THE VETERANS THAT ARE HERE ON THE PHONE BRIDGE, ON THE INTERNET, AND THOSE IN CHICAGO. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICES YOU MADE FOR OUR COUNTRY SO WE CAN ENJOY THE FREEDOMS WE DO RIGHT NOW. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. ON BEHALF OF YOUR DIRECTOR DAN GRANT AND DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, I WANT TO PERSONALLY THANK THE EMPLOYEES OF CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES ESPECIALLY JOE ASHCRAFT, AND MIKE HEPLER FOR UTILIZING THEIR SKILLS, TALENT AND TIME. I WANT TO THANK THE EMPLOYEES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, SUE MASTEN, AND MARTHA YOUNGER WHITE FOR PROVIDING THE INTERPRETERS AND THE CAPTIONING. I COMMEND THE STAFF FOR THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR RISING UP TO THIS OCCASION. JIMMIE MILLER, YOUR SERVICES AND YOU ALL PARTICIPATED IN THIS EVENT AND JUMPED ON BOARD WITHOUT ANY HESITATION. WE SUCCEEDED AS AN AGENCY BECAUSE OF YOUR HARD WORK AND DEDICATION. TO THE VETERANS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF VETERANS, I HOPE THE INFORMATION THAT YOU RECEIVED TODAY WILL ASSIST YOU IN OBTAINING BENEFITS THAT YOU HAVE RIGHTFULLY EARNED. SHOULD YOU NEED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE. I REPEAT, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. WE ARE HERE TO A ASSIST YOU. OUR SERVICE OFFICERS ARE COMMITTED TO SERVE YOU. IT IS FAIR TO SAY THAT OUR -- THAT WE ALL HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE DOWNTURN OF THE ECONOMY, HOWEVER, VETERAN BENEFITS IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS ARE NOT AFFECTED. VETERANS SHOULD PURSUE ALL BENEFITS WHICH WILL ASSIST THEM IN BATTLING THE ECONOMY. THIS INCLUDES EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND COMPENSATION. VETERANS EDUCATION BENEFITS WILL HELP PREPARE VETERANS FOR VALUABLE AND LUCRATIVE CAREER. THE BENEFITS WILL HELP ALLEVIATE THE COST OF RISING MEDICAL CARE AND DISABILITY COMPENSATION PROVIDES MONETARY BENEFITS TO HELP PAY FOR BILLS AND PROVIDE FOR YOUR FAMILY. ILLINOIS IS THE LEADER IN BENEFITS, AND I CHALLENGE AND COMMAND EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU TO STEP UP AND VISIT OUR LOCAL SERVICE OFFICERS AND OUR OFFICES AND APPLY FOR BENEFITS. WITH THAT SAID, I WANT TO SAY GOD BLESS AMERICA, GOD BLESS THOSE WHO SERVED, AND THEIR FAMILIES, AND GOTD BLESS THOSE WHO ARE CURRENTLY SERVING IN THEIR FAMILIES BACK HERE AND THOSE WHO MADE THE SACRIFICE FOR OUR FREEDOMS. THIS CONCLUDES OUR TIME. (APPLAUSE).

>>

>>JIMMIE MILLER: THANK YOU, GUYS,. ON THE SECOND FLOOR IS THE VETERANS STATE VETERANS ASSISTANCE OFFICE THAT WILL ASSIST INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE LOOKING TO APPLY FOR STATE EMPLOYMENT, VETERANS WHO HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR ABILITY TO PROMOTE AND HIRE AND ALL THAT KIND OF GOOD SPHUF STUFF. THANK