Illinois judicial, government and civic leaders have launched the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network, the first statewide hotline and network of free legal support services for Illinois veterans, active-duty military, National Guard, reservists and their dependents facing urgent family, housing and consumer problems, as well as issues such as discharge upgrades and benefit appeals.

The free hotline is 855-452-3526 (855-IL-AFLAN), and it is staffed by attorneys from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. The hotline will offer legal advice and brief services and then connect veterans and military members to legal aid providers near their community, according to an Illinois Equal Justice Foundation news release.

To be eligible for these services, veterans and active duty military members need to have an income less than 80 percent of the Chicago-area median income. For a family of four, this translates into $63,200 annually, the release stated.

For information on the network, visit