Hello Everyone!


Streamlining the office procedures has finally paid off and I am available to revive the NEWSLETTER via email. I will also post the newsletter on Facebook at the Henry County VAC page. The space on the Henry County Courthouse website will still give accurate information but will have links to the most current newsletter.


I think bi-weekly will work best for the emailing of the newsletter.


I am so excited!!! I have received reports that another VV has received a 100% rating!!!


I have sent all the posts of the HCVAC letters as of yesterday. The letter and enclosures contain important information from past Transportation Specialist, Curtis Potter. He writes in regard to the options of changing the dinner times prior to the bi-monthly meetings. Please read up on this and think about the options. I also included a few informative and a couple fun veteran events posters for your posts.








VIRTUAL VA IS LAUNCHED!!!! I always have said there is a method to my madness. This rollout of the Virtual VA Regional Office is what I have been preparing the office for. The VA will soon disconnect the fax lines at the intake centers leaving claims and pension and DIC and all of those things with two choices, 1) Snail Mail USPS or 2) upload to the virtual regional office intake site online.


What has our office done to become prepared?

  1. Implemented the VA preferred case management system known as Vetraspec. It will link our office computers, when we open the portal, directly to the regional offices. It will allow us to see up to the minute claims information and progress and give direct contact information and increase communications with raters, intake technicians and even decision review officers!
  2. Data input is currently taking place to input the last 3 years of financial aid information of each veteran. This aspect of Vetraspec allows us a more accurate view of a veteran’s short term and long term needs allowing us to recommend solutions.
  3. We have subscribed to Lexis Nexus for veteran advocates of non-profits. This allows me and Judge Barnes to access any of the latest published law and many other legal research capabilities.
  4. We have purchased for $230.00 a signing pad that works with VetraSpec and the VA so that the veteran can sign documents for submittal to the VA without having to print the forms! In fact, VetraSpec, prefills 100s of forms, I then fill in the blanks and the veteran signs and then the VA gets the document the very same day via Virtual VA!
  5. We are continually signing vets up for eBenefits and MyHealtheVet and assisting them in the understanding of how to operate and use the websites.


Our office is prepared for this rollout! It is finally rolling out and it only took the VA 9 years to git ‘r done!

VA Announces Internal Review of Caregiver Program

04/17/2017 07:07 PM EDT


WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that, effective April 17, it has suspended revocations initiated by VA medical centers based on eligibility for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) for three weeks.

            “VA is taking immediate action to review the National Caregiver Support Program to ensure we honor our commitment to enhance the health and well-being of Veterans,” said Dr. David J. Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “I have instructed an internal review to evaluate consistency of revocations in the program and standardize communication with Veterans and caregivers nationwide.”

            VA Medical Centers will continue accepting PCAFC applications, approving applicants based upon current eligibility criteria, processing appeals and monitoring eligible Veterans’ well-being at least every 90 days, unless otherwise clinically indicated.  

            “Caregivers play a critically important role in the health and well-being of Veterans, and caring for an injured Veteran is a labor of love,” said Dr. Poonam Alaigh, Acting VA Under Secretary for Health. “We remain focused on process improvements and support services for our family caregivers so they can take care of our Veterans.” 

            Revocations exempted from this suspension include those made at the request of the Veteran or caregiver; by the local Caregiver Support Program for cause or noncompliance; or due to death, permanent institutionalization or long-term hospitalization of a Veteran or caregiver.

            VA recognizes that family caregivers who care for Veterans in their homes have been putting Veterans first since the founding of our nation. VA’s Caregiver Support Program will continue to provide a menu of training, education and resources to enhance the family caregiver role. These support improved family caregiver understanding of the impact that their work has on the health and well-being of the Veteran they care for. 

            To learn more about the VA Caregiver Support Program, visit the Caregiver Website  or call the Caregiver Support Line at  855-260-3274.                                                                                                                                                                                


New VA Chief on Public Scrutiny: Bring It!

USA Today - The Department of Veterans Affairs has a new message on public scrutiny: Bring it on. President Trump’s pick to lead the agency, VA Secretary David Shulkin, is unveiling a new web site that will reveal for the first time exactly how care at every VA hospital and clinic across the country compares with nearby private-sector hospitals and national averages.

