I would like to follow up on an earlier column I wrote about the state’s bonus program for our veterans. Ever since the Civil War, Ohioans have supported a state plan to thank military veterans for their service through a cash bonus program.
Ohio voters in 2009 approved a statewide bond issue. It authorized the state to sell bonds to raise $200 million for a special round of bonuses for veterans. The bonuses are for distribution to veterans of the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan war eras.
Many efforts have been made to alert veterans to the bonus program. To date it appears that nearly 90,000 veterans have yet to receive the bonuses that Ohioans want them to have. The bonuses include $100 per month, up to $1,000, for service in any of the three war zones. Also, $50 per month, up to $500, for service anywhere else in the world for the same period of time. For family members of those who were killed in action, there is $5,000 available through the program.
The Ohio Department of Veterans Services is reporting that only $41 million has been paid out since the program was launched 14 months ago. If you are a veteran who qualifies or you know a veteran who is eligible, there are a number of steps you can take to get started. One step is to visit any county Veterans Services office for guidance. Also, you can review the information for yourself by going online to www.veteransbonus.ohio.gov. If you wish to talk with someone by phone, call 1-877-OHIOVET and they will send you a paper application to fill out. We all need to work together to connect our Ohio veterans with the money due them.
We will soon be announcing our upcoming “Lundy Listens” town hall sessions. I am always here to help you on issues and concerns involving state government. I work for you. Feel free to contact me at 614-644-5076 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to serving you.