Ohio Veterans BenefitsUpdated September 10, 2021 Veterans Benefits
The state of Ohio proudly provides benefits and services for its veterans to show gratitude for their service. Across Ohio, County Veterans Service Offices are located in each county to help Ohio’s veterans access all the federal and state benefits they have earned through their active duty service to America’s military.
The state of Ohio not only helps connect its veterans with federal benefits available to them, but also provides state-level benefits of its own. Veterans’ spouses and other survivors also may be eligible for federal and state benefits, and each VSO can help guide veterans and their families toward available programs and services.
Ohio Veterans Benefits Guide
- Disability Benefits
- Financial Assistance
- Health Care
- Ohio Veterans Homes
- Burial and Memorial Benefits
- Home Loans
- Ohio Small Business Programs
- Tax Exemptions
- Legal Services
- More Benefits for Ohio Veterans
Like many states, Ohio has several state-level programs that help Ohio veterans access all federal and state benefits. From education benefits to starting your own business and purchasing a home, both the state and federal governments administer programs that can help smooth the path between military and civilian life.
Ohio Department of Veterans Services
The Ohio DVS exists with the mission of guaranteeing that all Ohio veterans have access to the opportunities and resources they need to be successful in their post-military lives.
The Ohio DVS assists veterans in the following ways:
- Conducts outreach on behalf of veterans
- Coordinates programming with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Crafts supportive legislation
- Administers the Ohio Veterans Bonus
- Operates Ohio’s veterans homes
- Manages the State Approving Agency
- Hosts veterans’ ceremonies
- Acts as steward of more than 1.9 million veteran records dating back to World War II
Ohio veterans can find many vital resources through the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, designed to be a central resource for any kind of assistance or counsel a veteran might need.
1. Disability Benefits for Ohio Veterans
The federal government and the state of Ohio offer several benefits for disabled veterans. County VSOs can help veterans determine the disability benefits that might be right for them, and guide them through the application process.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays injury or disability compensation to veterans who are disabled by an injury or medical condition that has a medical connection to the veteran’s active military service. This typically means the condition either was directly caused by active service or was exacerbated by the veteran’s military service. The veteran must have also received a discharge other than dishonorable to be eligible.
The amount of disability compensation varies according to the severity of the disability and the number of dependents in a veteran’s family. Based on this disability rating, the compensation is paid on a monthly basis.
In addition, veterans with certain severe disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation. It’s important to note that these benefits are not subject to income tax, either at the federal or state level, and the collection of military retirement pay, disability severance pay or separation incentive payments like Special Separation Benefits and Voluntary Separation Incentives may affect the amount of compensation the VA determines that a veteran is eligible to receive.
Low-income veterans who are permanently and completely disabled, along with low-income veterans who are 65 or more, may be eligible for financial support through a disability pension. Pension payments are designed to bring a veteran’s total income, including other retirement benefits or Social Security income, to an appropriate level, as determined by Congress. In some cases, a veteran’s unreimbursed medical expenses can be used to reduce their overall VA countable income.
To be eligible for a disability pension, a veteran must show documentation of 90 days or more of active military service. At least one day of this service must be during a period of war. The veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, and the veteran’s disability must be attributed to sources other than willful misconduct.
Veterans who began active duty military service on or after September 8, 1980, or officers who began active duty on or after October 16, 1981, may be required to meet a longer minimum period of service.
Military Injury Relief Fund
The Military Injury Relief Fund issues a one-time, tax-exempt payment to military service members who were injured while on active duty after October 7, 2001, and to those who were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while serving after October 7, 2001.
To be eligible for this one-time payment, a service member must show documentation of having received the Purple Heart designation, medical documentation outlining the service-related injury, and formal documentation showing that the injury led to the receipt of a Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) or Combat Action Badge (CAB) or equivalent.
Eligible applicants also must show documentation of any combat-related injury not covered under previously listed criteria – for the most part, this includes traumatic brain injury, injuries caused by detonation of an improvised explosive device, or PTSD. Please note that documentation of these injuries and conditions must include a formal medical diagnosis
2. Financial Assistance
Veterans in Ohio also have access to several different financial assistance programs, administered at both the state and the federal level.
Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP)
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Homeowners Assistance Program was founded to help eligible veteran homeowners who are likely to take a loss when selling their primary residences. To be eligible, the financial loss must be related to declining real estate values in their area because of a base closure or realignment.
HAP is a direct result of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966, and further was expanded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
Ohio’s Home Energy Assistance Program is administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency and exists to help low-income Ohioans pay their utility bills. This is a federally funded program that assists eligible low-income Ohioans with their winter heating bills, regardless of veteran status.
Households may be eligible for HEAP assistance if household income is at or lower than 175% of federal poverty limits. If a household is eligible, the amount of its monthly benefit will be determined by federal funding levels, number of household members, total household income, and the primary fuel used to heat the household’s residence. In most cases, benefits are received as a credit applied to the monthly energy bill by the respective utility company. In some cases, emergency assistance also may be available.
