Ohio Veterans Bonus Program

Ohio recently created a Veterans Bonus Program to thank Ohio Veterans who served during periods of conflict. Eligible veterans serving on active duty (except active duty for training) anywhere in the world during the specified dates may receive $50 a month up to a maximum bonus of $500.

Eligible veterans who served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or Iraq during certain dates may receive a $100 bonus for each month they served in those locations, up to a maximum of $1,000.  An eligible veteran may combine their service bonuses for a maximum payment of $1,500.

Ohio Veterans Bonus Program Details

Who is Eligible for the Ohio Veterans Bonus Program?

Ohio veterans may be eligible for the bonuses if they served on active duty in the US armed forces, including those who served in the Ohio National Guard, if they served in the specified locations during specific time periods for reasons other than training (information about eligible locations and dates is below).

To be eligible, applicants must have been legal residents in Ohio when they went on active duty and must be Ohio residents when they apply for the bonus.

To be eligible for the Ohio Veterans Program Bonus:

  • The veteran must have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions.
  • The veteran remains on active duty service.
  • After active duty service, the veteran remains in any reserve component of the armed forces, including the Ohio National Guard.

Eligible Service Dates and Locations

Eligible veterans may receive $100 for each month of active duty service in the following locations during these specified dates:

  • Persian Gulf: Between August 2, 1990 and March 3, 1991, the date when Iraq accepted the conditions for a permanent cease fire. Eligible veterans can apply for a bonus until December 31, 2013.
  • Afghanistan: Since October 7, 2001. Eligible veterans can apply for a bonus for up to three years after the President declares an end to U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
  • Iraq: Since March 19, 2003. Eligible veterans can apply for a bonus for up to three years after the president declares an end to U.S. involvement in Iraq.

The maximum benefit for service in those three areas is $1,000.

Eligible veterans may also apply for a $50 bonus per month they served during these time periods if they served anywhere else in the world. The maximum bonus under these provisions is $500 and the bonuses may be combined for a maximum of $1500.

Families of deceased Ohio veterans may also be eligible for bonus. There also are other bonuses available to eligible veterans or the families of deceased veterans. For these eligibility details and specifications, please visit: veteransbonus.ohio.gov/odvs_web/Eligibility_Requirements.aspx

How to claim the Ohio Veterans Bonus

To apply for the bonus, applicants should go to veteransbonus.ohio.gov, and complete the online application. You may also visit a public library if you do not have internet access or visit your local Ohio’s County Veterans Service Office for assistance.

Application must be signed, notarized and mailed. The final application must be printed, signed, and notarized or acknolwdged before it will be accepted. Mail your application to Ohio Veterans Bonus, P.O. Box 373 Sandusky, Ohio 44871.

The estimated processing time for Ohio Veterans Bonus Program applications is approximately eight weeks, depending on the volume of applications initially received.

Applicants with specific questions can call 1 -877-OHIO-VET or go online at: veteransbonus.ohio.gov.

Please help spread the word

Please forward this information to any Ohio veterans you may know. Those who have been separated from the military for several years may not be aware of this benefit.

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Date published: September 8, 2010.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


    • says

      I live in OH now, but I wasn’t an OH resident when I joined the service, so I am ineligible. But I’ve been forwarding this to a lot of my military friends today. :)

      I didn’t know there were other state programs… Looks like I need to do a little research!

      • troy says

        Ryan is there a way to change your home of record was born and raised in ohio and all my other important papers to include my state id is ohio i get mail there im just trying to setup this i enlisted in the army in las vegas after only being there for three months so according to every state i was not a member of that state

  1. says

    Thomas, I am not aware of a bonus at this time for Vietnam Vets. Your best bet is to contact the Ohio Department of Veterans Services for more information. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  2. William C. Fuller, MCPO, USCG (ret) says

    Thomas, Ohio did pay out a Vietnam Veterans Bonus, I received mine in 1974. There was a deadline to apply for it.

  3. James Given says

    This is a SCAM. The voters of Ohio approved this LAST YEAR (2009) but this state run scam only became available in August. The reason I say it is a scam is because I am a disabled veteran and have many friends in Ohio that have applied for this bonus and ALL OF US have been excuse after excuse. They won’t pay the benefit because:

    (1) They say they never receive your paperwork. After you resubmit they finally own up to getting it but then put it in for scanning then “review” then “re-review” then they need additional information that has already been submitted.

    (2) The State of Ohio used 2 Million dollars of the Veterans Bonus fund that was created from the sale of bonds to pay for the web site, hire operators and buy new computer equipment.

    (3) They have no oversight. There is not one agency of the state government that has been assigned to manage the program. They have absolutely no requirement to account for anything unless the Ohio congress asks them to.

    (4) There is no complaint process other than to write a letter to the same P.O. Box that was used to submit your claim.

