Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Ohio offers benefits to over 800,000 veterans.
Ohio Veteran Education Benefits
Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program (ONGSP)
This program for Ohio National Guard members who have enough time-in-service provides scholarships to any Ohio schools on the approved list. Those Recipients of the scholarship attending public institutions from the approved list receive 100% paid tuition. Those who study at other institutions from the list will receive an amount equal to the average tuition charges at Ohio public universities. This program is for undergraduates only, and those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible.
The Ohio GI Promise
Ohio waives its' usual 12-month residency requirement for in-state tuition rates for veterans who qualify. The qualified veterans are not required to enroll t in a state college program to gain residency for their dependents. Ohio Department of Veterans Services lists these qualifying criteria:
Honorable discharge or separation for medical reasons from the military after a minimum of one year in service. Veteran dependents are eligible if the veteran parent was killed in action, declared a prisoner of war, or missing in action.
Eligibility is verified by submitting DD Form 214.
The veteran and dependents (when applicable) must live in Ohio on the first day of enrollment. If the veteran was KIA, MIA, or POW, the dependents must live in Ohio.
Documentation of dependent eligibility require documents like the following:
○ Marriage certificate or other proof of marriage ○ the veteran parent’s federal tax paperwork submitted for the previous year to verify the student’s dependent status ○ Documentation of the military status such as a POW, MIA, or KIA
Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund
The dependents of any Ohio resident killed in the line of duty as safety officers, peace officers, firefighters, or military members may be eligible for the Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund. The fund pays up to 100% of tuition costs at public universities and about $7 thousand at private institutions. Dependent children are oneligible for this program only when not eligible for the Ohio War Orphans Scholarship described below.
Ohio War Orphans Scholarship
This Ohio military benefits program provides tuition assistance to children of deceased or severely disabled (60% or greater) Ohio war veterans. Veterans must have served during a declared war or military conflict. Applicants must be Ohio residents under 25 and full-time undergraduate students.
The Ohio War Orphans Scholarship is designed to cover some of the instructional and general fees charged at two, and four-year public colleges and universities. Check with the Ohio Department of Veterans Services or an admissions counselorfor current scholarship monies.
Ohio Values Veterans
College Credit for Military Experience Program
By executive order, Ohio colleges must consider military training and experience for credit towards specific professional licenses and certificates. The Ohio Values Veterans program streamlines occupational licensing for veterans and helps get relevant military education, training, and experience applied to professional licenses and certificate requirements.
The process is ever-changing so contact a Veteran Services rep to see what may be applicable before committing to training or classes.
High School Diploma Program for Ohio War Veterans
Veterans who left high school before receiving a diploma to enlist during wartime can apply for a high school diploma. Women who left high school to support the war effort also qualify. State law authorizes districts to grant a high school diploma to Veterans of WWII, the Korean or Vietnam Wars, and women who left school to support the war effort. To be eligible to receive a diploma, the applicant is a:
● A veteran who left school before graduation to enlist in the US Armed Forces or left school before graduation due to family circumstances and subsequently enlisted.
● A veteran who has not been granted a diploma
● A veteran who received an honorable discharge
● A woman who had to leave school before graduation to join the workforce in support of her family or to join the war effort
Veteran Employment Benefits
Educator License Fee Waivers
The Ohio Department of Education waives licensing fees for an initial Ohio educator license, permit, or certificate and subsequent renewals when they teach is a veteran with an honorable discharge or if the teacher currently serves in the military.
Spouses of active service members can also apply for a free educator a license. Extension programs allow military members with existing licenses to extend them for a time equal to the length of active duty service.
Fast Track to Professional Licenses for Veterans
Veterans with honorable discharges and their spouses can use a fast track, prioritized process to apply military training and experience to requirements for professional state licenses and or certifications. The program lets a veteran use o GI Bill benefits to pay for particular licensure and renewal fees. Applicants must apply military career field training and experience matching tool to match a veteran’s skills with civilian equivalents required.
Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training and Living Expense Compensation for Veterans
Veterans who participate in GI Bill on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, or career development may qualify to receive stipends for living expenses. The grants are tax-free, and Ohio offers more than 1,100 registered apprenticeship programs. The careers range from construction to healthcare. Applicants should search the list of state apprenticeships provided by the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council.
Veteran Housing Benefits
Veterans Assisted Care Homes and Nursing Homes
Ohio operates two veterans homes:
Both homes offer skilled care for intermediate medical and nursing needs and Alzheimer's care to qualified applicants. To qualify for admission:
● Ohio residency for one year
● Honorably discharged or discharged under honorable conditions
● Served on active duty (not for training) during a period of war or armed conflict OR received the Vietnam Service Medal or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
● Have a disability caused by disease, wounds, or otherwise and, therefore, incapable of earning a living.
