Veterans Groups Urge Trump to Keep VA Secretary David Shulkin

on Wednesday, 28 February 2018.

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Veterans Administration Secretary David Shulkin

(reprinted from USA Today)

WASHINGTON – Three veterans organizations urged President Trump to keep Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in place despite a report that said he misused taxpayer dollars during a European trip last year.

The American Legion ticked off a list of his accomplishments at the department, including modernization of the appeals process for VA benefits, improved patient satisfaction, decreased wait times and increased access to mental health care.

"We have been encouraged by the great progress Secretary Shulkin has made and believe that he remains the best person to lead this important federal public institution on the behalf of the American people," the group's national commander, Denise Rohan, said in a statement Monday.

One of the oldest organizations representing veterans, AmVets, praised the secretary.

“Please allow VA Secretary Shulkin the space necessary to do his job and continue your focus on fixing the VA,” Joe Chenelly, executive director of AmVets said in a statement directed at the president.

Vietnam Veterans of America echoed those thoughts and expressed support for VA Deputy Secretary Tom Bowman, who has been on the job since August.

"Keep both David Shulkin and Tom Bowman, and see where we are in a year," said Rick Weidman, co-founder of the organization. "It hasn’t been long enough."

Veterans groups had been largely silent since the VA inspector general released a report last Wednesday concluding Shulkin improperly accepted tickets to Wimbledon and airfare for his wife during a 10-day trip to Denmark and London last July.



IRS Tax Assistance Information

on Wednesday, 01 March 2017.

Issue Number: IR-2017-51

WASHINGTON –– The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that they may be eligible to receive free tax help at nearly 12,000 preparation sites nationwide. The sites, generally located at community and neighborhood centers, provide tax assistance to taxpayers with low- and moderate-incomes and the elderly.

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to individuals who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and individuals with limited English proficiency who need assistance in preparing their taxes. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 and older. The IRS certified VITA and TCE volunteers are trained to help with many tax questions, including credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

Mundelein Cup-A-Joe Gets New Home

on Sunday, 25 February 2018.

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Since the original Cup-A-Joe coffee klatch started in Lake Villa's Daisy's ARTish Cafe in 2015, the weekly get-together has been steadily expanding locations. The primary goal of A Cup-A-Joe is for Veterans and Service Members of all branches and all eras to have a place to relax together once a week. And the best part is, thanks to the generosity of Dunkin' Brands, the coffee and a snack are free!

Currently, there are weekly gatherings on Wednesdays in Lake Villa at Daisy's; Thursdays in Zion at It's All Good Coffee; and Wednesdays in the Veteran Center of the College of Lake County. The Tuesday location has just been moved to AREA General Store in Mundelein at 18 East Park Street. We are very proud to welcome owner Rob DuPont, brother of two Marines, to the Cup-A-Joe fraternity.  Welcome, Rob.

And please stop by any Tuesday between 4:30 and 6:00 and enjoy a cup, a snack and some great conversation.

Tax Season Tips for Military

on Friday, 10 November 2017.

IRS has Resources for Veterans, Current Members of the Military

There are tax benefits that can affect current members of the military. The IRS has resources for both these groups. The following tools will help military members and veterans navigate tax issues:

File Income Taxes for Free

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in News

Tax season is here. Individuals who earn $64,000 or less can self-file their federal and state taxes for free through a secure mobile-optimized website called MyFree Taxes.

The website is provided in partnership with United Way and H&R Block. Individuals also can utilize a helpline at 855-MY-TX-HELP and online chat support with services available in English and Spanish by IRS-certified specialists.

VA’s Center for Women Veterans to highlight, connect and inform women Veterans through outreach and social media

on Sunday, 04 March 2018.

IMAGE: CWV graphic

Posted in Women Veterans by Danielle Corazza

The women Veteran population is growing and VA is stepping up to meet the need through innovative programming and services specifically designed to serve women. But, once the programs are deployed, how do we get the word out? How do we ensure that women Veterans self-identify and take advantage of the benefits they’ve earned and deserve? And, how do we capture the sentiment and reality of what women Veterans are experiencing so we can raise those voices to drive effective policy?

Veterans Treatment Courts Continues Successful Record

on Wednesday, 04 October 2017.

Veterans Treatment Courts — Helping Vets Seek Justice
By Lindsey Getz
Social Work Today
Vol. 17 No. 5 P. 22

[Editor's Note: Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation is one of the founding parties of the Lake County Veterans Treatment and Assistance Court (VTAC) in Waukegan. It continues to be a key part of the specialty court process. To that end, at the conclusion of the following article, please read the information on working and supporting VTAC.]

The specialty court you may not have known existed is helping vets across the country.

Problem-solving courts take a specialized approach to working with participants in addressing the underlying problems that are contributing to their criminal behavior. It's become a big trend in the United States, as we've seen the emergence of drug courts and domestic violence courts that aim to reduce reoffenses and address substance use and other issues at the heart of illegal behavior.

Similar to problem-solving courts, Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) have emerged as a type of specialty court that help address the underlying needs of veterans who wind up facing criminal charges. It's estimated that there are currently around 350 of these specialty courts across the country, and they differ in terms of how they run or what types of charges they adjudicate. But the overarching goal is the same: getting veterans the help they need to stay out of jail and reintegrate with society.

Judge Christopher Stride Joins Board

on Sunday, 04 March 2018.

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The Honorable Christopher R. Stride was elected to the Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation Board in November as Board Vice President. 

He is the Circuit Court Judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois appointed in 2016 by a unanimous vote of the Illinois Supreme Court. He is the Presiding Judge of Problem Solving Courts (Mental Health Court, Drug Court, and Veteran’s Treatment and Assistance Court).

Judge Stride holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Valparaiso University and a Juris Doctor of Law from Valparaiso University School of Law.

Free IRS Tax Guide for Military Members

on Tuesday, 02 January 2018.

IRS Free Tax Guide Focuses on Tax Benefits for Members of the Military

WASHINGTON —Each year, the IRS publishes Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide, a free booklet packed with valuable information and tips designed to help service members and their families take advantage of all tax benefits allowed by law. This year's edition is posted on Available tax benefits include:

New Legal Advice Line Announced by Prairie State Legal

on Thursday, 11 January 2018.

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Prairie State Legal Services is pleased to launch its telephone legal advice line for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault who live in the counties served by PSLS**

The Legal Advice Line is open:
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
9am to 1pm
Wednesday Evenings
6 p.m. to 8 pm

Victims Legal Advice Line
844/388-7757 (toll free)

We provide bilingual staff or interpreters for limited English proficient callers.