RED BUD, Ill. – 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 recently launched statewide hotline and network of legal support services that state Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Smithton, is highlighting.
“The brave men and women who serve and protect the United States deserve access to necessary care and programs that they may need,” Costello said. “For many, transitioning to civilian life can sometimes be a difficult process and we should do everything we can to ensure they have the necessary resources to make the process easier. Because of this new legislation in Illinois, veterans and their families will have access to legal services for civil matters at little to no cost.”
The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) was created through the passage of House Bill 3933 in 2015, which Costello supported. 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 free 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, benefits appeals and civil legal problems such as family, housing and consumer issues. Veterans can call the hotline at 855-452-3526 or 855-IL-AFLAN. Former and active duty military members with an income below a qualifying amount are eligible for services. For a family of four, this translates into $63,200 annually.
“The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network can make a real difference in protecting veterans who are facing housing and consumer fraud issues,” Costello said. “I encourage veterans and active-duty members of our armed forces to take advantage of this program.”
State Rep. Jerry Costello II represents Illinois’ 116th district, which includes all or parts of St. Clair, Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties. His office can be reached by phone at 618-282-7284 or by email at email@example.com.