Veterans with Disabilities Exemption

The current 2021 tax year exemption applications are now available!

This Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities is for veterans with a service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The exemption reduces certain amounts of the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) on the primary residence of a veteran with a disability, very likely lowering the tax bill. The amounts of those EAV deductions depend on the level of disability. Veterans 70% or more disabled receive an EAV reduction of $250,000, and because of this can be totally exempt from property taxes on their home. This exemption usually requires annual renewal but will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Automatic Renewal: Yes, this exemption will automatically renew for the 2021 tax year due to COVID-19.

How can a homeowner see which exemptions were applied to their home last year?
Check the Cook County Portal website, then review the Exemption History and Status section. 
📌 Reminder: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer. To learn more about how the property tax system works, click here

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File a Veterans with Disabilities Exemption for Tax Year 2021

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Homeowners can now apply for exemptions for the current 2021 tax year on a new single application!  It is strongly recommended to apply online so that your application can be easily tracked and our representatives can provide a status update. 

APPLY ONLINE

Download PDF & Occupancy Affidavit

As a reminder exemptions are reflected on the second installment property tax bill. 

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Eligibility

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  • Illinois resident who has served as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, a member of the Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces and, has been honorably discharged.
  • Have at least a 30% service-connected disability certified by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Own and occupy the property as the primary residence in 2021. 
  • Applies to $250,000 of the EAV for the primary residence, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than six (6) months.
    • The equalized assessed value is only the partial property value on which your taxes are computed and can be found on the second installment tax bill under the Tax Calculator

The amount of EAV reduced is dependent on the percentage of disability. Please see the chart below. 

Percentage of Disability Exemption amount (EAV reduction)
30-49% $2,500
50-69% $5,000
70% and greater $250,000
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Documentation Required to Apply

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  1. first-time applicant must please provide a Department of Defense DD Form 214, certified by either the Cook County Clerk's Office or Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. This document is not required for those reapplying. 
  2. All applicants, must provide a Disability Certification Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Verification letters will be used to verify the veteran's name, percentage of service-connected disability, and effective date. Please see examples of required verification letters. 
    • To obtain a letter from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, follow these steps. 
      1.     Dial 1-800-827-1000.
      2.     You will hear two recorded messages. 
      3.     At the end of the second recorded message (Covid-19 Vaccination Availability), press option 1. 
      4.     Listen carefully, you will be asked a series of benefit questions and information on how to access your benefit letter. 
      5.     Speak clearly into the automated system if you would prefer a system-generated letter 
       
  • A non-remarried surviving spouse of a veteran with a disability who is eligible for the Exemption and is using the Exemption for the first time or transferring it to a new address: you must provide the disabled veteran's death certificate and proof of ownership.

3. Proof of Identity and occupancy in 2021.

  • A copy of one photo ID from List A must be provided along with an Occupancy Affidavit (the affidavit is provided within the online application).  The name and property address must match the application and the date of issue must verify that you occupied this property on or before January 1, 2021.
     
    List A: Photo IDs that verify identity and occupancy
    • Illinois Drivers License / ID Card
    • Matrícula Consular ID
    • City of Chicago ID Card
  • If the address on your photo ID does not match the property address, a copy of one document from List B and one from List C, and an Occupancy Affidavit must be provided. 
     
  • List B: Photo IDs that verify identity 
    • Illinois Drivers License / ID Card
    • Matrícula Consular ID
    • City of Chicago ID Card
    • US Military ID
    • Passport
    • Certificate of Naturalization (N-550/N-570)
    • Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
    • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
    • Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
    List C: Documents that verify 2021 occupancy (must demonstrate property occupancy in 2021)
    • Mailed bank statement
    • Mailed landline, cable, or internet bill
    • Mailed pay stub or Social Security Award letter
    • Voting record from 2021 (from Cook County Clerk’s office or Chicago Board of Elections)

For further assistance on how to obtain required documents contact the Chicago VA Regional office. 
Number: 312.980-4470 or 312.980.4378
Email: VETINQUIRIES.VBACHI@va.gov

Please Note: This exemption cannot be combined with the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, or the Returning Veterans Homeowner Exemption.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Can a surviving spouse apply for the exemption?
A non-remarried surviving spouse of a veteran with a disability may receive or continue to receive this exemption if the same primary residence continues as such for the surviving spouse. Alternatively, the non-remarried surviving spouse may transfer the exemption amount (or less) to a new primary residence. 

As a surviving spouse, can I transfer this exemption to a new residence? 
Yes, you can transfer to a new residence. First, you must sell the disabled veteran's previous property before transferring the exemption to his or her new primary residence, and occupy the property as the primary residence and hold a legal or beneficial title to the property on January 1st of the assessment year. 

How do I apply for prior tax years?
If you were eligible for the exemption in a prior Tax Year but the exemption was not on your bill, you can apply for a refund or corrected bill by filing for a certificate of error. Learn more here.

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Missing Property Tax Exemptions? Homeowners can apply for Certificates of Error(s)

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If your home was eligible for the Veterans with Disabilities Exemption in tax years 2020, 2019, or 2018 and the exemption was not applied to your property tax bill, the Assessor’s Office can help you obtain a refund through what is called a Certificate of Error. 

Certificate of Error applications for tax years 2020, 2019, or 2018 can be filed now by clicking the links below. As a reminder, it is recommended to apply online so that the application can be easily tracked and our representatives can provide status updates.

Apply Online

Download Form

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Download Guides

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