Veteran in ER

SPRINGFIELD – A task force aimed at examining the service-related ailments veterans often suffer will soon meet, thanks to a law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Our servicemen and women risk everything to protect our country, but once their service is finished and they seek treatment for conditions that arose as a result of their service, many veterans find themselves waiting months, sometimes even years, to get that treatment,” Castro said. “This is unacceptable. We owe it to the brave men and women who defended our freedom to give them the treatment they need. This task force will help identify and correct the issues that lead to delays.”

House Bill 120 creates the Veterans' Service-Related Ailments Task Force. The Task Force will consist of 11 members that will include designees from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans’ organizations, lawmakers, and a medical professional.

During their bimonthly meetings, the task force will review and make recommendations regarding veterans' service-related ailments that are not recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including exploring why certain ailments are not recognized and determining what may be done to see that they are. The Task Force will also prepare and submit a report that summarizes its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly.

The bill, which is effective immediately, passed through the Senate and the House of Representatives with unanimous support. It was signed into law last week by Gov. JB Pritzker.