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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 5902 | Veterans' Services

 
 
 
Section
Section 5902.01 | Appointment of director - employment of personnel.
 

The person appointed to the position of director of veterans services shall be an honorably discharged or honorably separated veteran of the United States armed forces. The department of veterans services shall employ administrative and technical personnel as are necessary to perform the general and specific duties of the department. For positions within the department, the director shall adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing a program, which the director shall implement, giving hiring preferences to veterans.

Section 5902.02 | Duties of the director of veterans services.
 

The duties of the director of veterans services shall include the following:

(A) Furnishing the veterans service commissions of all counties of the state copies of the state laws, rules, and legislation relating to the operation of the commissions and their offices;

(B) Upon application, assisting the general public in obtaining records of vital statistics pertaining to veterans or their dependents;

(C) Adopting rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code pertaining to minimum qualifications for hiring, certifying, and accrediting county veterans service officers, pertaining to their required duties, and pertaining to revocation of the certification of county veterans service officers;

(D) Adopting rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the education, training, certification, and duties of veterans service commissioners and for the revocation of the certification of a veterans service commissioner;

(E) Developing and monitoring programs and agreements enhancing employment and training for veterans in single or multiple county areas;

(F) Developing and monitoring programs and agreements to enable county veterans service commissions to address homelessness, indigency, and other veteran-related issues individually or jointly;

(G) Developing and monitoring programs and agreements to enable state agencies, individually or jointly, that provide services to veterans, including the veterans' homes operated under Chapter 5907. of the Revised Code and the director of job and family services, to address homelessness, indigency, employment, and other veteran-related issues;

(H) Establishing and providing statistical reporting formats and procedures for county veterans service commissions;

(I) Publishing electronically a listing of county veterans service offices and county veterans service commissioners. The listing shall include the expiration dates of commission members' terms of office and the organizations they represent; the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of county veterans service offices; and the addresses and telephone numbers of the Ohio offices and headquarters of state and national veterans service organizations.

(J) Establishing a veterans advisory committee to advise and assist the department of veterans services in its duties. Members shall include a member of the national guard association of the United States who is a resident of this state, a member of the military officers association of America who is a resident of this state, a state representative of congressionally chartered veterans organizations referred to in section 5901.02 of the Revised Code, a representative of any other congressionally chartered state veterans organization that has at least one veterans service commissioner in the state, three representatives of the Ohio state association of county veterans service commissioners, who shall have a combined vote of one, three representatives of the state association of county veterans service officers, who shall have a combined vote of one, one representative of the county commissioners association of Ohio, who shall be a county commissioner not from the same county as any of the other county representatives, a representative of the advisory committee on women veterans, a representative of a labor organization, and a representative of the office of the attorney general. The department of veterans services shall submit to the advisory committee proposed rules for the committee's operation. The committee may review and revise these proposed rules prior to submitting them to the joint committee on agency rule review.

(K) Adopting, with the advice and assistance of the veterans advisory committee, policy and procedural guidelines that the veterans service commissions shall adhere to in the development and implementation of rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines for the administration of Chapter 5901. of the Revised Code. The department of veterans services shall adopt no guidelines or rules regulating the purposes, scope, duration, or amounts of financial assistance provided to applicants pursuant to sections 5901.01 to 5901.15 of the Revised Code. The director of veterans services may obtain opinions from the office of the attorney general regarding rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines of the veterans service commissions and may enforce compliance with Chapter 5901. of the Revised Code.

(L) Receiving copies of form DD214 filed in accordance with the director's guidelines adopted under division (L) of this section from members of veterans service commissions appointed under section 5901.02 and from county veterans service officers employed under section 5901.07 of the Revised Code;

(M) Developing and maintaining and improving a resource, such as a telephone answering point or a web site, by means of which veterans and their dependents, through a single portal, can access multiple sources of information and interaction with regard to the rights of, and the benefits available to, veterans and their dependents. The director of veterans services may enter into agreements with state and federal agencies, with agencies of political subdivisions, with state and local instrumentalities, and with private entities as necessary to make the resource as complete as is possible.

(N) Planning, organizing, advertising, and conducting outreach efforts, such as conferences and fairs, at which veterans and their dependents may meet, learn about the organization and operation of the department of veterans services and of veterans service commissions, and obtain information about the rights of, and the benefits and services available to, veterans and their dependents;

(O) Advertising, in print, on radio and television, and otherwise, the rights of, and the benefits and services available to, veterans and their dependents;

(P) Developing and advocating improved benefits and services for, and improved delivery of benefits and services to, veterans and their dependents;

(Q) Searching for, identifying, and reviewing statutory and administrative policies that relate to veterans and their dependents and reporting to the general assembly statutory and administrative policies that should be consolidated in whole or in part within the organization of the department of veterans services to unify funding, delivery, and accounting of statutory and administrative policy expressions that relate particularly to veterans and their dependents;

(R) Encouraging veterans service commissions to innovate and otherwise to improve efficiency in delivering benefits and services to veterans and their dependents and to report successful innovations and efficiencies to the director of veterans services;

