Veterans with Disabilities Exemption

What Is the Veterans with Disabilities Exemption?

Veterans with a service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are eligible for this annual exemption. It reduces by certain amounts the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) on the primary residence of a veteran with a disability, very likely lowering the tax bill.

It is very important to note that the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) is not the amount of your taxes. The EAV is only the partial property value on which your taxes are computed; any reduction in EAV is not the dollar amount by which your tax bill may be lowered.

The amounts of those EAV deductions depend on the level of disability. Veterans 70% or more disabled are totally exempt from property taxes.

Exemption amounts for the Veterans with Disabilities Homeowner Exemption are:

 

              Taxable Years

Percentage of Disability

Exemption Amount*

 
   

        2011-2014 (Tax Years)

70% and greater

$5,000

 
 

50-69%

$2, 500

 
       

      2017 and thereafter (Tax Years)

30%-49%

$2,500

 
 

50%-69%

$5,000

 
 

70% and greater

Total Exemption

 
               

What criteria makes someone eligible for the Veterans with Disabilities Exemption?

To qualify, the veteran must be:

  • an 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 as of January 1 of the Tax Year,
  • have a total EAV of less than $250,000 for the primary residence, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than six (6) months and
  • apply for this Exemption each tax year

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

What additional documentation do I need to submit with my Application?

With the Exemption Application, please include:

  • A first-time applicant must please provide a Department of Defense DD Form 214, certified by either the Cook County Recorder of Deeds or Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. This document is not required for future annual applications.
  • All applicants, first-time and in later years, must please provide a Disability Certification Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • To the 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 please provide the disabled veteran's death certificate and proof of ownership.


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

How do I apply for tax year 2019?

Note that if you received this exemption last year, a renewal application was sent directly to your home in February, 2020.

To apply, first, review the eligibility requirements and supporting documents required.

Note that the verification letters will be used to verify the veteran's name, percentage of service-connected disability, and date of the letter. Please see examples of required verification letters. 

Then:

Apply Online

Other ways to apply:

After you apply in the mail or online:

It can take 60-90 days for Cook County Assessor’s Office staff to review and process your application and documents. You will then receive a letter (or an email, if you apply online) about whether your exemption application has been approved or denied. 

If your exemption application is approved, the exemption will be applied by the Treasurer to the second installment property tax bill you receive in the summer.