SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the application window opens for veterans who served in the post-9/11 era to receive bonuses for their service. As a result of a bill chief authored by Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL – Hibbing), eligible veterans and Gold Star families can receive bonuses up to $2,000. The application portal is available at vetservicebonus.mdva.mn.gov.
“These bonuses represent a token of appreciation for Minnesota veterans who – out of pure selflessness – have demonstrated service, dedication, and sacrifice for our nation, as well as the families of soldiers who gave their lives,” Rep. Sandstede said. “I’m deeply honored to have carried this legislation, which is another important step in our ongoing commitment to veterans, including investments to end veteran homelessness, solutions to prevent veteran suicide, and ensure economic security for veterans in our state.”
Veterans who served between September 11, 2001 and the conclusion of combat operations in the Global War on Terror in August of 2021 are eligible – approximately 48,000 of them. Over half of them were deployed to participate in combat operations.
Bonus amounts under the bill will be $600 for those who did not serve in the Afghanistan or Iraq campaigns, $1,200 for those who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, and $2,000 for Gold Star families of veterans serving in Afghanistan or Iraq who died as a direct result of their service.
Applications will be open until June 30, 2024, or until the $25 million of funding under the bill has been exhausted. Beyond offering the monetary payments, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will use the service bonus program to develop a more comprehensive list of Minnesotans who have served, broadening outreach efforts to share information about benefits veterans have earned.
During the initial rollout Thursday, MDVA acknowledged the application site is responding slowly due to a large volume of applications, and staff is working to ensure applicants have a positive experience.