CALUMET CITY, Ill. – State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, is highlighting a new legal assistance hotline which can help Illinois veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, and their dependents with matters including consumer, housing, and family law.
“Legal services are often costly and it’s important we do what we can to help the men and women who have protected our freedoms,” Jones said. “Minority veterans especially often need civil legal services in order for them to access affordable housing and protect their rights as consumers.”
The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) was created by legislation supported by Jones in 2015. Under House Bill 3933, 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, launched this month, 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 80 percent of the Chicago area median income are eligible for services. For a family of four, this translates into $63,200 annually.
“I encourage veterans across Illinois to utilize this new free legal hotline if they have civil legal issues,” Jones said. “I am proud we can now give our veterans and service members the ability to affordably defend the rights they fought so hard to protect.”