Full Article

Administration Officials Move Slowly to Fill Open VA Leadership Posts

Military Times - Two months into his tenure as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin still doesn’t have most of his top team in place. But that could change in coming weeks. VA officials announced Monday they have launched a new search committee to identify candidates to be the next under secretary for health for the Veterans Health Administration, a key post that will be at the center of medical access issues facing the department. 

Full Article

DC VA Medical Director Relieved From Duty Following Scathing Watchdog Report

Stars and Stripes -  A government watchdog found the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in the nation’s capital was putting veterans at “unnecessary risk” by failing to sterilize storage areas and running out of various medical equipment, according to a report releasedWednesday.

Full Article

Report: Better Study Needed to Determine Connection Between Illness and Burn Pits 

Stars and Stripes - A new federal report says the data from an existing registry of troops’ downrange exposure to burn pits cannot be used to establish a link with health problems they are now experiencing, making it difficult to prove they are entitled to special benefits.

Full Article

Purple Heart Recipients Could Get Full Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

ABC 13 - A new bill could grant Purple Heart recipients full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, along with Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the bill.

Full Article

VA Launches a New System to Try to 'Predict' Vet Suicide 

Military Times - The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new system to try to predict suicidal behavior among veterans called Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health—Veterans Enhanced Treatment, or REACH VET. The program allows the VA to analyze data from health records and identify veterans that are at a statistically higher risk for suicide, hospitalization, illness and other issues.  

Full Article

Hundreds of Female Marines Join Group Pressuring Male Colleagues to Change

Stars and Stripes - Hundreds of female Marines and Marine veterans have launched a new group to press for an end to misogyny in the Marine Corps, saying the recent scandal in which nude photographs of some women in the service were distributed by their male colleagues is unacceptable.

Full Article

VA, Vets Fighting Opioid Epidemic

Fox News - Jason Simcakoski, a 35-year-old Marine, husband and father, died at the Tomah VA  Medical Center in Wisconsin in 2014 from a toxic combination of prescription drugs. His overdose sparked national outrage, with some veterans calling VA hospitals “candy factories.” His death eventually led to the passage of the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, which created stronger procedures for the prescription guidelines used by VA providers.

Full Article

Ads Pressure Senators to Support VA Bill Allowing Workers to Be Fired for Misconduct

Washington Examiner - Concerned Veterans for America released a series of online ads Wednesday aimed at gaining senators' support for legislation that would allow Department of Veterans Affairs officials to more easily remove employees who have engaged in misconduct, a process that now takes months or years. 

Full Article

Trump Welcomes Wounded Vets to White House

Military Times - President Trump is thanking wounded veterans and soldiers for their service as he welcomes them to the White House. Trump calls service members "real heroes." He addressed them Thursday as part of the annual Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride. 

Full Article

Trend of Outsourcing VA Work Continues

FEDWeek - A bipartisan bill (S-706) seeks to help pare down the backlog of VA disability benefit claims by shifting some of the responsibilities outside the department, the latest in a series of actions in that direction. The bill would allow local doctors to conduct disability medical examinations for veterans. Currently, veterans must visit a VA facility for that examination.

Full Article

Portland VA to Temporarily Stop Removing Vets From Caregiver Program

The Oregonian - Under pressure from Oregon's congressional leaders, the Portland VA said Monday that it has temporarily stopped removing people from a program that pays spouses of disabled veterans to be caregivers.

Full Article


VA Doctor Honored as Chiropractor of the Year by Professional Association

04/13/2017 04:21 PM EDT


VA Doctor Honored as Chiropractor of the Year by American Chiropractic Association

WASHINGTON—Dr. Anthony Lisi, national program director for Chiropractic Services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), was recently namedChiropractor of the Year Award for 2017by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

ACA presented Lisi with the award at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.,early March.

Lisi was recognized for his work in establishing chiropractic residency training programs within VA. The residencies, now in their second year, provide graduates with advanced clinical training in complex cases, knowledge of hospital practice, policies and procedures, and opportunities to collaborate with other health-care professionals in a team setting.

“We are proud of Dr. Lisi and his work at VA,” said Dr. Poonam Alaigh, acting under secretary for Health for VA’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA). “It is always great to be recognized for your work and especially meaningful when that recognition comes from your peers. When Veterans receive care, we believe it is important that we take a holistic approach. Chiropractic care is an important and valuable specialty.”

