Financial assistance available for veterans


This is the second of three articles describing the programs and services available to honorably discharged veterans living in Fayette County.

The funding for the Fayette County Veterans Service Center is provided from Ohio Revised Code Title 5901, which authorizes the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to make the necessary levy, not to exceed five-tenths of a mill per dollar on the assessed value of the property of the county. This county levy is the only source of funding for the center. It is not directed or supported by any agency of the federal or state government.

As a county agency, the Veterans Service Center has a dedicated staff (Amy Jackson, service officer and Karla Morrison, center secretary and investigator) and, an oversight body consisting of five Fayette County veterans. All of these individuals are trained in aiding veterans in times of need. The staff and the Commission Board (Robert L. Malone, DAV; Edward E. Fisher, AL; John Mason, Amvets; Eddie J. Wynne, VFW; and Charles T. Harris, At Large) must all meet a mandated number of continuous education hours each year.

There are two services the agency provides. The first is emergency financial assistance and the second is assistance when dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This article will discuss financial assistance. Who is eligible for financial assistance? Financial assistance is available to veterans and family members who have demonstrated a need. The veteran (spouse, dependent children or surviving widow) must meet discharge qualifications and, must be a resident of Ohio for one year and must be a resident of Fayette County for three months immediately preceding the application for assistance. The veteran must provide full financial disclosure as well as provide any other required proofs.

What situations could financial assistance cover? Mortgage payments and rent (to avoid eviction) may be funded. Utilities (to avoid disconnection) may be funded. This would include water, electricity, gas, and even wood to heat. Transportation to VA medical appointments may be funded and food vouchers may be provided.

The Service Center wants all veterans and families to understand that any assistance application or income disclosure will be held in total confidence as far as the law allows. These records, however, are public record and may be obtained by the public.

Another pledge taken seriously by the Service Center is that the Service Commission does not view the granting of emergency assistance as welfare. Rather, it is seen as an earned benefit due Fayette County veterans who need and qualify for assistance.

The Veteran Service Center is located in room 404 at 133 South Main St. in Washington Court House. The phone number is 740-335-1610 and the hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until noon, and 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

If you are unable to physically get to the Service Center, and need services, please call the center to see if a home visit by the service officer can be arranged.

By Bev Mullen

For the Record-Herald

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