Law Helps Soldiers Returning Home from Duty

Several laws in Illinois are designed to protect service people called to duty, and their families. The State of Illinois has made allowances in various rules and laws to ease immediate responsibilities for service men and women called to duty. The goal of these provisions is to prevent financial and other hardship that might result from active duty in the United States military.

Hundreds of Illinois soldiers who are returning home from war overseas are entitled to reemployment upon their return, according to federal law.

Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act military personnel must:

  • Have given written or verbal advance notice to their employer
  • Not have a cumulative length of absences due to service in excess of five years
  • Must submit an application for reemployment within an appropriate time frame, which varies depending on the length of military service and whether the person has a service-connected injury or illness

Other sections of the law provide for driver's license and license plate renewal, power of attorney, wills and living wills, fair credit reporting, and student loans:

  • Military enlistees, their spouses, and any dependent children living with them can have the expiration of their driver's licenses deferred for up to 120 days following discharge or following reassignment back to a military base in Illinois, and your vehicle registration renewal can be deferred for up to 45 days. This also applies to civilian employees of the DoD and U.S. Armed Services.
  • Any circumstances that may cause financial problems, such as being called to duty, should be reported to the credit bureau for inclusion in a person's credit file.
  • Under federal law, student loans may be eligible for deferment based on active duty status.
  • Some organizations waive their membership dues for those serving in the armed forces.

Any area military base can provide assistance to service personnel and their families through the Legal Assistance Office.

This pamphlet is prepared and published by the Illinois State Bar Association as a public service. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information at the time of publication.

For the most current information, please consult your lawyer. If you need a lawyer and do not have one, call Illinois Lawyer Finder at (800) 922-8757 or online