The Veterans Employment Program of Lake County (VEP) was created by Catholic Charities with two goals in mind:
- Help our local unemployed U.S. Military Veterans (and military spouses) find employment.
- Help our business community find qualified people to fill their employment needs.
U.S. Marines prepare to board ship at Danang in 1970 for trip back to U.S. under withdrawal orders. On Tuesday, a federal court ordered VA to award presumptive disability benefit status to thousands of Vietnam veterans who served on ships in the waters around that country. (AP Photo)
WASHINGTON — A federal court ruled Tuesday that the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot deny disability benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants simply because those vets served in the waters off the country’s coastline, and not inland.
The ruling marks a major victory for so-called “blue water” Navy veterans who have fought the department for years over the denials. VA officials have said the existing scientific evidence doesn’t justify the presumption of toxic exposure for the group and have strongly opposed legislative efforts to overturn their decision.
Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation works every day to support the 57,000 Service Members in Lake County, Illinois. Our Vets are sometimes faced with critical emergency financial needs and they come to us for temporary assistance. We respond and help when we can.
We need your help to do the right thing. One $20 donation can buy a simple meal for a Vet, provide a night of shelter, transportation to an assisting agency or any number of other needs.
Veterans Day and the season of giving reminds us of how much our Service Members, both current and past, have unselfishly served the Greater Good for the benefit of all of us living and enjoying life in the United States.
Please consider a $20 donation to the LCVFSF Vets In Need Program. Every penny of whatever you donate will go directly to a Veteran so the entire amount is tax deductible. Just click on the images above or below to be taken to the secure PayPal site to make your donation.
We thank you for your continuing support!
Lake County veterans have learned about the chance to receive free bicycles from Mitch Siegel, who works as a job developer for Catholic Charities.
Siegel has delivered about bikes to veterans in Lake County, with 19 more to go. One by one, his intern Matt Lindemeier is polishing them, greasing the chains and making repairs.
The veterans are using them to get to work or a job interview and for recreation, Siegel said.
Siegel recalled lamenting to Lake County Bike Project board member David Motley about the transportation situation in Lake County. "It's hard for anyone without their own transportation to get to jobs or to interviews for potential jobs. There's a big gap in the bus service," Siegel said.
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.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake County Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC), the Lake County States Attorney’s office and LCVFSF celebrated the official launch of the Lake County Veterans Ambassador Program (2.0) on Armed Forces Day, May 19.
The program was created to address Veteran homelessness and suicide in a concrete way, providing transport to shelters and crisis care programs as needed for Veterans needing help from law enforcement community. After a safe night’s sleep, the VAC works with the Veteran to determine eligibility for VA benefits and community resources then connects them as appropriate.
In February 1991, an armored vehicle passes through a breached sand berm separating Saudi Arabia from Iraq, paving the way for advancing allied troops during the Gulf War. WAYNE J. BEGASSE/STARS AND STRIPES
WASHINGTON – For the next five years, veterans will have an easier time seeking benefits for illnesses linked to service in the Gulf War because of an extension issued Monday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Since 1994, the VA has automatically presumed a connection from Gulf War service, which included a toxic environment of oil fires and chemical weapons, to an increased risk for several illnesses. The connection enables veterans to receive a disability rating and benefits more quickly.
But the presumed connection and the ability to seek benefits was set to expire at the end of this year, after being extended four times previously. Effective Monday, the VA extended it a fifth time, to Dec. 31, 2021.
Argument that focuses on legal definition of student loan is at crux of efforts to discharge debt
By SARAH CHANEY
Borrowers are beginning to win battles to erase some student loans in bankruptcy court, overcoming stiff obstacles that have generally blocked that path except in extreme cases of financial hardship.
Since March, several bankruptcy courts have allowed borrowers to cancel private student loans with a new legal argument that relies on vague wording about the legal definition of a student loan.
Bankruptcy law says that, without proving extreme hardship, a borrower can’t discharge a loan made for an “educational benefit.” This language has opened a window to cancel loans for students who argue their loans falls outside this category of debt. Such reasoning has been applied to loans obtained to attend schools without accreditation or to study for a bar exam.
The argument applies only to a slice of the private student-loan market, which makes up less than 10% of the more than $1.3 trillion in outstanding student debt. The federal government dominates the student-loan market and isn’t as vulnerable in bankruptcy proceedings.