    (5) As of October 29, 2010, no bonuses have been issued from this program.

    (6) We have no recourse.

    Please everyone read this and know that you will probably never receive this payment until it becomes an issue in the paper. I plan to travel to Columbus next week and meet with the Editor of the Columbus Dispatch. I attempted to contact the Dayton Daily News but this story is “not newsworthy” according to their editor.

    • M says

      My husband too is awaiting his bonus…he filed and overnighted certified all needed paperwork…they recieved all said paperwork…and stated it would take 6-8 weeks to process. That was 15 Sept. It is now almost 10 weeks later and not a single word or payment. He spent over an hour on hold to be hung up on then he called back and waited again….the answer was it is awaiting approval…that is all they could say….no how long approval would take….not any kind of explaination as to why it was now in the 10th week…we actually mailed it 1 Sept to them….what a joke and a slap in the face. I know some vets…filed it early as soon as possible so they could have a little extra money for the holidays…like I said what a slap in the face to those who serve our country.

    • Robert Danley says

      Same thing has happened to me. They say they never recieved my application with an original copy of my DD-214 (which they asked for). I have told them they WILL find my DD-214 and return it to me. If the State of Ohio has lost and is losing such important FEDERAL documents it is inexcusable. No recourse? I beg to differ. I have written my state representative and will contact my U.S. Congressman. I will contact attorneys to find out if the State of Ohio can made to answer for this.

      This may be a case where those of us who have defended this Country may have to band together again to make this “news worthy”. Can you say “Class Action Lawsuit”?

      • megan says

        I am the spouse of an Iraq War Veteran. We submitted the paperwork they asked for but got an email today asking for “Supporting documents for Character of Service at discharge or continued active duty” which we’re not sure what exactly they want for that. They also said the DD214 he sent wasn’t good enough. They didn’t want the worksheet one. All he was given was the worksheet one. Do any of you have any idea what they are talking about or where we can go for help? Our local office seems as confused as us. ANY help what so ever would be appreciated. We are still fighting to get him disability for major PTSD with many denials. I hate to have to fight another battle for something he is entitled to.

        Thanks in advance:) And good luck to everyone.

        • says

          Megan, sorry to hear about your troubles – hopefully you will be able to get the bonus approved. The Character of Service at discharge is simply the type of discharge your husband received (for example, Honorable, Under Honorable Conditions (General), Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, Bad Conduct, Dishonorable, or Uncharacterized). This information will be found on the copy of the DD214 that they are requesting. The good news is you can request a new copy of your DD Form 214 from the government at no charge. Hopefully all you will need to do is obtain a new copy of the DD214 and submit it along with your husband’s claim. Best of luck, and thank you for your husband’s service and your support.

  4. says

    This is great for Ohio veterans, except there’s a few vets getting lost in the mix.

    This bonus requires you to have entered military service as a resident of Ohio AND also be a current resident.

    But what about all of those vets who entered service as an Ohio resident, was an Ohio resident during all of their time in service, and was an Ohio resident for years after their honorable discharge, but are currently a resident of another state? What if this reason for leaving the state was to take advantage of their GI Bill?

    As it is now, if all 50 states were to implement bonuses exactly like this one, any vet who ever relocated, either because of a job, schooling or other reason, will find themselves cheated out of a good program.

    I was an Ohio resident before, during and after my military service — “after” for 2 years, and still consider it my permanent address, but I moved to California for college. I was even still a resident of Ohio when this bonus program was proposed, so I can’t help but feel that some of us have been (and will continue to be, by other states) forgotten.

    • says

      Justin, I understand your point. I am currently an OH resident, but I wasn’t when I joined, so I am not eligible for this bonus. I am also not eligible for any bonuses in Texas, which is where I was a resident when I joined, while I was in, and for a short time afterward. Many states implement these rules to keep their money in-state (which makes sense) and to prevent veterans from making similar claims in multiple states. In fact, some states have a provision the precludes veterans from receiving a state bonus if they have already received a similar bonus from another state.

  5. Will says

    I’m beginning to think this is going to fall through. I still haven’t heard anything about funding being provided for this. They tried to use the rainy day fund. but that got turned down. I submitted my paperwork late September and was expecting to get the check around this time to have some extra money for the holidays, but nothing. I have not heard of a single person receiving this check. Too bad.

  6. James Poland says

    They received my paper work august 31, status kept saying under review, finally called 29 Nov. I spent 20 years active duty Navy born and raised in Ohio, went in 1977 thru Columbus Ohio. Did 4 years and got out in 1981 and went back in after 9 months apr 1982. Because i re-inter in Arizona they say I am not eligable. I retire in 1998 and moved back to Ohio where I’ve been ever since. I sent two DD-214 the first with Columbus Ohio, the second with Arizona. I only was out there for about a month when i went back in. I asked them why they never e-mail me after 3 months no answer. She said she would looked back into it, and call back. Never called back 4 hours later my status said not eligible. Born and raised in Ohio first enter active duty Ohio a month after high school and not eligible. I love Ohio but now feel like 20 years and 29 days is not enough. Because I spent a month in Arizona where my wife’s family were I am not eligible.