Admission applications should be directed to Ohio Veterans Homes, rather than the Ohio Division of Veterans Affairs.
Ohio Heroes Home Loan Program
Active duty service members, Guard or Reserve members, veterans, and surviving spouses who are Ohio residents may qualify for the Ohio Heroes home loan program, which offers mortgage interest rate discounts.
The program under the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) gives loans for single-family primary residences. Buying price limits and income ceilings for these loans vary by county. This program operates through participating lenders, and you may have to find a lender offering Ohio Heroes incentives. Credit score and history requirements will apply.
Veteran Financial Benefits
Ohio Military Injury Relief Fund (MIRF)
The Military Injury Relief Fund offers a $500 one-time payment to qualifying service members who were injured on active service as a member of the US Armed Forces after October 7, 2001, and veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress because of serving after October 7, 2001. This tax-free payment requires Ohio citizenship and proof of service and injury.
Ohio Veterans Bonus Program
Qualifying military members who are residents of Ohio may be eligible to receive compensation of up to $1,000 per month. The payment amount is based on the number of months the member served on. The Ohio Department of Veterans Services says that the amounts paid depend on when and where active-duty service occurred:
● Between $100 and $1000 per month for serving in Afghanistan during specific compensable periods.
● Between $50 and $500 per month, for service anywhere else in the world during the specified periods
● Service for a fractions of a month shall be paid at a daily rate. Compensation may not exceed $1,500 for combined service.
Those who serve for 90 days or more on active duty during one of the compensable periods and meet requirements may be eligible for an Ohio Veterans Bonus:
Served or still serving in Afghanistan from October 7, 2001, through a date yet undetermined.
Military members on active duty, veteran separated under honorable conditions, those in any reserve component of the United States armed forces or the Ohio National Guard
The individual was an Ohio resident when entering active duty service OR
The person is currently an Ohio resident.
The person has not received bonuses or similar compensation from another state.
Ohio Military Retirement Income Tax Breaks for Veterans
Ohio does not charge tax on military retirement income. Income to surviving spouses through their benefit plans are also exempt from state income tax.
Ohio Mobilized Military Member Tax Exemption
Military pay received for active duty while stationed outside Ohio for more than 30 days is deducted from federal adjusted gross income on federal tax returns (after 2007, according to Ohio Revised Code 5747.01 A(24).
State Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans
Honorably discharged veterans who are VA certified as 100% disabled may be eligible for expanded homestead tax relief. The program allows taxpayers to deduct up to $50 thousand of their primary residential home's assessed value from their property taxes. Qualifying veterans are also exempt from the usual $30,000 limit on annual income to qualify for a homestead exemption.
Veteran Disability Pensions
Qualifying low-income veterans who have permanent and total disabilities or are 65 or older may be eligible for some financial support to bring the applicant’s income up to a minimum level determined by law. To be eligible, the veteran must have been on active duty for 90 days, with one or more days being during a wartime period. Approach your nearest Ohio County Veterans Service Office for help qualifying and applying for the aid.
Additional Veteran Benefits
Identification Cards, Driver License, and License Plates for Veterans
The State of Ohio offers about 40 different special license plates for veterans, serving military members, Guard and Reserve, and other categories. Driver's license applicants with VA-rated 100% disabilities are eligible for free driver's licenses from the state. Ohio veterans who submit a copy of their DD Form 214 can get a free Armed Forces stamp on a renewed license.
Free Ohio Drivers’ License Plates
The State of Ohio offers free license plates to Ex-Prisoners of War, Purple Heart, and Medal of Honor winners, and veterans when they are rated by the VA as 100% disabled.
Ohio Recreational Benefits for Qualifying Service Members
A range of discounts are offered to qualifying service members who are:
● VA-rated disabled
● Purple Heart Awardees
● Medal of Honor Recipients
● Former Prisoners of War
● and others
Perks for those who qualify include free or discounted state park entrances, no cost boating, hunting and fishing licenses, and fur taker permits. The benefits are available through the Ohio Division of State Parks and Watercraft.
Ohio Military Burial Benefits
Limited burial allowances may be available to families of some veterans through County Veteran Service Offices. The amount of the benefit may vary from county to county, and family members must present a copy of the veteran's discharge paperwork to apply.
The Patriot Program: Legal Assistance from The Ohio State Attorney General
The Ohio Attorney General offers some free legal services to eligible Ohio military members. Services include lawyers volunteering to draw up or modify wills, powers of attorney, durable powers of attorney, and living wills. Consumer protection assistance and civil rights help are also available. The services available depend on whether the client is currently serving or retired, or separated.