Increasing Veteran Benefit Awareness

Local Sources- On this week's Messmer Column, State Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) discusses Veteran Benefit Awareness.

As a member of the Indiana Senate, helping the men and women who served and continue to serve our country is one of my top priorities.

Often, our nation's veterans are not aware of the benefits they may be eligible to receive.

This session, I authored Senate Bill 290, which is intended to increase the awareness of veterans' benefits to those who protected our country's freedoms.

The bill would allow the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to disclose certain personal information included on applications for various specialty license plates, including the Disabled Hoosier Veteran, Purple Heart, Hoosier Veteran, Support Our Troops or Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal license plates to the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) .

This information would allow the DVA to notify veterans of programs they may be eligible to participate in.

Under the bill, the BMV would also be required to tell a plate applicant the DVA may contact them with information about the eligible programs.

Senate Bill 290 is an important step in ensuring our veterans are aware of all the resources at their disposal.

It's also important to note that veterans would be able to opt out of the BMV's disclosure of their information by checking a box on the plate application form.

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Senate Bill 290 received unanimous support from the Indiana Senate.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

More information on benefits available to veterans can be found online at

As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at [email protected] or by phone at 800-382-9467.