Smart Money Choices
Smart Money Choices is an educational series offered through Ohio’s Treasurer of State office that includes a variety of financial education programs and workshops. Topics include everything from budgeting and managing credit to estate planning, entrepreneurship, homeownership, elder care, insurance investments, teaching kids about money, Social Security retirement, and identity theft and fraud prevention.
The state of Ohio is strongly committed to making sure its veterans have safe and affordable housing. Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless should immediately call or visit their local VA Medical Center.
The VA can connect veterans with comprehensive programs that can help prevent the loss of permanent housing. The VA National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838).
Each County Veterans Service Office provides short-term financial assistance to veterans and their families when they are facing financial difficulties. The specific type and amount of assistance vary according to the county. To learn more, contact your local County Veterans Service Office. You can also connect with your local office by calling 877-OHIO-VET (877-644-6838).
The HUD-VASH program assists homeless Veterans who can live independently with the right support for housing and case management and with the benefit of Section 8 vouchers to Public Housing Authorities and with housing options close to case management services.
Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)
Through this program, VA social workers and other mental health staff identify homeless veterans in Ohio who may be eligible for VA programs and help homeless veterans get access to health care and benefits. Though its main goal is outreach, HCHV also contracts for community-based residential treatment in some cases.
Staff who work in this homeless veterans’ program supported by the VA help find permanent housing for veterans, including working with VSOs to find suitable housing and providing both case management and clinical support to help veterans stay in their housing once placed.
Support Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
This program serves low-income veterans and their families by offering support services for families in or moving into permanent housing and awarding grants to private nonprofit organizations to help fund support services that promote housing stability.
Grant & Per Diem (GPD) Program
The Grant & Per Diem Program provides funds to help community agencies provide transitional housing or service centers. Funds go towards the construction, purchase, and renovation of buildings. The program also purchases vans to provide outreach and services, and distributes per diem payments to program participants to help offset expenses.
Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment (MHRRTP)
The MHRRTP program is administered through the VA’s Domiciliary Care Program. It provides veterans with high quality treatment services using state-of-the-art residential rehabilitation facilities and services. This level of support is made available to veterans who struggle with issues like multiple and severe medical problems, addiction, mental illness, and severe psychosocial issues that have led to further issues such as loss of income, family instability, and homelessness.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS)
Under this program, disadvantaged, at-risk, and homeless veterans gain access to both housing and work. For example, with Compensated Work Therapy, the VA partners with businesses and the public sector to find placement for veterans to learn new job skills and good work habits and to earn a sense of self-worth in the process.
Similarly, the Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program provides vocational assistance, job development and placement, and ongoing support for those who are at risk of homelessness. Formerly homeless veterans who have been trained as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists typically provide these services.
Health Care for Re-entry Veterans (HCRV)
The HCRV program is designed to help veterans who have recently been released from prison. The program aims to ensure that these veterans successfully re-enter their communities, avoid homelessness, avoid re-incarceration, and lessen the chances and impacts of psychiatric, substance abuse, and medical problems.
Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO)
The Veterans Justice Outreach program ensures that eligible veterans who have been involved with the justice system have access to substance abuse and mental health programs, plus access to the full range of other VA services and benefits. Through this program, veterans may be able to avoid jail time as a result of mental illness and avoid lengthy jail time as a result of either mental illness or substance abuse issues.
Both the federal government and the state government of Ohio recognize the importance of helping U.S. veterans take good care of their physical and mental health. Veterans in Ohio have access to many healthcare programs and resources.
Ohio’s Vet Centers are designed to assist veterans and their families along the way to a successful post-service adjustment. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides mental health counseling for veterans and families at seven Vet Centers across the state. Trained Vet Center staff provide counseling for military sexual trauma and bereavement. Additional services include treatment for any military-related issue that affects a veteran’s ability to function within the family, at work, at school, or in other areas of everyday life.
Comprehensive services also encompass education, VA benefit referral, outreach, homeless veteran services, medical referral, employment assistance, and coordination with other local service and health care providers. These services are a vital part of the overall comprehensive health care ecosystem available to Ohio veterans.
VHA Medical Centers
The Veterans Health Administration boasts the largest integrated healthcare system in the nation, made up of 153 medical centers, plus numerous community living centers, community-based outpatient clinics, Domiciliaries, and Vet Centers. Together, these facilities provide comprehensive care to veterans both in Ohio and across the nation.
VHA Medical Centers provide a comprehensive menu of services that begins with traditional hospital-based services like mental health care, surgery, orthopedics, physical therapy, radiology critical care, and pharmacy.
Most medical centers also offer medical and surgical specialty services that may include everything from audiology, dermatology, and dental to speech pathology, podiatry, vision care, geriatrics, oncology, neurology, urology, and prosthetics. Some medical centers also may offer advanced medical and surgical services such as plastic surgery and organ transplants.
