Tax Season Tips for Military

on Friday, 21 December 2018. Posted in News

IRS has Resources for Veterans, Current Members of the Military

The Internal Revenue Service is committed to helping all Veterans. We work with community and government partners to provide timely federal tax-related information to Veterans about tax credits and benefits, free tax preparation, financial education and asset-building opportunities available to Veterans.

Our Approach
The Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) office within the Wage & Investment Division has built a network of national and local partners. Organizations include corporate, faith-based, nonprofit, educational, financial and government. With so many tax benefits available today, taxes can serve as the starting point for many people's dream of stronger financial security.

Partnership with VA
The IRS and US Department of Veterans Affairs entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015. The primary focus of the MOU is to provide free tax preparation services to Veterans and their families.

Partnering organizations prepare tax returns free of charge for low- to moderate-income taxpayers. Also check out the partner Outreach Corner for links to newsletter articles, podcasts, widgets and other electronic products to help reach out to customers with timely tax news. If you represent a Veterans organization, why not look further to see how you can become involved?

Equestrian Connections Partners with LCVFSF for Veterans

on Friday, 29 June 2018.

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Recognizing that working with horses can be a powerful therapy for Veterans and family members, LCVFSF has begun partnering with Equestrian Connections on Bradley Road in Lake Forest. It offers best in class equine therapy to enrich the lives of people who choose to benefit from its many resources and services.

Equestrian Connections offers a broad range of equine therapy programs, including one called ReConnect, specially designed for Veterans and family members to connect with horses and with each other to create a uniquely positive experience.

The VA Program For Veteran Caregivers You May Not Know About

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016.

VA caregiver benefits provide financial, medical, and peer help for family members that support veterans.

Roughly 5.5 million people serve as caregivers for veteran family members. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a lesser known benefit for these family members. Known as Caregiver Support Services, these benefits aim to help family members who are tasked with the primary care of a disabled veteran.

The services available include access to a caregiver support line, support coordinator, peer support for caregivers, adult day health care centers, and home care, among other things.

VA Mission Act Approved

on Monday, 28 May 2018.

WASHINGTON – The Senate easily approved extensive reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs extending benefits to more Veteran caregivers, averting a funding crisis and increasing Veterans’ access to private-sector health care.

The bill went through multiple iterations and debate dragged on for months, at times dividing Veterans groups and straining ties between lawmakers and the VA. The legislation went to the President and was signed before Memorial Day.

Saddlebrook Farms Vets Raise Money for Lake County Honor Flight

on Wednesday, 14 November 2018. Posted in News

Pin

Saddlebrook Farms had it’s annual Veterans Day celebration on November 2, 2018. Cathy Poynter, the Community Office Manager and Larry Waco, Jr., the Community Relations Manager.

The group obtained the patriotic pins above, which they made available to the Saddlebrook Veterans and their spouses, along with other residents attending the ceremony.

Donations amounted to $460.00 and then Saddlebrook matched it, for a total of $920. All proceeds went directly to Lake County Honor Flight, which sends Veterans wishing to go to Washington DC to view the military monuments and especially honor them for their service. Thank you Saddlebrook for supporting our local veterans and Lake County Honor Flight.

Nick Konz, Saddlebrook Veterans Group Coordinator

VA Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (Ramp) launched

on Monday, 28 May 2018.

What is RAMP?

In November 2017, VA launched Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) with the goal of providing eligible Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disability compensation claim.

Initially started as an invitation only program. On April 2, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded RAMP, by removing the requirement that Veterans first receive an invitation from VA in order to elect participation in the program.

RAMP is voluntary and will provide eligible Veterans the opportunity to enter the new, more efficient review process outlined in the historic Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 before the law becomes effective in February 2019.

Waukegan Cup-A-Joe Debuts

on Friday, 23 November 2018.

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Through the hard work of Dr. Mary Roberson and the Veterans of North Chicago and Waukegan, we are very proud to announce the addition a New Cup-A-Joe at JIC Center the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month, from 6-7:30pm.

"We are off to a great start with more that 14 Veterans showing up each get together," said Dr. Roberson, "and it's wonderful to see the great camaraderie re-ignited between the Vets, regardless of branch, era, age, or experience."

Free coffee and snacks are provided.

Peer Specialists Act Passes

on Monday, 28 May 2018.

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Bipartisan legislation to expand Veterans’ access to peer counseling specialists passed the Senate by unanimous consent.

The Veteran Partners’ Efforts to Enhance Reintegration Act (Veteran PEER Act) will expand Veterans’ access to peer specialist services by specifically targeting shortcomings in the current program, including peer specialists’ restricted participation in primary care services; persistent stigma attached to seeking treatment for mental health disorders; and under-promoted proven successes of the peer specialist program in Veteran reintegration.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness ...A Timeless Patriotic Message

on Tuesday, 25 September 2018. Posted in News

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The following was written by Lake Forest High School student Billy Gregg in 2011 for an essay contest (edits made). Gregg won first prize with this powerful and timeless piece upon which we can reflect on Veterans Day... and every day thereafter.

The idea that human beings are entitled to these basic rights has come a long way since it was first explored by John Locke and other enlightenment philosophers in the 17th and 18th centuries. No country, no society, has ever achieved as much as the United States of America in terms of fulfilling these ideals.

That being said, the United States would never have evolved into the bastion of freedom and justice that it is today without the sacrifices made by its protectors, living and dead.

The Veterans Employment Program of Lake County, Illinois

on Wednesday, 25 November 2015.

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The Veterans Employment Program of Lake County (VEP) was created by Catholic Charities with two goals in mind:

  1. Help our local unemployed U.S. Military Veterans (and military spouses) find employment.
  2. Help our business community find qualified people to fill their employment needs.