(S) Publishing and encouraging adoption of successful innovations and efficiencies veterans service commissions have achieved in delivering benefits and services to veterans and their dependents;

(T) Establishing advisory committees, in addition to the veterans advisory committee established under division (K) of this section, on veterans issues;

(U) Developing and maintaining a relationship with the United States department of veterans affairs, seeking optimal federal benefits and services for Ohio veterans and their dependents, and encouraging veterans service commissions to maximize the federal benefits and services to which veterans and their dependents are entitled;

(V) Developing and maintaining relationships with the several veterans organizations, encouraging the organizations in their efforts at assisting veterans and their dependents, and advocating for adequate state subsidization of the organizations;

(W) Requiring the several veterans organizations that receive funding from the state annually, not later than the thirtieth day of July, to report to the director of veterans services and prescribing the form and content of the report;

(X) Reviewing the reports submitted to the director under division (W) of this section within thirty days of receipt and informing the veterans organization of any deficiencies that exist in the organization's report and that funding will not be released until the deficiencies have been corrected and a satisfactory report submitted;

(Y) Releasing funds and processing payments to veterans organizations when a report submitted to the director under division (W) of this section has been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory;

(Z) Furnishing copies of all reports that the director of veterans services has determined have been submitted satisfactorily under division (W) of this section to the chairperson of the finance committees of the general assembly;

(AA) Investigating complaints against county veterans services commissioners and county veterans service officers if the director reasonably believes the investigation to be appropriate and necessary;

(BB) Developing and maintaining a web site that is accessible by veterans and their dependents and provides a link to the web site of each state agency that issues a license, certificate, or other authorization permitting an individual to engage in an occupation or occupational activity;

(CC) Encouraging state agencies to conduct outreach efforts through which veterans and their dependents can learn about available job and education benefits;

(DD) Informing state agencies about changes in statutes and rules that affect veterans and their dependents;

(EE) Assisting licensing agencies in adopting rules under section 5903.03 of the Revised Code;

(FF) Administering the provision of grants from the military injury relief fund under section 5902.05 of the Revised Code;

(GG) Taking any other actions required by this chapter.

Section 5902.03 | Duplicating certificates of discharge and separation.
 

The director of veterans services may microfilm or otherwise duplicate all or any part of copies of original certificates of discharge and separation submitted by Ohio veterans.

The director may prepare and maintain files of such microfilmed certificates of discharge and separation in such manner that they may readily be available for the use of the department of veterans services, authorized veterans service officers of the several congressionally chartered veterans organizations, and county veterans service officers of the several counties of the state in support of applications for compensation, pension, medical, or domiciliary care, or other state and federal benefits provided for eligible veterans or their dependents or survivors.

The director may make copies of such microfilmed certificates of discharge and separation for storage under secure conditions to assure their preservation, and for supply to qualified veterans or their dependents or survivors or to interested and authorized veterans organizations to aid such organizations in their programs of veterans aid and assistance.

Section 5902.04 | Director to furnish information and advice to veterans.
 

(A) Upon application, the director of veterans services shall furnish necessary instructions and advice to the veterans of the state, their heirs, or their legal representatives, respecting their claims against the United States or the state for pensions, bounty, bonus, back pay, or otherwise, by reason of military service.

(B) The director or the director's representative may examine the files of any veterans service commission that pertain to either of the following classes of persons to determine the custody, use, or confidentiality of any documents in those files:

(1) Applicants for, or recipients or former recipients of, financial assistance under sections 5901.01 to 5901.15 of the Revised Code;

(2) Applicants for federal, state, or county benefits under those sections.

(C)(1) No information or documents obtained by examinations conducted under division (B) of this section shall be considered part of the public records of the department of veterans services. The director may disclose information or documents that the director obtains pursuant to an examination conducted under division (B) of this section and that personally identify an applicant, recipient, or former recipient described in that division, if either of the following applies:

(a) The director considers the disclosure necessary to enforce compliance with Chapter 5901. of the Revised Code.

(b) For the purposes and under the circumstances authorized under division (E) of section 5901.09 of the Revised Code.

(2) In all other cases, the director shall maintain the confidentiality of information or documents that the director obtains pursuant to an examination under division (B) of this section and that personally identify an applicant, recipient, or former recipient described in that division.

Section 5902.05 | Military injury relief fund.
 

(A) There is hereby created in the state treasury the military injury relief fund, which shall consist of money contributed to it under sections 4503.535 and 5747.113 of the Revised Code and of contributions made directly to it. Any person or entity may contribute directly to the fund in addition to or independently of the income tax refund contribution system established in section 5747.113 of the Revised Code.

(B) Upon application, the director of veterans services shall grant money in the fund to individuals injured while in active service as a member of the armed forces of the United States while serving after October 7, 2001, and to individuals diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder while serving, or after having served, after October 7, 2001.

(C) An individual who receives a grant under this section is precluded from receiving additional grants under this section during the same state fiscal year but is not precluded from being considered for or receiving other assistance offered by the department of veterans services.

