Veteran's Services


Mission Statement

Our mission is to serve our county’s veterans and their families with dignity and compassion and be their advocate in ensuring that they receive appropriate services, benefits and entitlement under Title 59 (Ohio Revised Code) in recognition of their service to this Nation.

Who We Are

In 1886, the Ohio Legislature passed an act establishing the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Commission for the purpose of assisting Honorably Discharged Veterans And their minor children, spouses, and widows who have met with an unexpected hardship resulting from lack of employment, illness, or injury.

On May 19, 1986 the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Commission was renamed the Veterans Service Commission (VSC). Each of the 88 counties in Ohio has a VSC and each consists of a board of five honorably discharged veterans who are appointed by the judges of the Court of Common Pleas. Their main objective is to administer programs for their veterans within the county. In Muskingum County, the Commission meets on the last Thursday of the month. Each Board member holds the position on the board for five years.

The Muskingum County Department of Veterans Services is legislated by the State of Ohio under the Ohio Revised Code, ORC 5901 and is funded by Muskingum County property taxes. We have three accredited Veterans Services Officers and a Transportation Coordinator who are all veterans of active duty service.

The Muskingum County Department of Veterans Services is NOT a branch of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We do not approve or deny VA claims.

Board Of Commissioners

Jeffory Dittmar, Board President
AMVETS

Richard Bowers II, Board Vice President
Marine Corps League

Kurt Agin, Board Secretary
American Legion

Terry Khune
Veterans of Foreign Wars

Wayne France
Disabled American Veterans

Office Staff

Donald L. McKee
CVSO

Lisa R. Werkhaven
CVSO

Larry D. Daniels Jr.
CVSO

Colton Touvell
Office Manager/CVSO

Zack Boring
Transportation Coordinator

Information
  • County Services
  • State Services
  • VA Benefits
  • Contacts & Links

The Muskingum County Department of Veterans Services is a county agency dedicated to helping veterans, active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States, and their dependents. There are several distinct services our agency provides.

Who is Eligible

Benefits are available to veterans discharged under honorable conditions, full-time service members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Current and former members of the Selected Reserve and National Guard may be eligible for certain benefits if they meet the criteria.

We Provide Three Basic Services

  1. Temporary emergency financial aid and assistance to eligible veterans and family members who have demonstrated a need as set forth by the commission.
  2. Assist veterans, family members and survivors when applying to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for benefits.
  3. Transportation to and from VA Medical Centers or contracted facilities in Columbus, Chillicothe and Mt Vernon.

Financial Aid Program

The Muskingum County Veterans Service Commission (VSC) provides EMERGENCY financial assistance on a TEMPORARY basis to eligible veterans and their dependents for basic living expenses such as:

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Utility bills
  • Food
  • Prescriptions

The program is not intended to be used on a month to month or extended basis and is provided to those who make a conscientious effort to find a permanent solution to their financial problems. You may be asked and required to seek assistance from other agencies and may be denied assistance if you fail to do so. While you may request help for a specific need, the Muskingum County Veterans Service Commission will determine what assistance may be granted: the VSC is the sole and final decider.

Each application shall be determined on its own merits in accordance with the intent of Chapter 5901 of the Ohio Revised Code and pursuant to the policies and procedures as established by the Muskingum County Veterans Service Commission.

ELIGIBILITY

The veteran is required to have active federal service for other than training purposes and to have been discharged under honorable conditions. Proof of service (DD 214) is required.

The applicant must have 3 months of residency in Muskingum County immediately preceding the date of application. Proof of residency is required.

A definite financial need must be demonstrated.

The Muskingum County Veterans Service Commission considers many factors when determining financial need including but not limited to, income, living expenses, and liquid assets.

Indigent Burial

Financial assistance may be available for the burial of a veteran and eligible family members if the individual or individuals responsible for the last expenses of the deceased veteran can not defray the cost of burial.

