District Service Officer Report

Dutch DeGroot - 2/19/2024

Service Officer Report 4th District

18 February 2024

Our Quarterly report will also be on the 4th District web site 

www.vfwildist4.orgDutch DeGroot

Tom McMahon


District Service Officer update



Camp Lejeune Justice Act Informational Update

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors

Possible VA outreach person for Lovell VA

Benefits you may not know about

District Service Officer update

• At the CofA this last week the appointment of Sean Conner to the position of Department Director of our Service Office was recommended and voted on by the council. He was an assistant director at the Danvil VA and current 17th District Commander. We shall do all we can to support him in his new position.

• The district is hosting a workshop on VA benefits and how to obtain them this is geared for post service officers but open to anyone that is interested. This shall be done remotely on zoom and you must register to get the link date Thursday 29 February @18hr30 space is limited so do not delay in signing up.  The Pact Act shall take front stage Presenters Derek Giffin Legal Administrative Specialist Veterans Benefits Administration, Russel Meredith VFW Veterans Service Officer, Chuck Bosko IDVA Appeals Specialist, Dutch DeGroot & Tom McMahon VFW 4th District Service Officers. https://vfwildist4.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp?pid=105182&d=y&subid=71295

• There now are some townships that have certified VA accredited VSO’s that I shall be sharing information with your post service officers. Keep in mind there are many levels of expertize in the VSO world and quite a few different legal organizations. Our PSO’s need to fit the veteran with the best VSO for that case. 


• The deadline for membership in the VACCC ends midnight 29 February. The next meeting shall be 26 march 1900 Next VACCC Membership meeting Shall be in 26 March starting at 19hr00 7pm held at Lyons Township Hall 6404 Joliet Rd in Countryside, IL 60525 Directions Nominations and election of officers & board members shall be done at this meeting. If you are interested please nominate someone. There are still issues with the county in hiring staff as well as IT support. They continue to use a page on our district site.


Veterans Legislation day Wednesday 13 March

There shall be a breakfast at Springfield Post 775 and then to the State Capitol for visits with your representitives. This is the first of it’s kind and all service organizations are welcome.

Illinois State Legislation

Claim Shark Amendment—SB3479 Sen Porfirio & Sen Hastings

Amends provisions of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act concerning deceptive practices targeting veterans and military members. Changes the definition of "veteran or military benefits services” to any services offered or provided to a veteran, military member, or family member who is entitled to receive benefits under federal, State, or local law, policy, or practice as a result of, at least in part, qualifying military service. Such services include assistance, consulting or coaching in the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of claims or other attempts to obtain benefits, increase benefits, or appeal a decision related to obtaining or increasing benefits. Adds a veterans services disclosure to be made by any person providing veteran or military benefits services. Makes it an unlawful practice for any person providing veteran or military benefits services to fail at the outset of the business relationship to clearly provide, both orally and in writing, veterans services disclosures when veteran or military benefits services are provided in exchange for any financial compensation, benefit or thing of value. Makes other changes. lin

SB2315—INC TX-STANDARD EXEMPTION Override of Gov veto on Homestead Exemption Provision now in the Senate Assignment Committee

HFA #1 to SB 2315—Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Property Tax Code. In a Section granting a homestead exemption to veterans with disabilities, provides that property that is used as a qualified residence by a veteran who was a member of the United States Armed Forces during World War II is exempt from taxation regardless of the veteran’s level of disability. Provides that a veteran who qualifies as a result of his or her service in World War II need not reapply for the exemption. Makes changes concerning service-connected disabilities. Makes changes concerning surviving spouses. link https://vfwil.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp?pid=107765

Camp Lejeune Justice Act Informational Update:

Veterans and family members seeking to file lawsuits because of water contamination at Camp Lejeune have only months left to do so. The VFW has partnered with trusted law firms to help those seeking to file suit against the government. BMBF Law and Bergman & Moore are here to help affected individuals. Section 804 of the PACT Act (P.L. 117-168), the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, allows that individuals may qualify if they resided, worked, or were otherwise exposed (including in utero) to the ground water at Camp Lejeune for not less than 30 days during the period from Aug. 1, 1953, to Dec. 31,1987; and have been diagnosed with a cancer, serious illness, or numerous other health conditions including neurological, kidney and liver diseases, miscarriages, infertility, and birth defects/cognitive disabilities in children. Your condition does not have to be on the VA presumptive list or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to file a claim. Surviving family members may pursue claims on behalf of deceased loved ones.

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors:

VA is pleased to present the "2023 VA Federal Benefits Booklet for Veterans, Dependents, Survivors, and Caregivers” is now available in print and online. The Benefits Booklet is a thorough guide that explains the numerous VA benefits and services to Veterans, their families and caregivers, as part of VA’s initiative to support and empower our country’s heroes. This tool directs Veterans through a myriad of services and initiatives created to recognize and appreciate their priceless service to our Nation. https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp

Possible VA outreach person for Lovell VA:

For several years I have been working with the outreach personal at Hines VA and recently with Grant Jacobsin at JB VA. I find them a useful source to help with issues that come up in their perspective facilities. I brought the matter up with the VA regional office that Lovell VA had no such position. They were actually surprised and are exploring the possibility of getting this filled.

Benefits you may not know about

Travel Pay to for VA appointments.Illinois AG Military and Veterans Rights Bureau

License plates for 50% SC or more. Hunting and Fishing Privileges

Need to contact VA?

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, Chat, or Text 838255

Homeless Veteran Resources: 1-877-424-3838  or Chat 

White House VA Hotline: 1-855-948-2311

Don’t know what number to call?

1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) is never the wrong number

The number to call when you don’t know who to call.

You only need to remember one number for information on VA care, benefits, and services or to speak to a live agent for assistance!

Post News

Important Info for Post3579 Members

Sentry Newsletter

AprMayJun 2024

Sentry Newsletter

Jan Feb Mar 2024 Sentry Newsletter

District News

Important Info for District 4 Members

Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) & Veterans Golfers Association (VGA) are proud to announce

a collaborative effort to grow the game of golf for veterans in our area. Through the VGA veterans can join the CDGA for ONLY $10 annually.

Mural Reveal & Mini Resource Fair

The Veterans Assistance Commission is hosting a major event Friday 5 April 1100-1500hr

Statewide News

News & Info from your department

Important deadline make sure that this gets to membership

Next PACT Act deadline: Health care enrollment for Veterans who deployed to combat zones

Illinois Military Veterans Assistance Act (MVAA) Webinars

Some really great seminars get your post & District a jump start

National News

Important info from National VFW

VFW Honors the Nation's Gulf War Veterans

WASHINGTON - More than three decades later, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) continues to pay tribute to the nearly 700,000 mili...

Country Music Superstar Joins VFW in Asking America to 'Return the Favor'

Kansas City, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) alongside John Rich and his Redneck Riviera brand announced today a new oppo...