Deadline looming for veterans bonuses

VETERAN-MILITARY

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Military veterans eligible to claim Ohio bonuses of up to $1,500 are running out of time. And veterans officials are worried thousands of veterans may miss out.

Ohio voters in 2009 approved a $200 million bond issue to fund bonuses for veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq war eras. The Persian Gulf-era application deadline is Dec. 31. State and county officials urge veterans not to wait since some time is needed to verify and process applications.

They say over $55.7 million has been paid to more than 66,000 veterans or family members for all three bonus periods since August 2010. But officials say there could be as many as 90,000 who haven’t applied, including probably several thousand from the Persian Gulf era.

Barry Landgraver with the Mahoning County Veterans Service Commission said their offices can help all veterans, but they are trying to get the word out to those who served in the Persian Gulf War.

“The word’s been put out but not everybody follows the media or understands that there was no letters out to people’s houses,” said Landgraver. “They don’t know where people live in a lot of cases.”

The Afghanistan War deadline has yet to be  determined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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