Transportation Services

Muskingum-County-Veterans-Transportation-Services

We provide transportation services for veterans who have appointments at VA medical facilities in Columbus, Chillicothe and Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Space on our van can be reserved by calling our office in advance. Veterans must be ambulatory and able to get in and get out of the van without the assistance of the driver. Medical appointments are to be made no later than 1130 a.m. to minimize waiting time.

The van goes to:
Columbus VA Medical Center
Monday — Wednesday — Friday
Chillicothe or Mt. Vernon
Tuesday — Thursday

License Tags and Drivers License

Ohio's Bureau of Motor Vehicles has many military/veteran license plates available to eligible veterans. Please visit the below sites to review what is available and how to obtain them.

Drivers License fees are waived for veterans determined to be 100% total and permanently disabled.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources offers the following benefits to qualifying veterans:

Free Hunting License

100% disabled veterans (most benefits apply if veteran is permanently & totally disabled per the VA) & former POW are eligible.
For more information call (800) 945-3543

Free Fishing License

100% disabled veterans (most benefits apply if veteran is permanently & totally disabled per the VA) & former POW are eligible.
For more information call (800) 945-3543.

Free Registration of Watercraft

100% disabled veterans (most benefits apply if veteran is permanently & totally disabled per the VA) & former POW and Medal of Honor Recipients are eligible.
For more information call (877) 426-2837.

Free Camping at Ohio State Parks

100% disabled veterans (most benefits apply if veteran is permanently & totally disabled per the VA) & former POW are eligible.
For more information call (877) 426-2837.

State Veterans Home

The State of Ohio operates two veterans facilities, a home located in Sandusky, Ohio (approximately 60 miles west of Cleveland) and a home located in Georgetown, Ohio (approximately 45 miles east of Cincinnati). The Georgetown Home is a licensed nursing home providing two levels of nursing care – standard care and special care (Alzheimer/ Dementia). The Sandusky Home, in addition to offering standard care and special care in its licensed nursing home, also offers Veterans Hall (DOM), a domiciliary for those who are able to function in an independent living situation, and DOM+ for those requiring very limited assistance (supervised care) but who do not require the level of care provided to nursing home residents.

Our office can help veterans apply to the Ohio Veterans Home. You may also get more information from the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs website, http://dvs.ohio.gov/veterans_homes.aspx .

Employment Assistance

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services operates a “One-Stop Office” located downtown Zanesville and is designed to assist job seekers, employers and youth with a wide range of workforce-related services. Every One-Stop office offers job search assistance, employee recruitment, job training, and much, much more. A Veterans Representative is assigned to the One-Stop Office to specifically address the employment needs of veterans. The VetRep can be reached at 740-454-6211.

Military Injury Relief Fund

The Military Injury Relief Fund (MIRF) grants money to individuals injured while in active service as a member of the armed forces of the United States and while serving under Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. To be eligible the service member must have proof of injury (injury must have occurred while serving under OIF or OEF). MIRF is exempt from Federal Taxation and, effective August 21, 2008, is exempt from State Taxation. Eligible Service Members / Veterans may apply EACH fiscal year (July 1-Jun 30). We have the applications in our office and can assist veterans in applying for this grant.

Ohio War Bonus

The Ohio Veterans Bonus is available to veterans who served more than 90 days active duty, not for training, during the periods of the Persian Gulf War and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the Persian Gulf, the period is from Aug 2, 1990 through Mar 3, 1991; for Afghanistan, from Oct. 7, 2001 through a date to be determined by the President, and for Iraq, from March 19, 2003 and also through a to-be-determined date. Payment can be received for active duty service anywhere in the world during these periods, but is higher for veterans who served in the Persian Gulf or in Afghanistan or Iraq. Eligible veterans must have been Ohio residents at the time of their entry into the service, and must be Ohio residents currently.

The bonus pays $100 a month to veterans who served in the Persian Gulf theater, or in the countries of Afghanistan or Iraq, up to a maximum of $1,000. For veterans who served elsewhere, the payment is $50 a month up to a $500 maximum. Veterans medically discharged as a result of combat service can receive $1,000, regardless of how much time they spent in combat, plus up to $500 for months of service elsewhere. Family members of those killed in action or who died from disease as a result of their in-theater service can receive a bonus of $5,000 plus whatever the service member was eligible for, up to a total of $6,500.