    • James says

      Hello Candice, in response to your question. I submitted my paper work back on Dec. 20, 2010. I did receive a letter from…The Department of Veteran Services…on Dec. 24th stating that my application was received on Dec. 22nd. It was signed by a guy named…John Cook, who’s title is…Veterans Bonus Program Director.

  7. Tracy says

    My husband also submitted the paper work on September 14th. A week later on the website it stated that the paperwork had been received and that processing would take 6 to 8 weeks. Not a single word since. They were suppsed to email if there was a problem with the application. Tried to call and after sitting on hold for over an hour was told that they couldn’t guarantee processing times and they hung up. If they did not have the money to fund this then they shouldn’t have opened up the application process. I know that people are counting on this money for the holiday. I guess that is a sad mistake on our part trusting the government to handle it. A new story claimed that it was estimated that over 175,00 would be eligible and that only 32,600 applications had been received. Out of the applications received 6,000 had been denied..only 3,000 checks have gone out in 3 months….that leads me to believe that they don’t have the money to pay for their program and are not being forthcoming with the information. What a poor way to treat those who served their country, some giving their lives.

  8. Tracy says

    Hello, I wanted to give an update. Finally able to get in contact with someone at the vets bonus program office. They told me that they were overwhelmed with applications in the beginning and they are just now as of today(Dec 6) processing applications received in September. She told me not to expect the payment until 2011.

    • Anthony Cornett says

      I was told the same thing. My wife and I both are vets and summited our applications on the same day. They updated our status the same day, saying that it was recieved. This was back in late August or 1st week in Sept. Her status has been updated this week saying you will receive bonus in less than 2 weeks. My status hasnt changed, called them and got the same response, being overwhelmed….blah blah blah, they hired more people to help process…blah blah blah, you will NOT have a check till after the 1st of the year, have a nice day!

  9. James says

    I submitted my paper work back on Dec. 20, 2010. I did receive a letter from…The Department of Veteran Services…on Dec. 24th stating that my application was received on Dec. 22nd. It was signed by a guy named…John Cook, who’s title is…Veterans Bonus Program Director.

  10. Ben says

    I am a vet that is still currently active duty. I entered in Ohio and still pay taxes and have Ohio as my home of record. I submitted my packet back in August, 2010. I checked the status of my application often and finally in November recieved information saying that I had to submit my LES (Leave and Earnings Statement) showing that I still pay Ohio taxes. I did so and called them about a week later to verify they recieved it. They stated they did and told that it was going to be reviewed again, which would take 8 more weeks. Now it is February 10th 2011 and still no word. This is a mockery of my continued service to our country. I think as veterans we need to make this right. I am going to contact local VFW, DAV, and AMVETS to get the word out that we need to do something about this.

  11. hezekiah grice says

    i finally received my bonus check for 1500. it took me some time and i had to resubmit some paper work but I did get a check. it took me some time to figure out that this is not a monthly thing but it was nice to get something back for my service. so to all those that are waiting for a check have patience trust me this is not a scam.

  12. says

    I too was a Vietnam Vet who the summer I returned home from Active Duty began getting flashbacks (strange auras’) that after years I went to a neurologist in Columbus Oh… and found I had contacted complex partial epilepsy. Epilepsy caused me to loose my job which I held for 23 years. After applying I was granted a pension and disability which my monthly checks keep my family and 4 children partially alive. I take the drug lyrica which has caused memory impairment and to loose my job. I tried to file a claim but was denied compensation because Epilepsy was not caused by Agent Orange. But any money a Viet Nan Vet could receive would greatly be appreciated. I created ads for the Yellow Pages and still would like any job available.

  13. says

    Ohio goverment are trying to figure out on how to give us american fighting men annd women that served with pride and fought for our country that holiday bonus that they been promising us for years but dont know how to pay for it but yet they can find a way to give themselves a huge raise every year and so they forget about us that fought for our country i served almost 10 years in the army fought in desert storm of 1991 and got a check from the government for 200 dollars thats all that we are worth to ohio while the governor and other officials in in Ohio are living high on the hog and dont have to worrying about getting a bounus from serving their country or if they did we the ohio veterans are suffering and waiting on how or when they will decide on how to give us that holiday bonus ! They(the govrenment of ohio have no respect for us that served this great nation of ours but instead are filling their pockets with their pay raises

  14. says

    the Governor and the veterans affair board needs to get off their butts and do something for us Ohio veterans i think its time for ohioians to decide if this man we have as the governor is what we need for another 4 years we need someone who cares for the people of ohio and its veterans and get someone who cares and not try and delay things that was promise to us ohio veterans so let us ohio veterans stand up and vote no for relected Ted Strictland as our Governor for the next election for Ohio Governor

  15. NC Stanley says

    Both me and my husband received the check (both disable vets) but my husband have to contact them a few times. However, since the new Governor took the office, a letter came in the mail that said we can no longer applied for the bonus (we were told that we could get the bonus once a year, until 2013). They need to show us the report of where the millions of dollars that was put a side for Veterans bonus went? I am so sick of politics, I might just have to run for the Governor!