Star Behavioral Health Providers
Star Behavioral Health Providers is a resource for veterans, active duty service members, and military families. The group helps locate behavioral health professionals with specialized training in understanding and treating military service members and their families. Those listed in the Star Behavioral Health Providers registry have completed training intended to help them better understand military-specific subjects and position them to effectively address the special challenges service members, veterans, and military friends and families often face.
MakeTheConnection.net is an online platform that features 400 veterans and family members from across the U.S. sharing their stories of resilience and recovery. Through this platform, veterans can find life experiences they can relate to, along with exploring information about signs, symptoms, and conditions related to mental health and well-being. If you decide it’s time to reach out for help, MakeTheConnection.net’s resource locator can help you find programs, facilities, and other resources in your area.
The Veterans Health Administration operates a national Veterans Crisis Hotline to give veterans in emotional crisis access to trained counselors around the clock and at no cost.
In partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, veterans and their family members and friends can call 800-273-TALK (8255) and press “1” to speak to a counselor about any life issue.
5. Ohio Veterans Homes
The state of Ohio operates three different veterans homes across the state, located in two separate locations: near Lake Erie and in rural Georgetown.
Sandusky Nursing Home
Located approximately 60 miles west of Cleveland close to Lake Erie, the Sandusky Home offers standard care and memory care in its licensed nursing home.
Sandusky Veterans Hall
Sandusky’s Veterans Hall offers a domiciliary for veterans who can thrive in an independent living situation and a higher level of care (domiciliary-plus) for veterans who require limited assistance or supervised care, but who do not require the level of care typically provided to nursing home residents.
Ohio’s Georgetown Home, located in the rural Georgetown area, offers skilled nursing services to veterans at two levels of care – both standard and memory care.
To be considered eligible for residency in one of Ohio’s veterans homes, a veteran must have been an Ohio resident for at least one year, at any point during the veteran’s lifetime. The veteran must also have completed active duty service during a time of war or armed conflict or have received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the Vietnam Service Medal. The veteran’s most recent separation from service must have been under honorable discharge conditions.
The veteran must show documentation of a disability that is related to disease, wounds, or other medical condition and be unable to retain gainful employment because of that disability. It’s important to note that Ohio’s veterans homes are committed to the highest level of care for their residents. Veterans with medical conditions that cannot be appropriately supported by home staff will not be eligible for immediate admission.
6. Burial and Memorial Benefits
Burial and memorial benefits are available at both the federal and the state levels for Ohio veterans and their families, as outlined below.
National Cemetery Burial
Burial in a national cemetery is available to all veterans of active military service at the federal level, their spouses, and any dependent minor children. National cemetery burial comes at no cost to the veteran’s family. Benefits include a gravesite and grave liner, the opening and closing of the grave, a headstone or grave marker, and perpetual care of the gravesite.
Private Cemetery Burial
Veterans can choose to be buried in a private cemetery instead of a national cemetery. If a veteran is buried in a private cemetery anywhere in the world, the VA will still provide a headstone or grave marker.
U.S. veterans may also receive funeral honors to commemorate their time of military service. These honors include the items outlined below.
- Burial Flag – A burial flag is available to drape over the veteran’s casket or urn during the funeral.
- Presidential Memorial Certificate – Presidential Memorial Certificates honoring the Veteran are available upon request.
- Taps Played on Bugle – Full military honors at a veteran’s funeral include formal burial flag folding and the performance of “Taps” (either live or by recording). Funeral directors usually can arrange for these specific services at the request of the veteran’s family members
A veteran’s family members should be prepared to provide a DD-214 as official documentation of a veteran’s time of active federal military service. In addition to national cemetery burial, some veterans also may be eligible for a limited burial allowance.
Family members with questions about burial benefits for a loved one should contact their nearest County Veterans Service Office for more guidance and information. A trained Veterans Service Officer will be able to explain comprehensive requirements for national cemetery burial and help families accurately complete all appropriate applications in order to receive these benefits.
Both the federal government and the state of Ohio are committed to ensuring that U.S. veterans have every opportunity to further or to complete their college educations. Below are some of the flagship education programs available to veterans across the state of Ohio.
The GI Bill is the federal government’s flagship program designed to provide post-service educational benefits for U.S. veterans and their families. The bill exists in two forms – first is the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which applies to veterans with at least 90 days of comprehensive service achieved on or after September 11, 200. This version of the GI Bill also applies to those who were discharged from service with a service-connected disability after 30 days. To qualify, a veteran must have received an honorable discharge.
In addition to traditional degree-granting institutions of higher education, the Post-9/11 GI Bill expanded in 2011 to include non-college degrees, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, flight training, and correspondence courses.
The Montgomery GI Bill program provides veterans up to 36 months of education benefits, as long as they received an honorable discharge. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, correspondence courses, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and flight training. In addition, remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses are sometimes approved under special circumstances. In most cases, MGIB benefits are accessible to veterans for up to 10 years following separation from service.
High School Diploma
The state of Ohio has granted any school district or city board of education the authority to issue a high school diploma to any Veteran of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, or to women who left school to support the war effort in another capacity.
