A bonus program for Ohio veterans coping with life after service is nearing its deadline, NBC 4i reported.
Established in 2009 following a statewide election, the Veterans Bonus Program provides additional monetary support to Ohio veterans who served in the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. The $200-million program, which is funded entirely by the state, grants veterans $100 for each month spent on active-duty service, with the maximum benefit for domestic-only service capped at $1,000.
While Iraq veterans have until Dec. 31, 2014 to apply for the entitlements, those who served in the Gulf War between Aug. 2, 1990, and March 3, 1991, are only eligible to apply until midnight on Dec. 31, 2013. An application deadline for Afghanistan veterans has yet to be finalized.
According to the news source, many Ohio veterans, including former Ohio National Guard member Jonathan Field, use the military benefits to cover day-to-day living, health or education costs.
"I've actually applied for [the program] twice," Field told the news outlet. "I applied when I was going to Ohio State. And I used the money to pay for books, and I had some credit card debt that I used it for."
To be eligible for the bonus, veterans must be current Ohio residents who were also living in the state at the beginning of their active-duty service, according to the program's website. Veterans must have also received an honorable discharge from the service, or continued to serve in the reserves following their active-duty time.