(D) The director shall adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing:

(1) Forms and procedures by which individuals may apply for a grant under this section;

(2) Criteria for reviewing, evaluating, and approving or denying grant applications;

(3) Criteria for determining the amount of grants awarded under this section;

(4) Definitions and standards applicable to determining whether an individual meets the requirements established in division (B) of this section;

(5) The process for appealing eligibility determinations; and

(6) Any other rules necessary to administer the grant program established in this section.

(E) An eligibility determination, a grant approval, or a grant denial made under this section may not be appealed under Chapter 119. or any other provision of the Revised Code.

Section 5902.06 | Director shall keep claims register.
 

The director of veterans services shall keep a register showing the situation and disposition of any claim filed by the department of veterans services.

Section 5902.07 | Director may administrator oaths - seal.
 

The director of veterans services may administer oaths. The director's official certificate shall be received in evidence without further authentication.

Section 5902.08 | Prohibition.
 

The director of veterans services, or any employee thereof, shall not receive directly or indirectly a fee or reward of any kind from a claimant or other person for services rendered or to be rendered, relating to a duty required of the director or employee under sections 5902.01 to 5902.07 of the Revised Code, or in any manner connected therewith.

Section 5902.09 | Transcranial magnetic stimulation pilot program.
 

(A) As used in this section:

"Electroencephalogram (EEG) combined transcranial magnetic stimulation" means treatment in which transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) frequency pulses are tuned to the patient's physiology and biometric data, at the time of each treatment, using a pre- and post-TMS EEG.

"First responder" has the meaning defined in section 2903.01 of the Revised Code.

"Law enforcement officer" has the meaning defined in section 9.69 of the Revised Code.

(B) The directors of veterans services and mental health and addiction services shall establish a pilot program to make electroencephalogram (EEG) combined transcranial magnetic stimulation available for veterans, first responders, and law enforcement officers with substance use disorders, mental illness, sleep disorders, traumatic brain injuries, sexual trauma, post traumatic stress disorder and accompanying comorbidities, concussions or other brain trauma, or other issues identified by the individual's qualified medical practitioner as issues that would warrant treatment under the program. The program shall be operated in conjunction with a supplier selected under this section.

(C) The directors by mutual agreement shall choose a location for the pilot program and for up to ten branch sites, and shall enter into a contract for the purchase of services related to the pilot program. A branch site may be a mobile unit or an EEG combined neuromodulation portable unit if the directors determine that mobile units or EEG combined neuromodulation portable units are necessary to expand access to care. The contract shall include provisions requiring the supplier to create and conduct a clinical trial, to establish and operate a clinical practice, to evaluate outcomes of the clinical trial and the clinical practice, to expend payments received from the state as needed for purposes of the program, and to report quarterly regarding the pilot program to the president of the senate and to the standing committee of the senate that generally considers legislation regarding veterans affairs.

(D) There is the electroencephalogram (EEG) combined transcranial magnetic stimulation fund in the state treasury. It shall consist of moneys appropriated to it by the general assembly. The directors, with the approval of the controlling board, may authorize a disbursement from the fund for services rendered under the contract.

(E) One or both of the directors shall adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code as necessary to administer this section.

(F) The supplier, in conducting the clinical trial and in operating the clinical practice, shall adhere to all of the following:

(1) The United States food and drug administration regulations governing the conduct of clinical practice and clinical trials;

(2) A peer-to-peer support network shall be made available by the supplier to any individual receiving treatment under the program.

(3) The program protocol shall use adapted stimulation frequency and intensity modulation based on EEG and motor threshold testing as well as clinical symptoms and signs, and biometrics.

(4) Each individual who receives treatment under the program also shall receive pre- and post-neurophysiological monitoring, with EEG and autonomic nervous systems assessments, daily checklists of symptoms of alcohol, opioid, or other substance use, and weekly medical counseling and wellness programming, and also shall participate in the peer-to-peer support network established by the supplier.

(5) Clinical protocols and outcomes of the clinical trial, and of any treatment provided by the clinical practice, shall be collected and reported quarterly in a report provided by the supplier to the directors of veterans services and mental health and addiction services and to the United States food and drug administration.

(6) Any individual who receives treatment at the clinical practice shall be eligible for a minimum of two electroencephalograms during the course of the individual's treatment.

(7) The report required by this section shall include a thorough accounting of the use and expenditure of all funds received from the state under this section.

(G) Contracts entered into under this section are subject to section 9.231 and Chapter 125. of the Revised Code.

Last updated July 30, 2021 at 4:13 PM

Section 5902.20 | Veteran peer counseling network.
 

The veteran peer counseling network is established. The purpose of the network is to offer veterans in this state the opportunity to work with other veterans in order to assist with overcoming the issues unique to veterans in this state. The director of veterans services shall adopt rules, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, to administer the network.

Section 5902.21 | Program to assist receipt of federal military-related health care benefits.
 

The director of veterans services shall develop, institute, and monitor a program under which the department of veterans services assists individuals, who are medical assistance recipients, to obtain federal military-related health care benefits. As used in this section, "federal military-related health care benefits" has the meaning defined in section 5160.471 of the Revised Code.

Section 5902.99 | Penalty.
 

Whoever violates section 5902.08 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.