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      Vets to pay more to live at Illinois Veterans' Home

      The Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy serves 429 people at their North 12th street campus.

      Right now, each resident pays $930 a month for their care.

      But that could soon change on a recommendation by the state.

      A proposal to raise the monthly payment is designed to help offset the costs of providing care for the veterans and their spouses.

      Ray Wernstrum is a veteran of World War Two and has lived at the Illinois Vets Home in Quincy for just over two years . He sa id for the money he pays every month to the Illinois Veterans Home, it's a great deal.

      For $930, he gets all of his meals, all of his medical care, all of his medication and even his laundry done for one price.

      But now, the state is recommending the price veterans pay on a monthly basis be raised to $1430 dollars.

      It would be the first increase in the monthly rate since 1979. The rates would be gradually increased to the $1400 level over a five year period

      "So it's just become important to us to be able to provide the quality of care we can provide and to provide the services that we provide the residents, we had to increase the rates ," said Cathy Page who is a Senior Homes Administrator with the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs.

      According to the I DVA, the average monthly cost per resident for their care is $7 ,4 00. Money from the federal V eterans A dministration, the State of Illinois and fees paid by the residents cover the yearly operational costs associated at the vets home. But for Wernstrum, he says he's surprised the rates haven't been raised before. He thinks even with the new rates, it's still a good deal.

      "They attempted this a couple of years ago, a large increase all at once and it went over like a lead balloon. I was not opposed to the increase then. But now this, it's something that should have been done, actually should have been done 30 years ago. Because it is a veteran's facility, we're getting a helluva a break ," said Wernstrum.

      The vet erans home has resident s who served in World War Two, Korea, Vietnam and even Desert Storm. Veterans, their spouses and even widows are eligible to reside at the facility.

      Illinois Veterans Home residents will pay higher fees starting this summer.

      According to the Quincy Journal, monthly maintenance fees will increase by $500 starting July first.

      New residents will pay the 45 percent increase to current rates, adding up to nearly $15 hundred a month.

      Current residents will have a five-year phase in to the new rates.

      Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs says the fee increase will not affect anyone who does not receive enough income to cover the maintenance fee.

      This is the first increase to the fee since 1979.

      Click here to read more in the Quincy Herald Whig.