State Representatives Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Al Landis (R-Dover) today announced the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 490, which will benefit Ohio’s veteran community by improving the state’s veteran services.

 House Bill 490 enables county veteran service officers to be certified and trained to access discharge forms (DD-214s), which are required to receive access to veteran benefits and services. If a veteran does not have access to his or her DD-214, processing of disability claims or application for benefits is often delayed. In addition, county veteran service officers will be better enabled to detect fraudulent DD-214s to ensure all honorably discharged veterans receive the services to which they are entitled.

“Currently, a veteran who is unable to locate his or her DD-214 must wait up to 280 days to receive a copy from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This is simply unacceptable, and it is something we can fix with action at the state level,” said Representative Dovilla. “Because of House Bill 490, Ohio’s veterans will have expedited access to the benefits they earned while serving our state and nation in uniform.”

In addition, House Bill 490 fulfills the Ohio GI Promise. The spouse or dependents of a veteran who is deceased, regardless of the location of the death, will be eligible for in-state tuition if they are living in Ohio on the first day of their enrollment.

“The spouses and children of our veterans should not be penalized because their parent or spouse has died before they had an opportunity to attend college,” said Representative Landis. “We want veterans to know that they, and their families, will always be welcome in Ohio.”

Additional changes in House Bill 490 include the expansion of the Veterans Advisory Council to provide a voice for the National Guard and the ability for the Department of Veterans Services to publish electronic notices.

“This is a good bill that will greatly benefit Ohio’s veterans and improve the way services are delivered,” said Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina). “I would like to thank Governor Kasich for proposing these meaningful ideas to the Legislature, as well as the sponsors of House Bill 490 for their hard work and diligence in bringing this proposal to fruition.”

House Bill 490 is a component of the mid-biennium review based on recommendations by Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Veterans Services to the Ohio House of Representatives. Having passed unanimously from the House, House Bill 490 will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


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