Last November, an overwhelming majority of Ohio voters — more than 70 percent — voted to provide a modest payment to the men and women who served our country during the Iraq, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf wars. This Veterans Service Bonus is an honored tradition in our state: Voters approved similar financial recognition for veterans after World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
After announcing application guidelines for the bonus, my office received many calls and e-mails with questions from service members and their families. Sadly, many were from Vietnam veterans who had never learned about their service bonus, which had long since lapsed.
We should not let this unfortunate oversight happen again. Please share the following information with your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers as well as with community members you see at church, football games or other gathering places.
Odds are good that you know an eligible veteran.
An estimated 200,000 Ohio veterans qualify for the bonus. As of the start of October, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services had received about 32,000 applications. That’s a good start — the application period had only been open for about a month — but there are many eligible veterans who still need to learn about and apply for the bonus.
Please help us get the word out to the men and women who have made great sacrifices to protect us and to their families. Here are the details:
- This bonus pays $100 per month to any member of the military who served in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, up to a maximum of $1,000.
- Service members who served in other parts of the world during these wars are eligible for $50 per month of service, up to $500 total.
- The families of service members who gave their lives in these wars can receive $5,000.
For more information, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/VeteransBonus. There you will find:
- Information about how to apply
- Locations that offer free notary service (applications must be notarized)
- Letters proving that the bonuses are exempt from federal, state and local taxes
- A flier you can post that will help spread the word about the bonus
So, please, spread the word. Our veterans have earned this benefit through their service to our country; now let us make sure they all know to receive it.
Richard Cordray is Ohio Attorney General.