Illinois veterans, active-duty service members, reservists and their dependents will be able to access free legal help for consumer, housing and family law issues through a statewide hotline and network of legal support services launched this month, according to Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights.
“The men and women who bravely serve our country deserve to have access to proper care and programs that they need,” DeLuca said. “Veterans with limited resources will now have access to attorneys to represent them in civil legal matters.”
The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) was created through the passage of House Bill 3933 in 2015. Under the law, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association, is tasked with administering a pilot program that provides civil legal aid to veterans and active duty military personnel.
IL-AFLAN operates a statewide hotline that is staffed by attorneys from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to assist veterans with discharge upgrades, benefit appeals and civil legal problems such as family, housing and consumer issues. Veterans can call the hotline at 855-452-3526.
Former and active duty military members with an income below 80 percent of the Chicago area median income are eligible for services. For a family of four, this translates into $63,200 annually.
“The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network will help make a difference in protecting veterans who might be facing housing or consumer issues,” DeLuca said. “I am glad we were able to pass legislation that will benefit the men and women who bravely serve our country.”