DECATUR, 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. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, is highlighting.
“Financial and legal aspects of life outside the military can often present challenges for veterans,” said Scherer. “Thanks to the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network, these brave men and women who fought to protect our rights will have greater access to legal protections.”
The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) was created through the passage of House Bill 3933 in 2015, which Scherer 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 80 percent of the Chicago area median income are eligible for services. For a family of four, this translates into $63,200 annually.
“By helping secure their benefits and stabilizing family law and housing issues, the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network will improve veterans’ quality of life,” said Scherer. “I encourage veterans and active-duty service members to utilize this free resource and to spread the word to other military families who may benefit from it.”