Legal Aid Network for service members launched in IL - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Legal Aid Network for service members launched in IL

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

Illinois veterans, active-duty military, members of the National Guard, reservists, and their dependents now have access to the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN).

It's the first-ever statewide hotline and network of legal support services available to servicemen and women in the state. With nearly one million veterans and active-duty military in the state of Illinois, this legal aid applies to most of them.  

Bill Slider, an American Legion Veteran Service Officer, helps veterans on the daily basis with many of their needs, but often ran into this problem

“where do you send these vets and their dependents, and survivor when they actually need some legal advice? There’s a void there, again, with what we can assist with,” Slider explains. 

AFLAN solves that problem by providing civil legal services to veterans and active duty service members.

Zach Zarnow, the program director, explains the goal of the network. “Trying to solve these problems on your own is really challenging it’s difficult to navigate the legal system without assistance. And so this program will do that for our service members and veterans.”

So, every veteran does not have legal problems, but the ones that do often fall in this category, Zarnow explains, “The top three issues are civil legal assistance for a landlord/tenant, family and consumer issues and as well as that, there are also veteran specific issues like VA benefits appeals and discharge upgrades.”

AFLAN started a tester run a couple months ago and has already done about 500 cases.

“Most people that serve in the military have some type of trauma," explains Lucas Park, a disabled veteran. "Whether or not it’s PTSD levels or something along those lines…it’s a different lifestyle and it causes a shift and the  transition can raise a lot of problems. Creditor issues, consumer housing problems, landlords, divorces, things like that. And without the ability of having a project like AFLAN …these people wouldn’t be able to get any assistance or advice at all.”

To qualify, your have to have 80% Chicago Area median income or less, which is about $63,000 for a family of four. 

Southern Illinois University's School of Law's Veterans Legal Assistance Program and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation have received grants to provide legal aid services as part of the program.

The program at SIU will focus on helping veterans with discharge upgrades and Veterans Affairs benefit appeals, according to a release from the university.

The Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation will work to develop a medical legal partnership with the Marion VA Medical Center.

If you have a legal problem, give them a call. The hotline number is 855-452-3526 or 855-IL-AFLAN. You can call to talk to an attorney free of charge about: Discharge upgrades, benefits appeals, civil legal problems like family, housing and consumer issues. 

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Cause of gas leak undetermined in Benton, IL

    Cause of gas leak undetermined in Benton, IL

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 10:29 PM EDT2018-08-16 02:29:02 GMT
    A Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Duty Officer has responded to a large gas leak. Buildings around the incident have been evacuated. (Source: Chris Drury, KFVS)A Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Duty Officer has responded to a large gas leak. Buildings around the incident have been evacuated. (Source: Chris Drury, KFVS)

    A large gas leak has caused a hazmat situation in Benton.

    A large gas leak has caused a hazmat situation in Benton.

  • Kennett, MO warehouse fire considered a total loss

    Kennett, MO warehouse fire considered a total loss

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 10:27 PM EDT2018-08-16 02:27:59 GMT
    The warehouse is where Bullock Furniture stores all of their inventory (Source: Don Frazier, KFVS)The warehouse is where Bullock Furniture stores all of their inventory (Source: Don Frazier, KFVS)

    Crews responded to a structure fire in Kennett, Missouri on Wednesday, August 15. 

    Crews responded to a structure fire in Kennett, Missouri on Wednesday, August 15. 

  • Poplar Bluff Animal Control identifies owner of 8 puppies left in box

    Poplar Bluff Animal Control identifies owner of 8 puppies left in box

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 10:26 PM EDT2018-08-16 02:26:52 GMT
    Daryl Scarlet was being held pending formal charges (Source: Poplar Bluff Police Department)Daryl Scarlet was being held pending formal charges (Source: Poplar Bluff Police Department)

    Animal Control officers in Poplar Bluff, Missouri said they are looking for the owners of eight puppies left in a box. 

    Animal Control officers in Poplar Bluff, Missouri said they are looking for the owners of eight puppies left in a box. 

Powered by Frankly