Less than six months remain to apply for Persian Gulf veterans bonus

The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is reminding Pennsylvania veterans that they have until Aug. 31 to apply for a special one-time payment to honor their service and sacrifice if they served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations between Aug. 2, 1990, and Aug. 31, 1991.   

The bonus pays $75 a month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum, for those who served in in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm.

An additional $5,000 is available to the surviving family for personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000.

The department is reviewing all denials, but new applications are required to reopen a claim. Almost 11,000 Persian Gulf veterans have applied for the one-time cash bonus program since the department began accepting applications in 2008.

Instructions on how to apply are available by visiting www.persiangulfbonus.state.pa.us.