Anyone who qualifies for a diploma under this program but is deceased is eligible to be awarded a posthumous diploma. To be eligible, a veteran must not have an existing diploma from any institution and must have received an honorable discharge.
Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program
The Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program provides 100% tuition to Army and Air Guard members who attend a two-year or four-year public college or university in Ohio. The scholarship is available for up to 12 full-time quarters or eight full-time semesters of study. Military members in good standing who complete a three- or six-year enlistment in the Ohio Guard may be eligible.
Purple Star Recognition Award
This award is given to military-friendly schools across the state of Ohio that show a major commitment to supporting the unique needs of students and families related to our nation’s men and women who serve in the military. An Ohio school may be honored with the Purple Star Award if it completes all the required activities for the program, plus one optional activity, which may include anything from hosting special programs to requiring specific professional development for faculty and staff around the unique needs of military children.
The Purple Star Advisory Board, formed by the Ohio departments of education, higher education, and veterans services, plus the adjutant general, determines a school’s eligibility for the award. Schools must formally apply for the program to be considered for the award.
Ohio GI Promise
According to Revised Code 3333.31, the Ohio GI Promise empowers the chancellor of the Ohio
Department of Higher Education to classify qualified veterans as Ohio residents so that they may qualify for in-state higher education tuition rates. The residency officer of each Ohio public higher education institution has the authority to request this type of documentation in order to be able to make the final determination of a veteran’s residency status.
Ohio War Orphans Scholarship
This state-level scholarship program provides tuition assistance to dependent children of deceased veterans or veterans who have been assigned at least 60% disability rating through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The program is specific to Ohio veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during a period of declared war or conflict. To be found eligible, a dependent child of a veteran must meet the following requirements:
- The dependent child’s veteran parent must be deceased or be assigned at least a 60% disability rating by the VA
- The dependent child must meet all income eligibility, as defined by the program
- The dependent child must be enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at an eligible Ohio college or university
- The dependent child must be an Ohio resident
- The dependent child must be under age 25
Applications for the Ohio War Orphans Scholarship program are available at any County Veterans Service Office, along with most high school counseling offices and college financial aid offices.
Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund
The Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund provides a tuition waiver for children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are killed in the line of duty. These tuition waivers are also available for spouses or qualified former spouses of a military member killed in the line of duty while serving in a combat zone after May 7, 1975. The tuition waivers associated with this program typically cover up to four years of undergraduate education.
To be eligible, the spouse must be an Ohio resident at the time the service member is killed, and the spouse also must submit a Report of Casualty Form DD 1300.
Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3)
Membership in this national organization helps Ohio ensure fair and equitable treatment of children of military families, veterans, and military service members who die while on active duty.
The commission provides support for children transferring between school districts and states and helps ensure that their records, extracurricular participation, course placement, and graduation needs are recognized and accommodated.
College Credit for Veterans
At the state level, Ohio also offers a fast track to college credit for veterans. If a veteran served in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard, the training, experience, and any applicable coursework from that time may in some cases translate to college credit.
Ohio’s Military Transfer Assurance Guides provide a statewide guarantee that some military studies, training, and experience that align with existing higher education courses can be awarded college credit where appropriate. In addition, all Ohio public colleges and universities are required to provide veterans with priority course registration, along with academic counseling and Veteran support programs on campus.
The state of Ohio has in place several different programs that help connect Ohio veterans with the resources they need to transition into the civilian workforce.
Through Ohio’s 88 county OhioMeansJobs Centers, both veterans and military spouses can access free, one-on-one employment coaching to help with their job search process. Other personalized services are available to eligible veterans under the Jobs for Vets State Grant Program.
The program prioritizes those who are economically or educationally disadvantaged, including homeless veterans and veterans who may be facing significant barriers to gainful employment.
OhioMeansVeteranJobs gives Ohio’s veterans, active duty service members, and their families one simple entry point to learn about building civilian resumes, job openings, professional licenses, and employment benefits. Veterans can also learn how to obtain college credit for completed military training, education, and service.
Veterans who register through the program’s website will enjoy priority screening of their resumes by employers who have jobs matching their skill sets.
On the Job Training
Veterans are eligible for tax-free assistance with living expenses during a formal apprenticeship or on-the-job training program – as long as the company’s program is certified for GI Bill funding.
Formal apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs can teach high-level and vital skills for succeeding in today’s workplace. In Ohio, veterans can find more than 600 formal apprenticeship programs in fields that include health care, utilities, construction, manufacturing, energy, and more.
A full list of Ohio apprenticeships is available, and veterans can contact any programs in which they are interested to find out if they are positioned to accept GI Bill® funding. If a program is not certified, program administrators may contact the Ohio Department of Veterans Services state approving agency to find out more about the process for becoming certified.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act ensures that men and women who serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard, or other uniformed services do not suffer disadvantages in their civilian careers because of their service. As such, they are expected to promptly be re-employed upon their return from duty, and they should not be discriminated against when it comes to their career development based on their past, present, or future military service.
