McHenry, IL Getting Illinois veterans the help they need for service-related ailments and ensuring they are properly compensated is the aim of the newly-created Veterans' Service-Related Ailments Task Force. State Sen. Craig Wilcox, a 24-year Air Force veteran, is one of four legislators serving on the panel.
The appointment to the task force is a natural fit, given my military career and being a member of the Senates Veterans Affairs Committee, said Wilcox (R-McHenry). Ive also dealt with the Veterans Administration all my adult life and this compensation claims issue, which affects so many of my military brothers and sisters, is close to my heart. [Depictions in military uniform do not imply an endorsement by the U.S. Air Force or the Department of Defense]
Sen. Wilcox says the 14-member task force, with assistance from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, will be looking at is the glaring disparity between the average level of disability compensation at the national level and the amount of compensation Illinois veterans are receiving.
Illinois consistently ranks at the bottom of the list of states for compensation claims. We will be looking at the cause of that disparity. Additionally, we will also look at why certain service-related ailments are not recognized for compensation and what may be done to have them recognized, said Wilcox.
The Task Force, created under legislation unanimously passed by the General Assembly and recently signed into law, was one of a number of veteran-related measures passed by the General Assembly this spring.
Nationally, theres been a renewed focus on the veterans affairs system for medical care. Also, Illinois legislators have made veterans a priority, as a number of them have served our country in that capacity. It helps that U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is a veteran, plus there are many veterans whove made Illinois their home.
The Task Force is charged with presenting a report on its findings and a list of recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor by Dec. 31, 2020.