In his role with VHA, Lisi oversees national clinical program and policy matters related to the integration of chiropractic services into the VA health-care system, and also serves as Chiropractic section chief at theVA Connecticut Healthcare System.

VAbeganproviding chiropractic care in 2004 with 26 clinics caring for 4,000 Veterans. Since then, it has grown to 79 clinics, offering care to more than 44,000 Veterans.

For more information about VA’s Chiropractic services,

VA Secretary Schedules News Conference to Discuss Appointment of Acting Director of D.C. VA Medical Center

04/13/2017 03:59 PM EDT


*******MEDIA ADVISORY*******

VA Secretary Schedules News Conference to Discuss Appointment of Acting Director of D.C. VA Medical Center


WHERE:The news conference will be held at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center, 50 Irving St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20422, fourth floor auditorium.(Media, please arrive 15 minutes early.)

WHAT:VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin will hold a news conference to discuss the appointment of retired U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Connell as the acting Medical Center Director for the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center. Connell was named to the position after VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an interim summary report titledHealthcare Inspection – Patient Safety Concerns at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center (VAMC), Washington, D.C. Connell was serving as a senior advisor on policy matters focusing on development, adoption and implementation of VA-wide programs and strategic issues. VA relieved the current director of his duties in light of the IG report.

WHO:Connell served more than 30 years as an Army medical service officer, including 15 years as a MEDEVAC pilot as well as chief operating officer, Pacific Regional Medical Command, Honolulu, Hawaii; chief executive officer of Stuttgart (Germany) U.S. Army Medical Health Clinic; commander of the 43rdArea Support Medical Battalion; and other medical-related staff positions.

ADDDITIONAL INFORMATION:RSVP to Jill Snyder atjill.snyder@va.govor Gina Screen Media may also dial in to800-767-1750; when prompted use the access code 21898# (You must enter the # symbol to enter the call.)

VA explores new Veteran-centric treatments through Center for Compassionate Innovation

04/18/2017 02:09 PM EDT


VA explores new Veteran-centric treatmentsthrough Center for Compassionate Innovation

WASHINGTON– Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the launch of the Center for Compassionate Innovation (CCI), which will explore emerging therapies that may enhance Veterans’ physical and mental well-being.

In addition, VA is accepting proposals to fulfill CCI’s mission of finding innovative approaches to health care, which may support those Veterans who are unsuccessful with conventional treatment. Proposals may be submitted through will be evaluated through a rigorous algorithm that critically assesses the safety and efficacy of the innovation.

“VA is unique in our approach to health care,” saidVeteransAffairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We are committed to offering Veterans cutting-edge and innovative care. That means carefully exploring every avenue that will promote well-being.”

CCI explores innovations in the health-care industry as well as innovative practices currently being piloted on a small scale within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). CCI is primarily interested in innovations that address post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and suicidality. However, CCI will explore any safe and ethical innovation intended to improve Veterans’ health and well-being.

CCI is not an implementation office intended to conduct research, clinical treatment or establish a vendor relationship. CCI is strategically positioned to spotlight cutting-edge therapies and treatment modalities emerging in private industry. CCI is an example of VA’s quest to continue as a leader in providing innovative and effective treatments for Veterans.

Henry County Veteran's Assistance


Rules, Procedures and Eligibility Standards:

The Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) of HENRY County is a County Governmental Agency operated by and for U.S. Veterans. The VAC is authorized to act as the central committee for veterans' assistance in HENRY County under the Military Veterans Assistance Act (330 ILCS 45/1 et.seq.) and is funded in accordance with the provisions of the Illinois Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/1-1001 et.seq.).

The Veterans Assistance program is an emergency and interim financial assistance program and should not be considered to be an ongoing financial supportive program. Beginning June 01, 2017 - continual and ongoing assistance exceeding 60 calendar days shall on the 90th consecutive calendar day render the household ineligible for assistance for the period of 45 calendar days; eligibility may be renewed after the 45 day period of ineligibility. All assistance provided by the VAC is predicated on the established standard of need as set forth by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). It is not the intent of either the Commission or the County to provide assistance either less than or in excess of the levels of assistance adopted by the IDHS.


Applicants for Veterans Assistance shall be residents of HENRY County and unable to provide food, shelter, and medical care for themselves or their dependents. Applicants must have applied for Public Aid INCLUDING THE TOWNSHIP WHERE THE VETERAN LIVES, (examples include but are not limited to AFDC, Food Stamps, and medical) and registered and working with IDES, Vet Reps; if able to work. 