  16. MPGunner says

    Iraq Veteran, twice, wife is serving in Afghanistan currently. Its sad to see all these negative post about and complaining about free money. 1st of all, it tax payers money, why would you want to take somebody else’s money, 2ndly if your counting on this for holidays or bills, then maybe you need to seek some financial counseling. From one vet to another, this is not how we should be reacting. looking at the states who do have a vet bonus program, only Ohio, i believe has one for the OIF/OEF campaigns. and its quite substantial. So quit your ******** and be glad your back on us soil. and healthy

    • John G says

      Some people are really hurting right now and this can really help them. You can’t put a price or a benefit on the service we have provided.
      I find your “quit your ********” comment out of line soldier.
      There should be tons and tons of help for veterans no matter what the help is.
      I am 100% service connected, and unemployable, so there is no way I can earn anymore funds, so this program is good for those who need it, especially in todays world financial meltdown.

  17. John G says

    Even though I am 100% disabled and an Ohio vet all my life, I cannot get this boiuns because my dates are not in the “window”…What I dont understand is that all of these eligibility period “conflicts have no end date, and my dates of service was from 15APR93-20AUG94, why am I bing squeezed out?

    …And are there any other programs like this for vets to receive financial help? …not including education?
    Thanks and have a good one,

    • says

      Shell, from my understanding, you can apply for it for each time you eet the eligibility requirements, however, the bonus is capped at $1,000 among all eligible deployments.

  18. Maurice Isler says

    I applied for the bonus, sent all of my paperwork in certified mail, notarized and all. I received a notice with a claim number on it, which you can go to the Ohio veterans bonus website to check the status of your claim. Ohiovetbonus@dvs.ohio.gov. That’s as far as I’ve gotten though. Seveal calls and emails, have done nothing but produce vague responses. They claimed they sent my approval letter and maybe it got lost in my spam inbox, but I added their email address ohiovetbonus@dvs.ohio.gov to my contact list…so It wasn’t lost. I asked my provider to recover my deleted mail, rechecked my inbox and spam no “approval letter”. Finally when I presented this information to them, they emailed my approval letter.

    The following email was the last correspondence I received on July 23, 2012 nearly a month after I mailed may application.

    Good Afternoon Mr. Isler

    Attached is a copy of the approval letter you requested.

    As you indicated, we continue to experience issues with the year-end/new fiscal year procession of warrants. We are working towards a solution to this matter. You will be notified when we have resolved. Thank you for your patience.

    Beth A. Deck
    Veterans Bonus Program Manager

    I’ve received several vague emails prior to this. Basically I think the state of Ohio has misappropriated the funds. There was supposedly 172 million dollars in the fund and only 42 million claimed and paid out as of Nov 2011. There’s no way they’ve paid out 131 million dollars in 8 months. As veterans we know the routing, when all else fails, screw the vet. They’re not thankful for anything…the people who paid into the fund are…but the government could care less.

  19. Jason Manley says

    I was in the army for 9 years. I completed over 5 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During my service I received 3 honorable discharges and Multiple medals for valor in combat. It is the proudest time in my life and am thankful for every experience. Sadly my love for serving in combat lead me to a severe case of PTSD. After my 4th tour I was diagnosed with chronic PTSD. Being the ranger I am I didn’t have quit in me and at the time mental health was still catching up to soldiers like me and I did another 3 tours before I hit my breaking point. And after all my service and acomplishments I began to loose it. I ended up getting in trouble while I waited for my medical board to finish and earned myself an other than honorable discharge. I got out and the va picked me up and determined me to be 100% disabled and due to all of my honorable discharges was able to award me with full benefits.

    So my question is if I received multiple honorable discharges after the periods I would qualify for this bonus will I be eligible based on those or does my last discharge trump all the discharges I had prior?

  20. SPC YOUNG says

    This is first of all to say thank you all fellow vets and also Ohio for reconising all of us . but for MP GUNNER. Far as I am concerned there is never enough for our sacrifice, look at foreigners never fought for this country and they get tax break after tax break ON OUR WOUNDED BACKS. AND SOME OF OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS ALSO GREAT GRANDPARENTS. So when you say stop ******* You need a reality CHECK. MY FELLOW VETRANS I APOLOGIZE FOR HIS MISCONDUCT.

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