Rules, Procedures & Eligibility
The Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) of Rock Island County is a County Governmental Agency operated by and for U.S. Veterans. The VAC is authorized to act as the central committee for veterans' assistance in Rock Island County under the Military Veterans Assistance Act (330 ILCS 45/1 et.seq.) and is funded in accordance with the provisions of the Illinois Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/1-1001 et.seq.).
The Veterans Assistance program is an emergency and interim financial assistance program and should not be considered to be an ongoing financial supportive program. All assistance provided by the VAC is predicated on the established standard of need as set forth by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). It is not the intent of either the Commission or the County to provide assistance either less than or in excess of the levels of assistance adopted by the IDHS.
Applicants for Veterans Assistance shall be residents of Rock Island County and unable to provide food, shelter, and medical care for themselves or their dependents. Applicants must have applied for Public Aid (AFDC, Food Stamps, and medical) and registered and working with IDES, Vet Reps; if able to work.
Every veteran has the right to receive and submit a written application for Veterans Assistance. Download the application for assistance (PDF).
Applicants for assistance from the VAC must present a DD-214 or Certificate of Service showing Honorable Discharge (see definitions) or General Under Honorable Conditions. If the applicant does not have a DD-214 or Certificate of Service, he/she must authorize the VAC to obtain a copy of the appropriate records before assistance can be approved.
A veteran whose last period of active military service (see definitions) was Honorable and met the "time in service" requirement for the era in which the veteran served or the veteran was discharged for a disability incurred in the line of duty (not as a result of the members' own misconduct) that was found to be service connected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Veterans who began Active Service after September 7, 1980 must complete a minimum of 24 consecutive months' active duty or one day of combat during a period of hostilities as recognized by the President and Congress of the United States of America.
- Veterans who began Active Service before September 8, 1980 must complete a minimum of 181 consecutive active duty days or one day of combat during a period of hostilities as recognized by the President and Congress of the United States of America.
- Reservists or National Guard Members who were involuntarily activated or federalized by the President of the United States or the Secretary of Defense during a period of hostility, served in the theater of hostility, and completed the term for which the member was activated.
- Any Honorably Discharged Reservist or National Guard Member who was federally activated and served honorable for a minimum of 24 consecutive active duty months of service other than active duty for training.
- Service-Connected Disability if a chronic illness or injury is found to be related to the veterans' military service to a degree of 0% or greater by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Residency: As provided by the Illinois Counties Code (55ILCS May 5, 2006), the funds provided by the VAC of Rock Island County for its assistance programs are obtained solely from appropriated tax moneys levied on property owners in Rock Island County. Therefore, all veterans, and their families, seeking assistance from the VAC of Rock Island County shall be residents of the State of Illinois and shall have been residents of the County of Rock Island for at least sixty (60) consecutive days prior to seeking assistance, with no present intent to move from Rock Island County.
Standards of indigence are applied by the Department of Human Resources in the State of Illinois and the Standards of indigence set by the Veterans Assistance Commission.
Eligible Dependents/Spouses upon Death of Veteran: If the dependent is less than 18 years of age and/or you are the spouse of the veteran, assistance may be granted. (Death Certificate required).
Misconduct involves deliberate or intentional wrongdoing with knowledge of or wanton and reckless disregard of its probable consequences. Such a discharge would ban a veteran from Veterans Assistance.
Assistance Provided Upon Qualification
- Food orders and personal items: Depending on size of family.
- Utilities and fuel: Utility payments will be made, providing the applicant qualifies in other respects. No deposits or past-due bills will be paid to the utility company.
- Rent Payments: This Veterans Assistance office does not pay security deposits, back rents or home-finding fees. Rents shall not be paid to relatives; unless it is a separate rental dwelling.
Definition of Terms
- Honorable Discharge: Is a discharge in which the character of discharge is described as Honorable and General Under Honorable Conditions.
- Last Period of Active Military Service: Refers to the last period of active military service or discharge, whether the veteran has served one or more terms of Active Military Service.
- Active Military Service: Is full-time service in a branch of the United States Military as opposed to Reserve duty where a member is still in the military but not actively engaged. Active duty for training, service as a Cadet or Midshipman at the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, United States Air Force Academy, or in any component of the Reserve Officers Training Corps is not considered as qualifying service.