Find Idaho state and local veteran’s benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation and much more below. The Gem State population includes more than 115,000 veterans, according to the Housing Assistance Council.
Idaho State Veteran Employment Benefits
Idaho State Hiring Preference For Veterans
Idaho state law gives qualifying veterans state hiring preference points for veterans who have served on active duty (other than for training purposes) and are either still serving or have received an Honorable discharge. Qualifying vets include those with “a present service connected disability of 10% or more” and those who have been awarded the Purple Heart.
Idaho state hiring preference points are used for initial job appointments only; preference points do not factor into promotions. Five preference points are offered to veterans and surviving spouses of preference-eligible vets. Disabled veterans with a VA disability rating of 10% or higher are awarded 10 points.
Surviving spouses of preference-eligible disabled veterans are also offered 10 points. Furthermore, “Spouses of disabled Veterans may claim preference if the Veteran is unable to qualify for any public employment because of a service-connected disability” according to the Idaho Division of Veterans Services.
Occupational License Fee Waivers For Veterans
Any member of the military holding an Idaho state occupational or professional license, “shall be exempt from the payment of any professional or occupational license or renewal fee required by any law of this state for the period during which such persons shall be engaged in the military services of the United States” according to the Idaho Division of Veterans Services.
There is an additional benefit; for six months after leaving military service, professional licenses do not need to be renewed, cannot be cancelled, or be revoked. There may be expedited services available to qualifying military spouses for license applications depending on demand and other factors.
Idaho Veteran Housing Benefits
Veterans Assisted Care Homes And Nursing Homes
The State of Idaho operates three skilled care veterans’ homes in Boise, Pocatello, and Lewiston. All three of these facilities are Medicare and Medicaid certified. Honorably discharged Veterans and their spouses with a need for skilled care are eligible for admission to the nursing homes, but spouses are not eligible for residential care at the Boise location. Wartime vets have priority placement status, all applicants must be Idaho state residents, and must be eligible for a VA pension and Aid And Attendance benefits from the VA.
Spouses must furnish proof of legal marriage. Furthermore, according to the official site, at the time of this writing all applicants must apply for Medicaid benefits, “or must pay the established maximum monthly nursing care charge” if not eligible.
Admission to these skilled care facilities is permitted for veterans with any military discharge except those characterized as Dishonorable.
Idaho Veteran Financial Benefits
Idaho State Financial Assistance For Wartime Veterans
The State of Idaho offers a grant up to one thousand dollars at the time of this writing for wartime veterans who have an “extreme emergency”. To qualify, veterans must have entered military service in Idaho or live in the state for five years or more. The request for this grant must be received within 90 days of the emergency. Learn more by calling the Idaho Office of Veterans Advocacy at 208-780-1380.
Idaho State Tax Breaks for Veterans
Idaho offers a variety of tax breaks for qualifying veterans. Some of these are simply associated with military service, others are tied to a veteran’s disability status, or may be income-based.
All retirement income, according to the Idaho Division of Veteran Services, is taxable until age 65 with the exception of disability income. Contact a local tax assessor’s office to learn more about specific property tax breaks for veterans in the current tax year.
Idaho Veteran Circuit Breaker Property Tax Reduction
Veterans with a 10% VA-rated service connected disability or higher, and those getting VA pension benefits may qualify for the “Circuit Breaker” property tax benefit. Residency and income requirements apply. To qualify the property owner must have:
- Owned and lived in a home or mobile home as the primary residence. Those residing in nursing homes may still qualify depending on circumstances.
- Earned income of $30,450 or less.
- Fall into one of several categories including but not limited to being 65 or older, being a surviving spouse, former prisoner of war, having a 10% or more service-connected disability, or receiving a pension from Veterans Affairs.
Idaho State Disabled Veterans Property Tax Reduction
Veterans with a VA-rated 100% service-connected disability may apply to reduce their property taxes by more than one thousand dollars at the time of this writing. To qualify for Veterans Property Tax Reduction in 2019, the veteran must:
- Be VA-rated with a 100% service-connected disability
- Live in an Idaho residence full time
- The property must have a current homeowner’s exemption
- Motor homes are included for this veteran tax benefit
- Those who currently reside in a nursing home may still qualify
State Income Tax Exemption For Active Duty Military Stationed Out Of State
When currently serving military members who are Idaho residents are stationed outside the state, they are declared exempt from Idaho state income tax. Federal tax laws will still apply.
State Income Tax Retired Military Pay Tax Deduction
Veterans and unremarried surviving spouses aged 65 or older (or disabled and age 62 or older) who receive military retirement benefits are permitted to deduct those benefits at state tax time. The deductible must be reduced “by retirement benefits paid under the Federal Social Security Act or the Tier 1 Federal Railroad Retirement Act” according to the State of Idaho.
Idaho State Grocery Tax Credit For Veterans
Qualifying veterans who are 65 or older, and vets who are disabled at at least 62 years old may claim a “grocery tax credit” allowing a certain dollar amount per exemption claimed. This is permitted regardless of whether the veteran is required to file an income tax return.
Certain restrictions may apply for this benefit under Idaho state tax law. State tax code is subject to change from year to year; it’s best to inquire at a local tax office get advice from an Idaho state tax professional about claiming such benefits each year.
Additional Idaho State Veteran Benefits
Gold Star License Plates
The Idaho Transportation Department offers a free Gold Star license plate to spouses, parents and other immediate family of military members killed in combat while on active military service. Proof of Gold Star status is required-applicants may submit a DD Form 214 or other documentation such as a VA letter acknowledging Gold Star status.
Veteran Status On Idaho State ID and Driver’s Licenses
Honorably discharged veterans who provide supporting documentation (discharge paperwork, VA award letters, etc.) can have a free “veteran” designation added to their driver’s license or state ID.
This fee-free service is only available at renewal time or when a brand new ID or license is issued. To replace an existing card that is not up for renewal, a $15 fee applies. The “veteran” designation is permanent and will be automatically added on subsequent renewal.
Recreational Benefits For Veterans
The State of Idaho offers veterans who are Idaho residents with VA-rated 100% service related disabilities free campsites and day passes to state parks. Supporting documentation is required at application time including discharge paperwork, VA award letters, etc.
Other benefits for disabled resident veterans include reduced hunting fees and other related perks; many of the discounts require a minimum VA disability rating of 40% or higher. Non-resident disabled veterans may also apply for certain hunting discounts. All applicable discounts require VA award letters sent prior to the hunting application date.
Idaho Burial Benefits For Veterans
The State of Idaho operates the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery located in Boise. Eligibility for burial at this facility includes any military discharge other than Dishonorable, plus qualifying spouses, dependent-age children, and parents of an eligible servicemember. Pre-need authorization is available and encouraged.
The following options are made available to those seeking interment service, according to the official site:
- A columbarium niche, cremation inurnment (includes an inscribed granite cover).
- An in-ground, garden niche, cremation inurnment that includes an inscribed granite marker.
- Full casket, in-ground interment (includes an inscribed granite marker).
- Military Funeral Honors including Taps, folding of the flag, and presentation.
- An Honor Guard detail.
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