Q & A Column - April 18, 2008
QUESTION: A friend of mine who served with me in the Persian Gulf War said he was receiving a bonus from the government. How can I find out if I am eligible? How much can I receive?
ANSWER: Your friend is correct. Pennsylvanians who served in the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91 can apply for a $75 per month bonus for up to $525 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The program was made possible by the enactment of Act 29 of 2006 and the overwhelming support of Pennsylvania voters during the Nov. 7, 2006, general election.
Bonuses will be awarded to current and former members of the United States Armed Forces, a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces or the Pennsylvania National Guard. Both living veterans and families of deceased veterans are eligible.
To qualify, veterans must have:
Served in active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the period from Aug. 2, 1990, to Aug. 31, 1991, and received the Southwest Asia Service Medal.
Been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active service.
Eligible beneficiaries of deceased veterans include, in the following order of precedence, surviving spouse, surviving children and surviving parents. The amount of the compensation is based upon the number of months the individual served on active duty.
An additional one-time benefit of up to $5,000 may be awarded if the service member was declared a prisoner of war at any time during the period of qualifying service or the service member died in active service or as a result of service-connected wounds. The program is being administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).
When applying, individuals should send copies – not original documents – as paperwork will not be returned. The DMVA estimates that applications should take six to 10 weeks for processing. The deadline for applications is Aug. 31, 2015.
Applications may be obtained from my district office at 4457 Buffalo Road in Erie or through my Web site at RepSonney.com. Applications will also be available at county director of veteran affairs offices and from veteran service organizations.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or my district staff. We are here for you and will help you in any way we can.
If you have a question you would like me to address in an upcoming column, please send it to:
Rep. Curt Sonney
Room 149-B East Wing
P.O. Box 202004
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2004
Rep. Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2008