"As is clear in his budget, Gov. Quinn remains a steadfast advocate for Illinois
veterans," said Erica Borggren, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans'
Affairs. "The increased funding he proposes for IDVA will provide for increased
staffing at our Veterans' Homes, helping us to meet our veterans' care needs."
The proposed IDVA budget provides $6,548,000 to hire up to 173 direct-care
staff for the four Illinois Veterans' Homes. This would allow the IDVA to meet
the statutory standards of care required by the Illinois Nursing Home Safety Act
(SB 326) (Public Act 96-1372), which the governor signed into law on July 29,
2010. The act mandated that by Jan. 1, 2014, all facilities will need to provide
3.8 hours of direct-care staffing for every skilled-care resident.
If the proposed funding is not realized, the IDVA will likely be forced to
dramatically reduce the number of available beds in the four Veterans' Homes by
up to 358 beds.
To find further offsets to increased staffing costs, the IDVA is actively
seeking additional funding from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs
though per diem fees and additional federal benefits to residents at the four
Illinois Veterans' Homes. In a concerted initiative, IDVA service officers have
surveyed all current residents and are assisting many in filing claims for
additional federal benefits.
Additional details on the IDVA fiscal 2014 budget are available at
IDVA information can be found on pages 56-57 of the Agency Fact Sheets
- Increased federal benefits for veterans -- Illinois veterans received over
$33.5 million in federal benefits in fiscal 2012 through assistance by appeals
officer staff adjudicating federal claims.
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Enhanced outreach to veterans -- The department launched the Stand Up and Be
Counted campaign, which provides online access to IDVA service officers and
reaches some 4,500 Illinois veterans. The IDVA also publishes a monthly
newsletter with a growing number of veterans and service organizations
subscribing. In addition, the department conducted an online survey of female
veterans to learn more about this underserved group among Illinois veterans.
Increased educational opportunities for veterans -- The IDVA increased the
number of approved employer programs and educational institutions, thereby
providing more opportunities for veterans to use GI Bill benefits and improving
school readiness and postsecondary success for veterans.
Provided veterans with additional long-term care -- The department increased
average hours of care provided to an increased average number of residents in
the four Illinois Veterans' Homes.
Helped more homeless veterans -- The IDVA increased enrollment and completion
of the number of homeless veterans through a transition process at the Prince
Home. This program helps homeless Illinois veterans successfully transition to
Department of Veterans' Affairs file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]