The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program encourages a culture where employers support and value the military service of their employees. ESGR recognizes outstanding support, works to increase awareness of the USERRA law, and helps resolve conflict through mediation.
The Veteran Readiness and Employment program was originally called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. The program helps veterans who have service-connected disabilities prepare for, find and maintain gainful employment that matches their skill sets. For veterans with disabled severely enough that they cannot immediately consider work in the private sector, the program offers services to help improve veterans’ ability to live as independently as possible.
Feds Hire Vets
Feds Hire Vets is a federal initiative designed to help military veterans transition to government employment. For 30 years, the U.S. federal government has recognized that the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces often have the experience, skills, discipline, and dedication to achieve success as members of the government’s civilian workforce.
The program also helps find career placement for military spouses, and in addition to receiving preference in competitive appointments, some veterans may be eligible for special noncompetitive appointments.
9. Home Loans
Both the federal government and the state of Ohio recognize the importance of making sure affordable home mortgages are available to America’s veterans. Each county VSO can make sure to connect veterans with programs to help them on the road to homeownership.
Guaranteed Home Loan
Any U.S. veteran who has completed at least 24 months of active duty and has been discharged under any conditions other than dishonorable is eligible for a guaranteed home loan for the purchase, repair, or refinancing of a primary residence. It’s worth noting that periods of required service are less for veterans of earlier wartime service, so it’s important to ask your mortgage lender about the requirements most appropriate for your term of service.
This benefit also is available to those who are currently serving on active duty or serving in the National Guard or the Reserves. Eligibility is also extended to surviving spouses of veterans as long as they have not remarried.
Based on the purchase price and local limits, a down payment may not be required to secure a home mortgage loan.
Ohio Heroes Program
In addition to the federal mortgage program for veterans, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency offers a first-time home buyer program to Ohio’s veterans at a lowered interest rate than the standard offering.
To qualify for this program, an applicant must be on active military duty, an active reserve member, or a veteran. The applicant also must meet income and sales price limits, be a first-time homebuyer or have not owned a home in the last three years, and meet all requirements for the loan requested. The applicant also must have a signed purchase and sales agreement in place.
10. Ohio Small Business Programs
Ohio recognizes the wisdom and importance of providing support for Ohio veterans as they pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development serves as a liaison with the veteran business community on several fronts. Programs and services include policy analysis and reporting, acting as an ombudsman to help veterans with SBA program concerns, providing business training, counseling, and assistance.
The SBA also oversees federal-level procurement programs for veteran-owned and disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Bunker Labs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit program that administers a nationwide network of veteran entrepreneurs dedicated to helping new veteran entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.
1st Stop Business Connection
This Ohio-specific business support program makes available free information for anyone who wants to get a new business started or to develop and grow an existing small business.
Through the GrowNOW program, the Ohio Treasurer’s Office gives Ohio veterans approval preference on low-interest loans for small businesses.
Ohio’s Procurement Technical Assistance Centers help the state’s businesses sell goods and services to local, state, and federal governments. The program provides helpful services like marketing, individualized training, and access to resources. It also provides no-cost bid-matching services, product and procurement histories, military specifications, and entrance to trade events where Ohio businesses can meet potential government buyers.
This program is part of a larger network of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers across the country.
Small Business Development Centers
In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Ohio Development Services Agency administers a network of small business development centers across Ohio. These centers help provide financial and other resources to support small business development across the state.
11. Tax Exemptions
To support and encourage economic development among the veteran community, Ohio offers several tax exemptions to the military community.
Mobilized Military Member Tax Exemption
Since 2007, Ohio has allowed the deduction of military pay from federal adjusted gross income received for active duty while stationed outside of Ohio for more than 30 days.
Military Retirement Pay State Tax Exemption
In Ohio, military retirement pay and Survivor Benefit Plan benefits are exempt from both Ohio income tax and local school district taxes. Since 2008, surviving spouse benefits also are exempt from Ohio income taxes and local school district income taxes.
In Ohio, veterans who are rated as 100% disabled by the VA are eligible for expanded an Homestead Exemption property tax exemption on a primary residence. Instead of the $25,000 allowed for non-veteran eligible 65-and-older or permanently disabled applicants, eligible veterans can exclude $50,000 of the assessed value of a primary residence from property taxes.
These qualified veterans also are exempt from the conventional $30,000 limit on annual income applied to non-veteran applicants – instead, eligible veterans have no limit on their annual income. To be eligible, a veteran must have separated from service under honorable conditions and received a 100% VA disability rating for a service-connected disability.
12. Legal Services
Veterans across the state of Ohio have access to several different resources that can help them navigate potential legal questions and issues that could arise
The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act protects employment rights of active duty military members, plus members of the Reserves and the National Guard.
Under this law, service members may not suffer disadvantages because of their military service; are required to be re-employed in their civilian jobs once they return from active duty, and may not be discriminated against based on their military service.