Veterans needing more information or who want to apply can call toll-free to 1-877-OHIO VET ((877) 644-6838 option 2, visit www.veteransbonus.ohio.gov, or can stop by our office and we will help with the application process.

We, at the Muskingum County Department of Veterans Services provide a vital and convenient link between our veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are not a branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs and do not approve or deny VA claims. We are legislated by the State of Ohio under the Ohio Revised Code, ORC 5901 and are funded by Muskingum County property taxes.

Our Veterans Services Officers are accredited by the State of Ohio and all are veterans. We work closely with the VA to achieve a common goal, and to assist the veteran in obtaining his/her rightful benefits under the law.

For more information on VA Benefits, go to www.vba.va.gov.

For VA forms, go to www.va.gov/vaforms.

Eligibility

Benefits are available to veterans discharged under honorable conditions, full-time service members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Current and former members of the Selected Reserve and National Guard may be eligible for certain benefits if they meet the criteria.

VA Claims for Service Connected Disabilities

Disability compensation is a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free.

Veterans Pension

Pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or, if under 65, who are permanently and totally disabled. Veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits. These are benefits that are paid in addition to the basic pension rate.
Generally, you may be eligible if:

  • You were discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable, AND
  • You served at least 90 days of active military service 1 day of which was during a war time period. If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty (There are exceptions to this rule), AND
  • Your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law (The yearly limit on income is set by Congress), AND you are age 65 or older, OR, you are permanently and totally disabled, not due to your own willful misconduct.

The payment is reduced by the annual income from other sources such as Social Security.

Aid and Attendance or Housebound Benefits

Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit paid in addition to monthly pension. This benefit may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for A&A when:

  • The veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment, OR,
  • The veteran is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment, OR,
  • The veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR,
  • The veteran is blind, or so nearly blind as to have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

Housebound is paid in addition to monthly pension. Like A&A, Housebound benefits may not be paid without eligibility to pension. A veteran may be eligible for Housebound benefits when:

  • The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, due to such disability, he/she is permanently and substantially confined to his/her immediate premises, OR,
  • The veteran has a single permanent disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling AND, another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of a military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training,
OR veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease,
OR veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling for at least 10 years immediately before death,
OR since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death,
OR for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.

Education

The VA pays monthly benefits to eligible veterans, dependents, reservists, and service members. You can use your education benefits for:

  • Undergraduate work at a college or university
  • Technical or Vocation Training
  • On-the-Job/Apprentice Training
  • Correspondence and Flight Training

To begin the process, you must establish eligibility by submitting VA Form 22-1990, Application for VA Education Benefits. The toll free number for more information is 1-888-GI-Bill1 or (888) 442-4551.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation is a program whose primary function is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living.

The program offers a number of services to help each eligible disabled veteran reach his or her rehabilitation goal. These services include vocational and personal counseling, education and training, financial aid, job assistance, and, if needed, medical and dental treatment. Services generally last up to 48 months, but they can be extended in certain instances.

Life Insurance

VA insurance programs were developed to provide insurance benefits for veterans and service members who may not be able to get insurance from private companies because of the extra risks involved in military service, or a service connected disability. The toll free number for more information is (800) 669-8477.

Burial and Memorial Benefits

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs when the eligible criteria are met. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot or interment allowance.

A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorable discharged.

Veterans, active duty service members, and eligible Reservists and National Guard service members, are eligible for an inscribed headstone or marker for their grave at any cemetery. VA will deliver a headstone or marker at no cost.

Burial in a VA national cemetery is available for eligible Veterans, their spouses and dependents, at no cost to the family.

Military Medals and Records

We can help you obtain your military discharge documents, DD 214, military service records, military medical records or to get military medals. These documents are filed at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, or more recently, are being held at the appropriate military service facility. You can file your own request for these documents on-line by accessing http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/. You will need to print out the signature page, sign and date, and fax or mail the page to NPRC.

