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La Salle County VAC nets $5.8 million in benefits for veterans

The La Salle County Veterans Assistance Commission received more than $5.8 million dollars in benefits, which soon will be delivered directly to veterans and their families.

According to Christa Hammers, La Salle County VAC superintendent, this is more than twice the previous year’s total. Hammers said these funds provide aid for the local veteran community and benefit the county economy as well.

“Veterans live here, they want to continue living here,” Hammers said. “Most of our veterans grew up in the area and would love to stay around here. With these added benefits and money coming directly to them, they are able to stay.”

The La Salle County VAC helps veterans apply for benefits and file for claims with various government agencies. Examples include education, home loans, disability compensation, veterans insurance, among other items.

There are a few reasons why the VAC was able to exponentially increase the amount of money veterans receive. First, there were legislation changes, like the PACT Act, that expands veterans health care and benefits. The La Salle County VAC also moved locations to be in a better location to serve the veteran population, allowing an increased number of veterans to come through its doors, Hammers said.

The La Salle County VAC saw more than 2,500 veterans this year, and there are about 7,000 veterans in the county.

The money is directly paid to veterans or their family to use as needed. Hammers said it the assistance brings more money into the community.

“They’re buying houses when they wouldn’t otherwise be buying houses, they’re buying groceries from local grocery stores and buying products from local businesses and using construction companies from the local area,” Hammers said. “Everything benefits from having more money in our community.”

Veterans interested in getting assistance from the La Salle County VAC can go to the website to schedule an appointment or call 815-433-1761. The office is located at 4231 Progress Blvd., Suite 4, Peru.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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