VAC Services

Financial Assistance

The Veterans Assistance Commission provides emergency financial assistance to honorably discharged Veterans or their surviving spouse for rent/mortgage, utilities, food, emergency travel and more. 

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VAC financial assistance is a fundamental intention of the State of Illinois when the legislature originally passed the Military Veterans Assistance Act. This intent is carried on unto the present day where the spirit of the Illinoisan people is such that, in honor of their service to our country, no Veteran should go homeless, hungry, or without the basics of life such as electricity. The Sangamon County VAC is proud to carry on this mandate to the present day.


Types of Assistance Offered

While the MVAA outlined the fundamental concept of the financial assistance for military Veterans, each County is required to interpret the practical application of this service. In Sangamon County, we offer a once-per-year, emergency financial assistance program made of the following 4 primary categories:

1. Rental Assistance. For those eligible applicants at risk of becoming evicted from their rental home or apartment, we will pay $600 directly to the landlord or property manager. In situations of temporary homelessness, we will provide a hotel room until a more permanent situation can be resolved. NOTE: We are unable to make mortgage payments.

2. Utility Assistance. For those eligible applicants at risk of utility shut-off, we will pay $300. This can be split between multiple utilities where appropriate, for example; split between gas and electric. NOTE: We are unable to make utility deposits.

3. Food Assistance. For those eligible applicants at risk of malnutrition, we will pay $300 in the form of 3 x $100 food vouchers redeemable at the local County Market grocery store located on south sixth street. NOTE: vouchers may only be used for food stuffs and essential household items.

4. Miscellaneous Assistance. Determined upon a case-by-case basis for eligible applicants, we provide other assistance where we deem it necessary and practical. For example, in the past, we’ve provided assistance for: medically essential prescriptions, minor auto repair for a Veteran who recently found a new job and we helped off the streets, pay-as-you-go mobile phone for a Veteran we were assisting off the streets so he could take calls from prospective employers. NOTE: Miscellaneous assistance is granted at the sole discretion of the VAC Superintendent.

Eligibility for Assistance

In accordance with the MVAA, along with other State and Federal laws, we provide emergency financial assistance to Veterans, surviving un-remarried spouses, and dependent adult children. Eligibility for financial assistance is determined by 3 fundamental factors: qualified persons, financial means, and history of compliance with the Illinois Benefits Fraud Act.

Qualified Persons

1. Qualified Veteran. This applies to any person who meets the definition of military Veteran as described in Federal law:

The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. 38 U.S. Code § 101 (2)

2. Qualified Surviving Spouse. This applies to any person who meets the definition of military Veteran as described in Federal law:

The term “surviving spouse” means… a person… who was the spouse of a veteran at the time of the veteran’s death, and who lived with the veteran continuously from the date of marriage to the date of the veteran’s death (except where there was a separation which was due to the misconduct of, or procured by, the veteran without the fault of the spouse) and who has not remarried or (in cases not involving remarriage) has not since the death of the veteran, and after September 19, 1962, lived with another person and held himself or herself out openly to the public to be the spouse of such other person. 38 U.S. Code § 101 (3) (NOTE: Definition is amended to reflect Executive Orders from both the US President, Secretary of the VA, and Illinois State Law.)

3. Qualified Child. This applies to any person who meets the definition of military Veteran as described in Federal law:

The term “child” means… a person who is unmarried and… )who, before attaining the age of eighteen years, became permanently incapable of self-support; or
who, after attaining the age of eighteen years and until completion of education or training (but not after attaining the age of twenty-three years), is pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution; and who is a legitimate child, a legally adopted child, a stepchild who is a member of a veteran’s household or was a member at the time of the veteran’s death, or an illegitimate child but, as to the alleged father, only if acknowledged in writing signed by him, or if he has been judicially ordered to contribute to the child’s support or has been, before his death, judicially decreed to be the father of such child, or if he is otherwise shown by evidence satisfactory to the Secretary to be the father of such child. 38 U.S. Code § 101 (4) (NOTE: This passage is shortened for length but applied as written in law).

Financial Means

In determining whether an applicant meets the financial requirements, we primarily defer to VA National and Priority Group 8 Relaxation Income Thresholds as followed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This is the same standard the VA uses to determine eligibility for VA Healthcare for non-service-connected Veterans and is the bar set by most VACs in the State.

Similar to the VA, we take into consideration certain necessary health and living expenses, or unplanned life events, when determining eligibility. However, these are considered exceptions to the rule and are determined on a case-by-case basis by the Superintendent of the VAC.

History of Compliance

Simply put, any applicant determined by the VAC as having attempted to mislead or otherwise defraud the VAC in obtaining benefits or services, is in violation of Illinois State Benefits Fraud (720 ILCS 5/17-6). If convicted in defrauding any Illinois State Agency, Sangamon County Agency, or Department of Veterans Affairs Agency, a person is automatically disqualified from all future services provided by the VAC. In addition, whether convicted or not, the MVAA grants authority in issuing financial aid solely to the VAC Superintendent. As such, in any instance where an internal VAC investigation has determined fraud or attempted fraud is present, the Superintendent may make a determination of a permanent ban of future assistance to a particular applicant.

How to Apply

There are several ways to apply for emergency financial assistance from the VAC:

1. Online. You may complete the application online by clicking here. If requesting rental assistance, you must have the landlord or property manager complete three forms found below (titled “landlord forms”).

2. Mail. You may download the assistance application and landlord forms (if applying for rental assistance), print, complete and mail them to us at: 901 S. 11th St., Springfield, IL, 62703.

3. Fax. You may download the assistance application and landlord forms (if applying for rental assistance), print, complete and fax them to us: 217-920-0920.

4. In person. You may stop by the office during our normal business hours and complete the application in person. If applying for rental assistance, you will still need to take those forms to the landlord/property manager to complete.


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