FTC Identity Theft Resources
IdentityTheft.gov is the federal government’s comprehensive resource that helps people report and recover from identity theft. Any veteran who has been the victim of any type of identity theft should visit this website to learn more about appropriate next steps for protecting themselves against ID theft’s repercussions.
Free Credit Report
Any veteran who needs a copy of a credit report can request one on an annual basis by following FTC recommendations, which are outlined on the FTC’s website. This benefit is available to all consumers and may be especially valuable to veterans separating from military service and looking to purchase homes, start businesses, and more as they embark upon civilian life.
Ohio Legal Help
Founded in 2018, Ohio Legal Help is a nonprofit organization that helps Ohioans access the state’s civil justice system. Ohio Legal Help exists to help ensure justice and equity for all Ohioans, including veterans, by removing barriers to the law so that Ohio residents can understand their legal options, make informed decisions and connect to the legal and community resources they need.
The organization provides legal help in plain language, interactive self-help tools, and connections to legal and community resources that can help people effectively resolve their legal issues. Ohio Legal Help is supported in part by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio State Bar Foundation, and the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation.
The Ohio Attorney General also provides specific legal and consumer services for Ohio’s military residents. The program’s legal assistance arm provides volunteer lawyers that can assist military personnel and their families with a wide variety of legal issues – including wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and durable powers of attorney for healthcare. Please note that this element of the Patriot Program is not available for veterans.
The consumer protection component of the Patriot Program provides vital information that helps active duty personnel and veterans protect themselves from consumer fraud and assist those who have been the victims of scams.
The program’s civil rights arm helps make sure veterans and active duty military members are free from discrimination for military status related to their employment, housing, and public accommodations. This includes discrimination against any disabled active service member or veteran who needs a service animal. Ohio law also prohibits discrimination for race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, and disability. The civil rights element of the Patriot Program ensures that veterans and active duty military personnel know their rights and can act on any claims of discrimination.
The Patriot Program’s identity theft division works to identify victims of identity theft by working with credit report agencies, creditors, collectors, etc.
With the exception of legal assistance, which is reserved for active duty and mobilized military personnel and their families, all elements of the Patriot Program are available to all Ohio veterans, including active duty military members, reserve members, and National Guard members and their families.
Benefits Ohio’s Veterans’ Courts
Courts across the state of Ohio implement special veterans’ courts, where the emphasis is on treatment and diversion rather than punitive consequences. The Ohio Department of Veterans Services has worked hard to establish effective working relationships with these courts so that it may provide guidance and assistance on issues ranging from sustainable funding to obtaining certification from the Ohio Supreme Court.
13. More Benefits for Ohio Veterans
In addition to the wide selection of benefits Ohio’s veterans can access, the state of Ohio also makes available some specific state-level programs and benefits, which are outlined below.
Veterans in Ohio who are 100% disabled with a service-connected disability, as classified by the VA, are eligible for a free driver’s license. In addition, when they renew their driver’s license, all Ohio veterans with a valid DD-214 can receive a free Armed Forces stamp on
their license, which qualifies them for retail discounts at participating establishments.
Military License Plates
Ohio makes available more than 40 varieties of military-related license plates, including but not limited to veterans, women veterans, active duty service members, reservists, Ohio National Guard, combat service members, and Gold Star Family members.
These options are available to veterans at the same price as a conventional license plate. Typical vehicle registration fees also apply. Any personalized or reserved license plates will carry additional fees. To obtain these military license plates, veterans must present a DD-214 that confirms the plate type requested. For example, if a Purple Heart plate is requested, the DD-214 must reflect receipt of the Purple Heart award.
The following groups of veterans are eligible for license plates at no cost: 100% service-connected disabled veterans, Medal of Honor recipients, Former Prisoners of War, and Purple Heart recipients.
The state of Ohio wants its veteran residents to have the freedom to enjoy all the benefits of the great outdoors that Ohio has to offer. Ohio allows eligible resident disabled veterans and former Prisoners of War to obtain the following recreation licenses at no cost: fishing license, hunting license, fur taker permit, deer permit, wild turkey permit, or wetlands habitat stamp.
Qualified veterans may receive any combination of these licenses with no charges or fees. Veterans who are 100% disabled, former POWs, Medal of Honor recipients, and Veterans Car Assistance Program participants may register a watercraft at no charge.
To encourage Ohio’s veterans to enjoy outdoor pursuits, camping is available free of charge to veterans who are rated as 100% disabled or those who are former POWs. In addition, all Ohio active duty military members and veterans can enjoy a 10% discount on camping, getaway rentals, cottages, and lodge rooms at any of Ohio’s state parks.
Veteran ID Cards
Ohio veterans have several options for obtaining a veteran ID card. Choices include an official ID issued by the U.S. Department of Defense. In addition, most Ohio County Recorders Offices can issue veterans a state ID card plus the standard DD-214 designation.
