Veterans with Disabilities Exemption

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 by certain amounts 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, for tax year 2020 only, this exemption will automatically renew.

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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  • 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.
  • Occupy the property as the primary residence in 2020. 
  • 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. 
    • 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

Exemption amounts for the Veterans with Disabilities Homeowner Exemption are:

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 future annual applications.
  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 date of the letter. Please see examples of required verification letters. 
  • 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 2020.

  • You may supply an Illinois Drivers License / ID Card, Matrícula Consular ID, or City of Chicago ID Card. The name and property address must verify the application. 
  • Or: you can supply one document from List B and one from List C and  Occupancy Affidavit (included in the application):
  • 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 2020 occupancy (must demonstrate property occupancy in 2020)
    • Mailed bank statement
    • Mailed landline, cable, or internet bill
    • Mailed pay stub or Social Security Award letter
    • Voting record from 2020 (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

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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Learn about Certificates of Error

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The application filing period is now closed. You may apply for a Certificate of Error for the 2020 tax year after the second installment tax bills are mailed in the summer. 

Certificate of Error applications for tax years 2019, 2018, and 2017 can be filed now.