Gulf War Veterans compensation program underway

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs today said it has started working to implement the new Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Compensation Program, which was approved by Pennsylvania voters in the November 2006 general election.

“This new program requires the publication of regulations and the implementation of processes and procedures to handle more than 30,000 potential applications for the bonus,” said Major General Jessica L. Wright, the state’s adjutant general. “We should be able to begin accepting applications sometime after Oct. 1. We know that Persian Gulf veterans are anxious to apply for this new benefit, but we must put the regulations and the staff in place first.”

Under Act 29 of 2006, Pennsylvania veterans, who served on active duty in the Persian Gulf theater from Aug. 2, 1990 , until Aug. 31, 1991 , and received the Southwest Asia Service Medal may be eligible for compensation under the program.

An eligible veteran may receive $75 per month, up to $525, for each month of active service for which the veteran was eligible to receive the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

In addition, prisoners of war and survivors of those veterans who lost their lives in the conflict will receive $5,000.

“We’re delighted that voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot question that will provide $20 million in bonuses to Pennsylvania veterans who served in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm,” said Brigadier General (PA) Cecil Hengeveld, the state’s deputy adjutant general for veterans’ affairs. “We are working diligently to implement this new program and we will continue to issue regular updates on our progress so that eligible veterans are clear about the application process.”

In order to qualify, the veteran must establish that he or she was a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of service in the Persian Gulf Conflict.

Individuals who received a bonus or similar compensation from any other state are not eligible for the Pennsylvania program.

The deadline for applying for benefits under this program is Aug. 31, 2015.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Web site at www.dmva.state.pa.us.

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