Benefits in my Backyard: Ohio

Fifty percent of the US population lives within a 500-mile radius of Columbus, Ohio.

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:18 pm



The cash register was invented by an Ohio native in 1878.  In fact, there must be something in Ohio’s water as Thomas Edison was born in Ohio.  Famous names don’t end there, the Wright Brothers and 25 astronauts, including Neil Armstrong – the first person to walk on the moon – and a whopping seven presidents were born in the state. About three quarters of a million veterans call the Buckeye State home, here's the benefits it has to offer.


Military retirement pay is not taxed in Ohio. Surviving spouse benefit plans are also exempt from Ohio income tax and local school district income taxes.

  • Homestead Exemption.Veterans with a VA rated, 100 percent service-connected disability are eligible for expanded Homestead Exemption relief on their primary residential home. Veterans can exempt $50,000 from the assessed value of their home. They are also exempt from the $30,000 limit on annual income.Eligible vets have no limits on their annual income.Must have an honorable discharge. Apply with the county auditor in the county where the home is located.
  • Ohio Veterans Bonus is not taxable as part of either federal or Ohio adjusted gross income. Bonus’ range from $50 to $5,000.
  • Nonresident Military Service Members and Spouses provides an exemption from state income tax for any service member’s spouse, who is present in a state solely due to the orders of the service member, and is not a resident of that state.
  • Tax Tips for members of the National Guard and Reserves.



For veterans looking for a job in state or local government, Ohio gives a 20 percent credit on the Ohio civil service exam to veterans.  Members of a Reserve Component get a 15 percent credit.  The Ohio National Guard Scholarship program gives up to 96 educational credits of tuition assistance towards an undergraduate degree. There’s also the Ohio War Orphans Scholarship and you can apply at the Ohio Board of Regents/State Grants and Scholarships Department


  • Ohio’s County Veterans Service Offices provide short-term financial assistance to vets and their families. The amount and type of assistance varies according to the individual abilities of each county.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program that provides assistance with home energy bills. It’s a one-time benefit.
  • Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee is a state level committee of regional, state and federal agencies and organizations that meet quarterly to collaborate and align resources in support of Ohio troops and military families. 


  • Free Camping at Ohio State Parks for former POW’s or disabled veterans with an honorable discharge. Discounts are only available by calling the reservations call center at 866.644.6727.
  • Hunting/Fishing licenses Ohio residents with a veterans’ license plate displaying the international wheelchair symbol and who are disabled can apply for a free license or permit.
  • Watercraft registration. Disabled vets with proof of 100 percent service-connected disability, Medal of Honor recipients, former POW’s can register their boat for free.


  • The Ohio Veterans Home Agency runs two veteran homes in the state, one in Sandusky and the other in Georgetown.The Sandusky home has two levels of nursing care: standard and special care for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. In Georgetown, the home has a domiciliary for anyone who is able to function in an independent living situation and one for veterans who need limited, supervised care. Maximum cost is about one third the cost of private care.
  • Ohio Hero Program offers benefits to first time home buyers with an interest rate approximately a quarter lower than the going rate.

Cemetery and Burial

  • Veterans residing in the state are eligible to receive certain end of live benefits.For more information contact your County Veterans Service Office.
  • Eligibility Determination Form.  Pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death.  This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery.  There is no cost for this.

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