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Ohio Veterans Bonus deadline near for Gulf War Era Veterans

Ohio veterans who served during the time of the Persian Gulf War have until Dec. 31, 2013, to apply for the Ohio Veterans Bonus and receive the thank you for their service awarded them by Ohio’s citizens.

The Ohio Veterans Bonus continues for veterans of the Iraq War, who have until Dec. 31, 2014, to apply. No deadline has been announced for veterans of the Afghanistan War and all veterans who served after Oct. 7, 2001.

“I personally urge any eligible veteran, particularly those who served during the Persian Gulf War, to apply for the Bonus immediately. It’s a very personal thanks to every one of our veterans who served during our recent wars from all the people of our great state,” Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Tim Gorrell said. “To everyone in our veterans’ community, please reach out to these veterans and make sure they’re aware. And if anyone has a friend or a family member who served, let them know.”

The Bonus is not subject to federal or state taxes, and can be used for any purpose.

To date, almost $59 million has been paid to over 70,000 veterans and family members.

Ohio voters approved the Ohio Veterans Bonus by an overwhelming margin in Nov., 2009, to be awarded to veterans of the Armed Forces and military service members who served during the periods of the Persian Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The specific criteria are below:

• Military service of more than 90 days active duty, not for training, anywhere in the world during the following periods:

o August 2, 1990 through March 3, 1991 – Persian Gulf; deadline to apply is December 31, 2013
o October 7, 2001 through a date to be determined by the President – Afghanistan
o March 19, 2003 through December 31, 2011 – Iraq; deadline to apply is December 31, 2014

• Eligible veterans and military service members must have been Ohio residents at the time of their entry into the military, and must be Ohio residents at the time they apply.

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 due to injuries sustained in combat can receive $1,000, 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.

For more information or to apply, visit the Ottawa County Veterans Service Office at 8444 W State Route 163, Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449 or call 419.898.2089.

The Ohio Veterans Bonus continues a tradition of bonuses to reward Ohio veterans that dates back to the Civil War. Those other war bonuses are now closed.

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