To be determined exempt from employment, a veteran must provide documentation from the VA, the veteran's VA physician or another federal or state agency which unambiguously states that the veteran is presently unable to work due to a disability. If the documentation does not state that the reason for remaining unemployed is PERMANENT and TOTAL, the veteran shall update the VAC as to employment every 3 months. 


Every veteran has the right to receive and submit a written application for Veterans Assistance. 


  • Applicants for assistance from the VAC must present a DD-214 or Certificate of Service showing Honorable Discharge or General Under Honorable Conditions. If the applicant does not have a DD-214 or Certificate of Service, he/she must authorize the VAC to obtain a copy of the appropriate records before assistance can be approved.
  • Eligible Veterans:
    A veteran whose last period of active military service was Honorable and met the "time in service" requirement for the era in which the veteran served or the veteran was discharged for a disability incurred in the line of duty (not as a result of the members' own misconduct) that was found to be service connected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Veterans who began Active Service after September 7, 1980 must complete a minimum of 24 consecutive months' active duty or one day of combat during a period of hostilities as recognized by the President and Congress of the United States of America.
  • Veterans who began Active Service before September 8, 1980 must complete a minimum of 181 consecutive active duty days or one day of combat during a period of hostilities as recognized by the President and Congress of the United States of America.
  • Reservists or National Guard Members who were involuntarily activated or federalized by the President of the United States or the Secretary of Defense during a period of hostility, served in the theater of hostility, and completed the term for which the member was activated.
  • Any Honorably Discharged Reservist or National Guard Member who was federally activated and served honorable for a minimum of 24 consecutive active duty months of service other than active duty for training.
  • Service Connected Disability if a chronic illness or injury is found to be related to the veterans' military service to a degree of 0% or greater by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Residency: As provided by the Illinois Counties Code (55ILCS 5/5-2006), the funds provided by the VAC of HENRY County for its assistance programs are obtained solely from appropriated tax moneys levied on property owners in HENRY County. Therefore, all veterans, and their families, seeking assistance from the VAC of HENRY County shall be residents of the State of Illinois and shall have been residents of the County of HENRY for at least sixty (60) consecutive days prior to seeking assistance, with no present intent to move from HENRY County.
  • Indigence: Standards of indigence are applied by the Department of Human Resources in the State of Illinois and the Standards of indigence set by the Veterans Assistance Commission.
  • Veterans Death: Eligible Dependents/Spouses upon Death of Veteran: If the dependent is less than 18 years of age and/or you are the spouse of the veteran, assistance may be granted. (Death Certificate required).
  • Misconduct involves deliberate or intentional wrongdoing with knowledge of or wanton and reckless disregard of its probable consequences. Such a discharge would ban a veteran from Veterans Assistance.


Food orders and personal items: Dependant upon the number of qualifying household members. Dependant 

Utilities and fuel: Utility payments will be made, providing the applicant qualifies in other respects. No deposits or past due bills will be paid to the utility company.

Rent Payments: This Veterans Assistance office does not pay security deposits, back rents or home finding fees. Rents shall not be paid to relatives; unless it is a separate rental dwelling, 


Honorable Discharge: Is a discharge in which the character of discharge is described as Honorable and General Under Honorable Conditions.

Last Period of Active Military Service: Refers to the last period of active military service or discharge, whether the veteran has served one or more terms of Active Military Service.

Active Military Service: 
Is full time service in a branch of the United States Military as opposed to Reserve duty where a member is still in the military but not actively engaged. Active duty for training, service as a Cadet or Midshipman at the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, United States Air Force Academy, or in any component of the Reserve Officers Training Corps is not considered as qualifying service


  • Application to State Veteran Home
  • Free Transportation to VA Hospital in Iowa City & CBOC Bettendorf - 7 days advance notice is required. 
  • Help in obtaining military records
  • Provide Memorial Day Flags & Markers for Veteran graves
  • VA Health Registration
  • VA Compensation and Pension Claims & Case Management - by appointment only, usually on Wednesdays. 
Phone: 309-937-3450  



307 West Center Street
Cambridge, IL   61238
Office Hours:       
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday & Tuesday
WEDNESDAYS - by appt. only