Research Veterans

Legal Resources

I. COOK COUNTY RESOURCES

Ordinances

Code of Ordinances: (https://www.municode.com/library/il/cook_county)
Enter veterans into search box for county ordinances covering veterans. Ordinances include bid incentives and preferences, vehicle parking, personnel policies, classification system for assessment, human rights, and firearm tax. Also available in print at the Cook County Law Library.

Department of Veterans Affairs (www.cookcountyil.gov/veterans-affairs/)  The Department provides outreach to all Cook County Veterans by connecting veterans with health, educational, retirement and housing assistance. Links to monthly newsletter.

Veterans Assistance Commission (www.cookcountyil.gov/veterans-assistance-commission/)

Cook County Assessor (www.cookcountyassessor.com/forms-exemptions.aspx)   Links to exemption forms including returning veteran's and disabled veteran's exemption.

Military & Veterans Discount Card (cookrecorder.com/militarydiscount)  A public- and private-sector partnership jointly administered by the Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds and the County Department of Veterans Affairs. The goal is to create a network of businesses and merchants who offer money-saving discounts and incentives to veterans and active-duty military.

Veterans Treatment Court (www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/CountyDepartment.aspx)
Select Criminal Division, then Specialty Courts. Provides information about the program.

II. ILLINOIS RESOURCES

Laws & Regulations

Veterans and Service Members, 330 ILCS (www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs.asp)
Select Chapter 330. Laws enacted by the General Assembly covering veterans. Search for other laws pertaining to veterans.

Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act (www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs.asp)
Select Chapter 730, then Act 167 (730 ILCS 167).

Title 95: Veterans and Military Affairs (www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/095/095parts.html)
Rules and regulations in the Illinois Administrative Code. Search for other rules pertaining to veterans.

Department of Veterans' Affairs (www2.illinois.gov/veterans)
Information on state benefits and programs.

Benefits for Veterans (www2.illinois.gov/veterans/documents/veterans%20benefits2.pdf)
Publication with information on education, health care, housing, VA hospitals, state services and more.

Illinois Warrior Assistance Program (www.illinoiswarrior.com)
Provides free and confidential assistance for returning Illinois veterans.

Military & Veterans Rights - Illinois Attorney General (www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/rights/veterans.html)
Military and Veterans Rights Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that veterans and active duty military servicemembers receive the benefits they have earned by serving our country.

Benefits for Illinois Veterans (www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/rights/veterans.html)
Information about federal and state benefits that veterans are entitled to by law.

Legal Rights of Illinois Service Members (www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/rights/veterans.html)
Summary of laws benefiting Illinois military service members and veterans.

Guide to Veterans Services in Illinois (www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/rights/veterans.html)

Illinois Veterans Rights: Hiring & Promotion Preference Within State & Local Government (www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/rights/veterans.html)
Brochure describing the preferences.

Property Tax- Homestead Exemptions, Department of Revenue (tax.illinois.gov/localgovernment/PropertyTax/taxrelief.htm)
Includes descriptions of exemptions for disabled veterans.

Illinois WorkNet Center-Veterans Step Guide (https://www2.illinoisworknet.com/UpdatesHelp/Pages/VetGuide.aspx)
Interactive program to help veterans make a smooth transition from military life back to civilian life using Illinois workNet to connect to benefits and services, training, and employment.

Work4Illinois (work.illinois.gov/vetsopgm.htm)
Under State law, qualified veterans are entitled to points added to a passing grade and appointment preference.

III. FEDERAL RESOURCES

Laws & Regulations

U.S. Code Annotated (USCA) - current version of federal law annotated with references to court decisions interpreting the law. Available in print and in Westlaw, an online service available for free in the Law Library. U.S. Code Service (USCS) - current version of federal law annotated with references to court decisions interpreting the law. Available in print and Lexis, an online service available for free in the Law Library.

U.S. Code, Title 38: Veterans Benefits (FDsys) (www.gpo.gov/fdsys/)
Select year, then Title 38 for federal laws covering veterans. FDsys offers the free, authenticated digital version of the U.S. Code from the Government Printing Office.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - rules and regulations as adopted by federal agencies pursuant to federal statutes.
Current year available in print and Westlaw and Lexis, online services available for free in the Law Library. Earlier years of CFR are available on microfiche and HeinOnline, an online service available for free in the Law Library.

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 38 (FDsys) (www.gpo.gov/fdsys/)
Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief.
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 20, Part 1002 et seq. (FDsys) (www.gpo.gov/fdsys/)
Regulations under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs (veterans.house.gov)

U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (www.veterans.senate.gov)

Appeals & Court Decisions

Board of Veteran's Appeals (www.bva.va.gov)
Information about the Board that reviews benefit claims determinations made by local VA offices and issues decision on appeals. Includes links to decisions, pamphlets, customer services, eBenefits, and VA forms.
Board of Veterans' Appeals Decision Search (www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.html)
Decisions available 1992 to present.

Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42609.pdf)
Report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), April 29, 2013.

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (www.uscourts.cavc.gov)
Information on how to bring an appeal, court rules and decisions, court decisions back to 1989, and the Court Process Chart (www.uscourts.cavc.gov/court_process.php).
Court forms (www.uscourts.cavc.gov/forms_fees.php) also available.

West's Veteran's Appeals Reporter, Reading Room (CCLL) - opinions issued by the United States Court of Veterans Appeals. Available in print, Westlawt, and Lexis in the Law Library.

Federal Reporter - caselaw from the federal Courts of Appeals.
Federal Supplement - caselaw from the federal District Courts.
Available in print and WestlawNext and Lexis, online services available for free in the Law Library.
Decisions also available at Google Scholar (scholar.google.com).

FastCase App: a free app for download to iPhone/iPad or Android device. FastCase App provides access to state and federal laws, court decisions, and regulations.

United States Court Opinions (www.gpo.gov/fdsys)
Free public access to opinions from selected United States appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. Seventh Circuit decisions and Northern District of Illinois decisions available. Selected coverage starts in 2005, some courts earlier.

U.S. Reports are U.S, Supreme Court opinions available as slip opinions and bound reporters and available in the Law Library back to Vol. 1.

U.S. Supreme Court (www.supremecourt.gov) has opinions back to Vol. 502 (October 1991 term).

Supreme Court Reporter: available in print and WestlawNext, and Supreme Court, Lawyers Edition: available in print and Lexis.

Veterans' Benefits

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (www.va.gov)

Veterans Services (www.va.gov/landing2_vetsrv.htm)
Information on health care, benefits & services, burials & memorials.

Web Automated Reference Material System (WARMS) (www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/)
WARMS includes manuals, directives, handbooks, Title 38 CFR and more. These online-only publications provide information about the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits policies.

My Gateway to Benefit Information (https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal)
Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

Benefits (benefits.va.gov)
Factsheets, regional offices, regulations & references.

Compensation (www.benefits.va.gov/compensation)
Describes types of claims, compensation, evidence requirements, and the claims process.

Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents and Survivors (2013)(www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp)
Full-text publication; English and Spanish versions available.

VA General Counsel Precedent Opinions (www.va.gov/ogc/precedentopinions.asp)
1989-2013.

Resources: Trouble Making Payments (benefits.va.gov/homeloans/resources_payments.asp)
Information for veterans dealing with financial difficulties.

VA, Affordable Care Act and You (www.va.gov/health/aca/)
Information on how the Affordable Care Act impacts veterans.

Disability Benefits Available Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) Programs(greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/sites/greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/files/2012/documents/R41289_gb.pdf)

National Cemetery Administration (www.cem.va.gov)
Includes information about burial benefits, markers, grants, and gravesite locator.

Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) (www.dol.gov/vets/index.htm)
The program, VETS, serves America's veterans and separating service members by preparing them for meaningful careers, providing employment resources and expertise, and protecting their employment rights.

elaws - Veterans' Issues (www.dol.gov/elaws/veterans.html)
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advisor
- Veterans' Preference Advisor: regarding federal employment
- e-VETS Resource Advisor: help using web resources on jobs/employment, education
- REALifelines Advisor: help transitioning to civilian workforce

Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax (www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/)
Information on how to request your military discharge records and who can request records. Type of access depends on the discharge date.

IV. PUBLICATIONS & FORMS

VA Forms: Department of Veterans Affairs Forms (www.va.gov/vaforms)

Military Service and the Law (IICLE).
Full-text publication available in the Reference Department, Cook County Law Library. KFI1280.MSL (CCLL Ref).

The Attorney's Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court. Broackton D. Hunter, Ryan C. Else (eds.). Veterans Defense Project, 2014. KF 7709 .A88 2014.
Covers Combat Trauma and Criminality, Understanding Invisible Injuries – PTSD, TBI, and Related Substance Abuse, Forming the Attorney and Veteran-Client Relationship, Defending the Combat Veteran in Criminal Court. Also includes appendix with basic information on military and veterans services.

The Wounded Warrior Handbook: A Resource Guide for Returning Veterans, 2nd edition. Janelle Hill, Cheryl Lawhorne, and Don Philpott. Government Institutes, 2012. KF7709.H55 (CCLL REF)
Information covering medical treatment, rehabilitation, counseling, support, and transition.

Veterans' Rights and Benefits. Margaret C. Jasper, Oxford University Press, 2009.
(Legal Almanac Series: Law for the Layperson). KF7709.J27 (CCLL REF)
Discusses rights and benefits for military veterans. Appendix includes resource directories and sample forms.

Servicemember and Veterans Rights. B. Clauss & J. Butler (eds.), LexisNexis, KF7270.S47 2011 (CCLL REF)
A publication from the Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic, John Marshall Law School, addresses the legal issues of military service and veteran status.