Death Pension

Death Pension is a needs based benefit paid to an unremarried surviving spouse, or an unmarried child of a deceased wartime veteran. The death pension provides a monthly payment to bring an eligible person’s income to a level established by law. The payment is reduced by the annual income from other sources such as Social Security.

Home Loan Guaranty

VA home loan guaranties are issued to help eligible servicemembers, veterans, reservists, and unmarried surviving spouses obtain homes, condominiums, residential cooperative housing units, and manufactured homes and to refinance loans.

In addition to buying homes, a VA guaranty can also be used to obtain a loan to repair, alter, or improve a residence owned by the veteran and occupied as a home and to install a solar heating or cooling system or other energy-efficient improvements.

The first step in acquiring a VA loan guaranty is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. You then present this certificate to a lender of your choice. The VA does not make loans.

VA Medical / Prescriptions

If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order (Title 10) and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health care as well.

We are fortunate to have access to a Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Muskingum County. It is located at 2800 Maple Avenue, Zanesville, OH 43701 and its telephone number is (740) 453-7725. We encourage all veterans to apply to determine their enrollment eligibility.

Medical and prescription co-pays are based on financial criteria and VA disability ratings.

Mental Health Counseling

VA Medical provides mental health counseling at local clinics such as the one in Zanesville, at their medical centers such as the Columbus VA Outpatient Clinic and through Vet Centers. Vet Centers provide individual, group, family, military sexual trauma and bereavement counseling. Services include treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or help with any other military-related issue that affects functioning within the family, work, school or other areas of everyday life.


VA Zanesville clinic: (740) 453-7725
VA Outpatient Clinic Columbus: (888) 615-9448
VetCenter: (866) 360-4471
Suicide prevention: (800) 273-8255, press 1 for veterans

VA Medical Facilities

Cambridge CBOC, 2146 Southgate Pkwy, Cambridge, OH 43725
(740) 432-1963

Chillicothe VA Medical Center, 17273 SR 104, Chillicothe, OH 45601
(800) 358-8262

Cleveland VA Medical Center, 10701 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 791-3800

Columbus VA Outpatient Clinic, 420 N. James Rd., Columbus, OH 43203
(888) 615-9448

Dayton VA Medical Center, 4100 W. Third St., Dayton, OH 45428
(800) 368-8262

Newark CBOC, 1912 Tamarack Rd., Newark, OH 43055
(740) 788-8329

VetCenter, 30 Spruce St., Columbus, OH 43215-2204
(614) 257-5550

Zanesville CBOC, 2800 Maple Avenue, Zanesville, OH 43701
(740) 453-7725

VA Benefits


Cleveland VA Regional Office 1240 E. Ninth St., Cleveland, OH 44199(800) 827-10000 (TDD (800) 829-4833)
www.va.gov

Life Insurance - (800) 669-8477
Radiation Helpline - (800) 827-1000
Persian Gulf War Veterans Helpline - (800) 749-8387
Debt Management - (800) 827-0648
Education Loans - (800) 326-8267
CHAMPUS Claims - (800) 842-4333
CHAMPUS Health Benefits Advisor (WPAFB Dayton) - (800) 258-3699
CHAMPVA - (800) 733-8387
Headstone and Marker Program - (800) 697-6947

Resources for Veterans


Useful Hotline Numbers
Veterans Crisis Line (800) 273-8255 - 1.800.273.TALK
National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (877) 424-3838 - 1.877.4AID.VET
VA Caregiver Support Line (855) 260-3274
Wounded Warrior Resource Center (800) 342-9647

Ohio Department of Veterans Services

dvs.ohio.gov

Ohio National Guard Military Family Support

www.ong.ohio.gov/family

Ohio Veterans Law

https://ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/site/help-center/faqs/veterans-and-military/veterans-and-military

Homelessness

www.nchv.org

Ohio Department of Mental Health

www.ohiocares.ohio.gov

Ohio Cares

www.ohiocares.ohio.gov

Consumer Assist. Handbook-Residential Utility Advocate

www.pickocc.org

Military Information

www.military.com/