Gov. Wolf signs Gulf vets bonus extension
Persian Gulf veterans will have more time to sign up for bonuses under an extension recently signed by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Act 50 extends by three years the application deadline for veterans who might be entitled to compensation, according to the legislation.
The application deadline for Gulf War veterans ended on Aug. 31, but the change extends it to Aug. 31, 2018.
Benefits: The bonus is paid to a veteran or family of a deceased veteran for a one-time benefit of $75 per month for each month of service in the Persian Gulf conflict, with a maximum compensation of $525.
If the veteran was a prisoner of war between Aug. 2, 1990, and Aug. 31, 1991, he or she is entitled to a one-time benefit of $5,000 under the program.
Phil Palandro, director of York County Veterans Affairs, said there could be Pennsylvania veterans who haven't applied, but he's not aware of any.
Palandro said a lot of people come home from the conflict and are working and raising families and don't have the time to look into bonuses, and some might have forgotten they're eligible for it.
"Ten years, 20 years, that goes by in a flash," he said.
It helps: He said the bonuses are not a "great deal of money," but they can be used to help pay a bill.
He said the little extra money could be useful for someone in between jobs.
Many veterans don't care about the money, he said, but they like to receive recognition and validation that the government has not forgotten about their service.
"It's kind of a thank-you for your service," he said.
Palandro said the bonuses and the extension of the bonuses were a result of a more modern appreciation of veterans. He cited the poor treatment of returning Vietnam veterans to demonstrate how things have changed.
Any Gulf War veteran who's eligible and hasn't applied for the bonus can call Palandro's office at (717) 771-9218.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org.