You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Study: Veterans claims neglected in Ohio

A study of Ohio’s veterans services program, released Friday, shows the state’s counties struggle to file federal claims for veterans and some smaller counties are inadequately funded to properly aid needy veterans.

Ohio’s Department of Veteran’s Services commissioned the $98,000 study of the program earlier this year to a Boston consulting firm, which the Hamilton JournalNews/Middletown Journal first reported Thursday. The study was initially proposed, in part, because counties were entitled to a collective $121 million in tax dollars during 2011, but half of that money was left unused by veterans service commissions across Ohio.

The study reveals Ohio offers many benefits, including burial assistance and transportation to medical appointments, that many other states don’t offer to those who have served.

But the numerous services offered by the veterans service commissions stationed in the state’s 88 counties may be hindering Ohio’s ability to help veterans file federal claims, according to the study.

“While the state’s numerous benefit programs demonstrate the strength of its commitment to Ohio veterans, the benefit analysis also suggest that this comprehensiveness may detract from the state’s performance in federal claims assistance,” the study concludes.

A 2011 federal expenditure report shows ranked Ohio 41st in the nation for federal expenditures per veteran and 45th for claims assistance, such as disability compensation and pension claims.

Ohio’s Department of Veterans Services has been working to train officers to include more supporting documentation when filing a federal claim on behalf of veterans, in hopes of speeding up the claims process, Mike McKinney, the department’s communication director said Friday.

“We work very hard to train our veterans service officers in all the counties to prepare the claims,” McKinney said of the study. “We believe there will be improvement in that area.”

Butler County’s Veteran Service Commission will host an information night to discuss a number of veterans services, including the federal claims process, at 5 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Butler County Government Services Building, 315 High St.

“A lot of veterans come in not knowing they’re eligible for any type of benefits,” Dan Biondo, the president of the Veterans Service Commission said of his agency. “When they do file claims they have to wait for them. It’s really sad because a lot of these veterans really need that money and deserve that money.”

The study also points to funding disparities in smaller counties versus bigger ones because of the way funding is collected for veterans services in Ohio. Veterans service commissions are entitled to a small portion of property taxes, roughly a 0.5 mill, to provide veteran aid. An investigation earlier this week by this newspaper found veterans service commissions in some of the state’s biggest counties often give tax dollars to other county programs while veterans service commissions in smaller counties use nearly every dollar of the money they collect.

Friday’s study confirmed the funding inequalities for some of the state’s counties because of the “unique county-based system.”

The study researched veterans agencies across the country to measure how Ohio’s program stacks up.

McKinney said the department will work with veterans leaders across the state on how to “move forward” with the study.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Follow these detours around Dayton after I-75 shut down
Follow these detours around Dayton after I-75 shut down

Dayton-bound motorists on I-75 should use alternative routes to avoid a shut down in the downtown area from a fatal crash that resulted in a major fire.  Southbound motorists should exit onto I-70 East and proceed to I-675 South toward Cincinnati to get back onto I-75 in Miami Twp. Northbound motorists should take I-675 North to I-70 West and...
Billy Ray Cyrus changes name, releases new version of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’
Billy Ray Cyrus changes name, releases new version of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’

Country singer and songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his hit “Achy Breaky Heart” with three new versions of the song. Rolling Stone reported that Cyrus has recorded “Achy Breaky Heart 25th,” a version closer to the original demo. It was released Friday. The song will also reportedly get a...
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg surprises Ohio family, drops in for dinner
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg surprises Ohio family, drops in for dinner

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Mark Zuckerberg! In their wildest dreams, an Ohio family couldn’t imagine hosting dinner for one of the wealthiest people in the world, and talking about politics and an African charity they support with the Facebook founder and CEO, but that’s exactly what happened. Members of the Moore family...
Wrong-way driver causes fiery, fatal crash that shuts down I-75 in Dayton
Wrong-way driver causes fiery, fatal crash that shuts down I-75 in Dayton

A wrong-way driver of a car crashed head-on into a tanker truck carrying gasoline, Dayton Police Lt. Mark Ponichtera said. The crash resulted in a massive fire that shut down both directions of Interstate 75 in Dayton and left at least one person dead, police said. It’s  not clear whether the truck driver was injured, but he was able to...
Home Depot data leak compromises customers’ private info again
Home Depot data leak compromises customers’ private info again

A spread sheet listing about 8,000 customers, along with their transaction and a range of personal information, was posted for an unknown amount of time, on a Home Depot web site. No financial data was part of the list, which did not compare with the 2014 data breach in which hackers installed software that provided them with personal and financial...
More Stories