New Swanson-Sponsored Law Will Protect Military Family Benefits

A new law sponsored by State Representative Dan Swanson will help ensure that survivors of Illinois veterans receive the full benefits they deserve.

The Governor this week signed House Bill 2856, that would add a “Yes, Likely or Unknown” requirement to veterans’ death certificates to clarify if a military service-related injury contributed to the cause of death. This change would better reflect service-connected illnesses and injuries potentially caused by such factors as exposure to radiation or chemicals like Agent Orange. With this more accurate information, families of deceased veterans would be better able to claim benefits to which they are entitled.

Rep. Swanson (R-Alpha) said the need for the new law legislation was brought to him by the family of a deceased veteran who was denied certain death benefits just because his death certificate did not include the full range of information about the conditions which led to his death.  

“A grieving family of a veteran should not have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get a death certificate amended in order to receive the benefits they deserve,” Rep. Swanson said.  “This change spares them that additional trauma, and I’m thankful for all who helped us get it signed into law.”

71st District residents can find more news about the General Assembly and information about upcoming events on Rep. Swanson’s legislative website at