Veteran Benefits and Resources in Ohio
The state of Ohio is home to more than 848,000 veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their honorable service has earned them and their families a long list of federal and state benefits that can make life healthier and more affordable.
If you are just beginning to access your benefits, or need assistance filing or following up on a claim, a great resource is your local County Veteran Service Offices (VSOs), staffed by certified and accredited service officers trained to help Ohio veterans apply for all local, state, and federal benefits earned by active military service. These offices – 88 in all, located across the state – can also help families, dependents, and surviving family members understand and apply for benefits for which they may be eligible, as well as assist veterans who are facing financial emergencies (short time assistance varies by county). Many County Veterans Service Offices also make Veterans ID cards. You can locate your nearest VSO by searching the online Ohio VSO database or calling 877-OHIO-VET (877-644-6838).
Ohio veterans (and some family members) who served honorably anywhere in the world for more than 90 days (not for training) on or after October 7, 2001 may be eligible for the Ohio Veterans Bonus Program. Applicants must have been Ohio residents at the time of entry onto active duty, and be current Ohio residents. It pays $100 per month for service in Afghanistan, and $50 per month for service elsewhere, up to a maximum of $1,500. To find out more information and see if you are eligible, you can contact your local VSO or call 877-OHIO-VET (877-644-6838).
Accessing quality health care is always a top concern for veterans and their families, and Ohio offers numerous VA medical centers, including five large medical centers located in Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton. These medical centers offer a range of primary and tertiary care, surgical services, mental health care, home and community programs, and therapies. Additionally, veterans can access medical care closer to home at outpatient clinics in Canton, Gallipolis, or Youngstown, or at any of the 30 community-based outpatient clinics. These outpatient clinics work closely with the larger medical centers when referrals are needed for specialty care.
For senior Ohio veterans seeking for long-term housing and care options, Ohio Veterans Homes offer three facilities, with varying degrees of care. Eligible veterans who are in need of some medical care but are still capable of independent living may find the Domiciliary at the Ohio Veterans Home Sandusky, a 293-bed facility with a dining facility, private rooms, Wi-Fi and cable access, and a shared bath. The “Dom” also features reading and computer lounges, family rooms, recreational facilities, regular field trips and activities, and available housekeeping and barber/beautician services. The Sandusky facility is also home to a 427-bed nursing home facility offering standard and intermediate nursing care, as well as a wing reserved for specialized Memory Care. The third facility, located in Georgetown, offers 168 beds with two levels of care (standard care for veterans in need of any intermediate level of care, and special care for veterans with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia).
Veterans looking to enjoy Ohio’s natural resources and activities may be eligible for numerous recreation discounts and reduced admission costs. For example, veterans are entitled to 10% discount on one campsite, getaway rental unit, cottage, or lodge room per visit. Additionally, Ohio state park offer free camping, free boating registration, and free hunting licenses for eligible Ohio residents who are former POWs or who are honorably discharged with a permanent and total disability as determined by the VA.
A veteran’s honorable service to his or her country earns full honors at the time of death at no cost to his or her family, including burial as well as perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Ohio is home to several veteran cemeteries that offer not only a final resting place for veterans but a location for veterans and families to reflect and pay final respects. Dayton National Cemetery and Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery are two of the larger veteran cemeteries in the state, offering free burial to eligible veterans and certain family members. For more information, you can contact the funeral director at the cemetery, or call 1-800-535-1117. Additionally, Ohio is also home to the historic Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery, Confederate Stockade Cemetery, and Woodland Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot.
To find out what veterans benefits exist in other states in the U.S. please visit our complete Veterans Benefits by State guide here.
Ohio Veterans Benefit for Assisted Living
The Aid and Attendance pension benefit is available to Ohio senior veterans and their spouses to help pay for senior care like assisted living, home care, or nursing home care. Here is more information on how the Aid and Attendance benefit helps Ohio veterans.