Veterans Benefits Manual, 2015 Edition. National Veterans Legal Services Program, KF7709.V38 (CCLL REF)
Manual serves as a desk reference and issue-oriented guide for professionals representing veterans and dependents before the VA and reviewing courts. Practice-focused with references to primary law resources.

Veterans Affairs Law. Paul M. Schoenhard, Carolina Academic Press, 2012. KF7745.S36 (CCLL REF)
Relevant text of statutes, regulations, and cases are arranged by issues frequently encountered by veterans.

Housing & Development Reporter. Bureau of National Affairs. KF 5729 .A1 H68 (CCLL)
Chapter 8 covers Veterans Programs including guaranteed home loans, direct home loans, and supportive services for veteran families.

Veterans Law Review, Board of Veterans' Appeals, Department of Veterans Affairs, K26.E86 (CCLL)
Available at www.bva.va.gov/VLR.asp .

Veterans Appeals Guidebook: Representing Veterans in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Ronald Smith (ed.), American Bar Association, March 2013 (On order)
Resources for practitioners representing veterans and other claimants who are appealing or wish to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). It addresses the basics of appeals to the CAVC, explores the jurisdiction of the court, and outlines the CAVC appellate process.

Federal Procedure - Lawyers' Edition Thomson/West. Vol. 33 - Chap. 79: Veterans and Veterans' Affairs. KF 8835.F43 (CCLL).
Discusses the administrative and judicial proceedings for claiming and contesting veterans' benefits. See below for accompanying forms set, Federal Procedural Forms.

Federal Procedural Forms, Thomson/West KF8836.F4 (CCLL)
Vol. 18 - Chapter 68: Veterans and Veterans' Law.

Veterans' Issues - Illinois Legal Aid Online (www.illinoislegalaid.org)
Includes publications and videos.

Veterans' Issues - Illinois Legal Advocate Online (www.illinoislegaladvocate.org)
Includes publications and videos.

Wounded Warrior Pay and Entitlements Handbook
(www.woundedwarrior.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-090910-029.pdf)
Produced by the Wounded Warrior Pay Management Team of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, September 2011.

Veterans Self Help Guide on VA Claims
(www.veteransforamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/vaclaims.pdf)
From the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP).

Self Help Guide for Veterans of the Gulf War (May 2000)
(www.veteransforamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/selfhelpvogw.pdf)
From the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP).

Self Help Guide on Agent Orange (March 2000)
(www.veteransforamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/selfhelpagentorange.pdf)
From the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP).

The American Veterans & Servicemembers Survival Guide: How to Cut Through the Bureaucracy and Get What You Need - And Are Entitled To, Veterans for America, 2008
(www.nvlsp.org/images/products/survivalguide.pdf) Full text publication.

Legal Articles

HeinOnline - searchable subscription electronic database available in the Law Library providing full-text law review and journal articles.

LegalTrac - searchable subscription electronic database available in the Law Library providing bibliographic and selected full-text articles.

Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) - search for legal articles. Selected full-text. Social Science Research Network (SSRN) (www.ssrn.com)
Select Search. Full-text articles in the social sciences including law.

V. Organizations Assisting Veterans

Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic (VLSC)
(www.jmls.edu/veterans)
The VLSC (VLSC) works on all aspects of Veteran Benefits Administration claims, from the initial, factual intake to the technical representation of claims at the appellate level. A clinic at the John Marshall Law School, Chicago.

Veterans & Service Members Law Bulletin (www.jmls.edu/veterans/publications.php)
Online publication of the VLSC featuring new developments in the law and at the clinic.

Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago (www.lafchicago.org)
Provides free legal services in non-criminal matters to people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago.

Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (www.vetsprobono.org)
The mission of the program is to provide assistance to unrepresented veterans or their family members who have filed appeals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court); and to recruit and train attorneys in the field of veterans' law. The site provides informational videos.

Coordinating Committee on Veterans Benefits & Services
(www.americanbar.org/groups/committees/veterans_benefits.html)
Focus on attorneys serving veterans. Links to resources and projects of the American Bar Association (ABA). Includes a quarterly update for news affecting services and benefits.

Pro Bono Services for Veterans
(www.americanbar.org/groups/committees/veterans_benefits/pro_bono_resources_for_veterans.html)
Resources arranged by state.

StateSideLegal.org (www.statesidelegal.org)
Legal information and networking tools for servicemembers, veterans, their family members and advocates. Find information arranged by topic, resources for finding legal assistance and interactive forms &letters.

VI. Other Resources

Veterans Law Library (www.veteranslawlibrary.com)
A collection of materials relating to the veterans' benefits adjudication process.

Veterans History Project (www.loc.gov/vets)
An initiative of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. The Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

The web sites listed in this guide are for information only. Please independently verify
the accuracy and currency of all information. Consult an attorney for legal advice.

Revised August 2015