Not all Ohio County Recorders can issue a veteran ID. Ohio veterans still can request an ID through another county, if necessary. Veterans, active duty military members, and reservists may also request a U.S. Armed Forces emblem be added to the bottom right-hand corner of a standard-issue Ohio driver’s license or ID card.
Military Family Assistance
The Ohio Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee assists military families by establishing national, state, and regional partnerships with support services that can help meet the unique needs of military families.
The committee meets quarterly, and members typically include military, state and federal government agencies, veteran service organizations, and private sector companies and organizations. These entities can pool resources and connections to help meet the immediate needs of veterans and their families.
Ohio’s Military Ready to Vote program makes it easier for active-duty Ohio residents who are serving on active duty and stationed outside of Ohio to register and cast their votes. Program attributes include a Military Ready to Vote packet that allows active duty military members to register to vote, along with requesting an absentee ballot.
The packet also includes a Track your Ballot feature that helps military members ensure their ballot reaches the appropriate local board of elections. Service members also may download an electronic version of the Ready to Vote packet or an electronic copy of the Federal Post Card Application for an absentee ballot.
Participants in the program also may sign up to receive election updates and voting reminders via email, and the Ready to Vote packet includes helpful information on state and local candidates and issues.
Ohio’s Secretary of State also offers the Vote in Honor of a Veteran program, which allows any Ohio voter to pay tribute to a service member by dedicating their vote to them. Voters who participate in this program also may post testimonials about their military loved ones and receive a special pin to wear on Election Day.
Ohio Veterans Bonus
The Ohio Veterans Bonus program pays a bonus to veterans who served during conflict in Afghanistan. The bonus typically amounts to $100 per month for service in Afghanistan, plus another $50 per month for service in other locations, up to a limit of $1,500 per month.
To be eligible, a veteran must have served honorably anywhere in the world for at least 90 days, not including training, on or after October 7, 2001. In addition, applicants must have been Ohio residents when they entered active service and must be current Ohio residents when they apply to receive the bonus.
Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame recognizes the tremendous contributions of Ohio’s veterans to their respective civilian communities once they leave military service. Each year, the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Committee, which is entirely composed of veterans, selects up to 20 inductees.
While those inducted served honorably during their time of military service, this is not a military hall of fame. Instead, it honors the service these veterans have poured into their communities, state, and nation. Nominations for the Ohio Veterans Hall of fame are accepted year-round and posthumous nominations are accepted. To be eligible, a nominee must have made a meaningful contribution to their community, been born in Ohio or lived in Ohio for a minimum of five years, have been discharged honorably from military service, and have no felony convictions. Discharge papers must be included with any nomination.
Military Records and Medals
It’s not uncommon for veterans to need assistance in obtaining extra or replacement copies of their military records, medals, and awards. Veterans who need help obtaining military records can contact their County Veterans Service Office.
VSOs have extensive expertise in helping with initial applications and interacting with the various government agencies involved. The Ohio Department of Veterans Services also has in its possession military discharge records from the early 1900s to the present for all veterans who enlisted with Ohio as their state of residence. In addition, Ohio possesses wartime bonus records prior to 1993 and records for the Ohio Veterans Bonus that was enacted in 2009.
County Recorders in each county across the state also maintain records of military discharges and typically offer duplication services for veterans who need duplicate copies of their records. As a general rule, veterans should record their discharges at their local County Recorder’s office. Doing so ensures that a duplicate record copy exists and is easily accessible in case a certified copy is needed for any reason. Forms are available on the Department of Veterans Services website or veterans can call 877-644-6838 for assistance.
For veterans who need help with the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations, and awards, it’s best to start with the relevant branch of the U.S. military.
However, Air Force, Army Air Corps, and Army awards can be verified through the National Personnel Records Center, which not only will verify awards, but also will forward a request with the verification to the appropriate military branch for the issuance or replacement of service medals.
Benefits for Ohio Veterans
Veterans who live in Ohio have a tremendous support system when it comes to services and resources that aim to maximize the quality of post-military life. From essential services like health care and education to career resources and special recreation opportunities, the benefits available to Ohio veterans are varied and valuable.
Connect with your local County Veterans Service Office to find out more about the wide array of veterans benefits you are eligible to receive. The state of Ohio is grateful to its veterans, and the Ohio DVS is standing by to help you access the benefits you earned while serving your country.
