The Veterans Administration, known today as the Department of Veterans Affairs, is composed of three agencies that are responsible for specific programs and services — health care, benefits, and burials and memorials. Here is an in-depth look at each administration:
1. Veterans Health Administration
The largest integrated healthcare system in the United States, this agency provides care at 1,298 healthcare facilities, including 171 VA medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of varying complexity, to more than nine million veterans enrolled in the VA health care program.
Grundy County is served by Edward Hines VA Medical center, which has healthcare teams that are deeply experienced and guided by the needs of veterans, their families, and caregivers. Facilities include the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, located 12 miles west of downtown Chicago in Hines, and six community-based outpatient clinics across the region, including the Joliet clinic, which also serves Grundy County.
2. Veterans Benefits Administration
This agency provides a variety of benefits and services to servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Those services include disability compensation, non-service connected pensions, surviving spouse programs, education benefits (GI Bill), veterans life insurance and the VA Home Loan Guarantee program.
3. National Cemetery Administration
The VA operates 155 national cemeteries and 34 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 42 states and Puerto Rico. More than four million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in the VA’s national cemeteries. The VA also provides funding to establish, expand, improve and maintain 121 Veterans cemeteries in 48 states and territories, including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. For veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service.
Who’s eligible for all VA benefits and services? Applicants must meet the definition of a veteran, meet specified requirements for active duty and must have a discharge other than dishonorable. National Guard and Reserve duty veterans have some benefits available.
Need more information? The Grundy County VAC has accredited veteran service officers who can answer questions about each benefit and assist veterans free of charge in applying for their benefits.
Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission : 1320 Union Street: Morris, IL 60450 :
815.941.3152 : https://www.grundycountyil.gov/veterans-assistance/