Ohio veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq may be eligible for the Ohio Veterans Bonus.
The Ohio Veterans Bonus is available to veterans who served more than 90 days active duty, not for training, during the periods of the Persian Gulf War and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For the Persian Gulf, the period is from Aug 2, 1990 through Mar 3, 1991; for Afghanistan, from Oct. 7, 2001 through a date to be determined by the President, and for Iraq, from March 19, 2003 and also through a to-be-determined date.
Payment can be received for active duty service anywhere in the world during these periods, but is higher for veterans who served in the Persian Gulf or in Afghanistan or Iraq. Eligible veterans must have been Ohio residents at the time of their entry into the service, and must be Ohio residents currently.
"This is real money for veterans, for whatever purpose they need or desire," said Tom Moe, Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. "We know that the bonus has already made a difference in the lives of over 33,500 Ohioans, but we believe there's a lot more out there who are eligible, so we're making every effort to be sure that everyone who's qualified for the bonus gets it."
The bonus pays $100 a month to veterans who served in the Persian Gulf theater, or in the countries of Afghanistan or Iraq, up to a maximum of $1,000. For veterans who served elsewhere, the payment is $50 a month up to a $500 maximum.
Veterans medically discharged as a result of combat service can receive $1,000, regardless of how much time they spent in combat, plus up to $500 for months of service elsewhere. Family members of those killed in action or who died from disease as a result of their in-theater service can receive a bonus of $5,000 plus whatever the service member was eligible for, up to a total of $6,500.
Veterans needing more information or who want to apply can call toll-free to 1-877-OHIO VET (1-877-644-6838) option 2, visit www.veteransbonus.ohio.gov, or visit any county veterans service office (see www.dvs.ohio.gov for an interactive map of the county offices).