VA Facilities in Ohio
Veterans Benefits Administration
|Cleveland Regional Office||A.J. Celebrezze Federal Building|
1240 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199
|Intake Site At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base||VA/DOD Transition Office|
4881 Sugar Maple Dr.
WP AF Base, OH 45433
|Cleveland Regional Loan Center||A.J. Celebreezze Federal Building|
1240 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199
National Cemetery Administration
|Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery||2900 Sullivant Avenue|
Columbus, OH 43204
|Confederate Stockade Cemetery||Johnson's Island|
Sandusky, OH 44870
|Dayton National Cemetery||4400 West Third Street|
Dayton, OH 45428
|Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery||10175 Rawiga Road|
Seville, OH 44273
|Woodland Cemetery Soldiers' Lot||6901 Woodland Avenue|
Cleveland, OH 44104
Veterans Health Administration
|VISN 10: VA Healthcare System||11500 Northlake Dr, Ste 200|
Cincinnati, OH 45249
|Ashtabula County VA Clinic||2044 Lambros Lane|
Ashtabula, OH 44004
|Belmont County Outpatient Clinic||67800 Mall Ring Road|
St. Clairsville, OH 43950
|Gallipolis VA Clinic||323A Upper River Road|
Gallipolis, OH 45631
|Chalmers P. Wylie Ambulatory Care Center||420 N James Road|
Columbus, OH 43219
|Chillicothe VA Medical Center||17273 State Route 104|
Chillicothe, OH 45601
|Cincinnati VA Medical Center||3200 Vine Street|
Cincinnati, OH 45220
|Dayton VA Medical Center||4100 W. 3rd Street|
Dayton, OH 45428
|Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center||10701 East Boulevard|
Cleveland, OH 44106
|Canton VA Outpatient Clinic||733 Market Avenue South|
Canton, OH 44702-1018
|Carl Nunziato VA Clinic - Youngstown||1815 Belmont Avenue|
Youngstown, OH 44504
|VA Ann Arbor - Toledo Annex||2595 Arlington Avenue|
Toledo, OH 43614
|Akron VA Outpatient Clinic||55 W. Waterloo|
Akron, OH 44319-1116
|Athens Community Based Outpatient Clinic||88 N. Plains Road|
The Plains, OH 45780
|Cambridge Community Based Outpatient Clinic||2146 Southgate Pkwy|
Cambridge, OH 43725
|Clermont County Community Based Outpatient Clinic||4600 Beechwood Road|
Cincinnati, OH 45244
|East Liverpool VA Outpatient Clinic||15655 St Rt. 170, Suite A|
Calcutta, OH 43920
|Georgetown Community Based Outpatient Clinic||474 Home Street|
Georgetown, OH 45121
|Grove City Community Based Outpatient Clinic||5775 N. Medows Drive Suite A|
Grove City, OH 43123
|Hamilton Community Based Outpatient Clinic||1750 South Erie Highway|
Hamilton, OH 45011
|Lake County VA Outpatient Clinic||35000 Kaiser Court|
Willoughby, OH 44094
|Lancaster Community Based Outpatient Clinic||1703 North Memorial Drive|
Lancaster, OH 43130
|Lima Community Based Outpatient Clinic||750 West High St, Suite 350|
Lima, OH 45801
|Lorain County VA Outpatient Clinic||5275 N. Abbe Rd.|
Sheffield Village, OH 44035
|Mansfield VA Outpatient Clinic||1025 South Trimble Rd.|
Mansfield, OH 44906
|Marietta Community Based Outpatient Clinic||27843 State Route 7|
Marietta, OH 45750
|Marion Community Based Outpatient Clinic||1203 Delaware Avenue|
Corporate Center #2
Marion, OH 43302-6419
|Middletown Community Based Outpatient Clinic||4337 N. Union Road|
Middletown, OH 45005
|New Philadelphia VA Outpatient Clinic||1260 Monroe Ave, Suite 1A|
New Philadelphia, OH 44663
|Newark Community Based Outpatient Clinic||1855 W. Main Street|
Newark, OH 43055
|Parma VA Outpatient Clinic||8787 Brookpark Road|
Parma, OH 44129
|Portsmouth Community Based Outpatient Clinic||840 Gallia Street|
Portsmouth, OH 45662
|Ravenna VA Outpatient Clinic||6751 N Chestnut St|
Ravenna, OH 44266
|Sandusky VA Outpatient Clinic||1912 Hayes Avenue|
Sandusky, OH 44870
|Springfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic||1620 N. Limestone St.|
Springfield, OH 45505-2720
|Toledo VA Clinic||1200 South Detroit Avenue|
Toledo, OH 43614
|Warren VA Outpatient Clinic||1460 Tod Ave (NW)|
Warren, OH 44485
|Wilmington Community-Based Outpatient Clinic||448 West Main Street|
Wilmington, OH 45177
|Zanesville Community Based Outpatient Clinic||2800 Maple Avenue|
Zanesville, OH 43701
|Cincinnati Vet Center||4545 Montgomery Road|
Norwood, OH 45212
|Cleveland Vet Center||5310 1/2 Warrensville Center Rd|
Maple Heights, OH 44137
|Columbus, OH Vet Center||855 Bethel Rd.|
Columbus, OH 43212
|Dayton Vet Center||3085 Woodman Drive Suite 180|
Kettering, OH 45420
|Parma Vet Center||6325 York Road Suite 1|
Parma Heights, OH 44130
|Stark County Vet Center||601 Cleveland Ave N, Suite C|
Canton, OH 44702
|Toledo Vet Center||1565 S. Byrne Road, Suite 104|
Toledo, OH 43614