Kansas has over 200,000 veterans residing in “The Sunflower State” according to the VA. Find Kansas State and local veteran’s benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation and much more below.
Kansas State Veteran Education Benefits
The Kansas Military Service Scholarship
Qualifying military members who are Kansas residents may be eligible for the Kansas Military Service Scholarship. This award is good at all state-supported schools. This need-based program covers tuition and fees.
Applicants must have served “in international waters or on foreign soil in support of military operations for which the person received hostile fire pay for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001, or served less than such 90 days because of injuries during such military service.”
The applicant must have a non-punitive discharge or still be in military service. They must provide documentation to show the required military service. Financial need is a requirement for this scholarship and completion of FAFSA documents is part of the application process. This scholarship is for undergraduate programs only. Fill out the online form or receive more information.
Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance
This program offers to pay a percentage of tuition and fees for qualifying enlisted Kansas National Guard members attending state-supported colleges. The full amount paid depends on the maximum rate charged by a particular state institution for enrollment.
This program is good for those working on a diploma, certificate, or degree program. It is only available for those who have not earned a bachelor’s degree. Fill out the online form or get more information.
In-State Tuition Benefits for Veterans
The State of Kansas offers qualifying military members, military spouses, and dependent children in-state tuition. Applicants must live in Kansas at the time of enrollment. The list of qualifying individuals includes:
- Currently serving military
- Spouses and dependent children
- Veterans, veteran spouses and dependent children permanently stationed in Kansas during military service
- Any of the above who established residency in Kansas prior to military service
- Veterans eligible for VA educational benefits
- Spouses and dependent children with entitlement to a VA educational benefit.
The Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs official site reminds applicants that there is no requirement to use VA benefits to qualify for the in-state tuition rate. Applicants who qualify based on their eligibility for VA education benefits do not need to use them at enrollment time.
Kansas Board of Regents College Credit for Military Service Program
The Kansas Board of Regents has initiatives to award college credit for approved military service for those attending participating Kansas State Colleges. This is done via a program called Credit for Military Alignment. It allows service members to search a list of military career fields to see if their specialty is approved for college credit transfer.
Not all military career fields are supported at this time, but the program is dedicated to expanding the list. More information is at the Kansas Board of Regents official site.
Tuition and Fees Waiver for Former Prisoners of War
The State of Kansas offers qualifying former Prisoners of War admission to state-supported colleges without requiring the veteran to pay tuition or fees. Qualifying veterans are responsible for other charges including room and board.
Eligibility requirements for this program includes:
- Must be a Kansas resident at the time of entry into military service
- Was declared a prisoner of war, as established by the United States Secretary of Defense after January 1, 1960.
- Can furnish proof of eligibility such as written documentation from the VA, DoD, or the veteran’s branch of service verifying POW status.
Funding for this program may vary from year to year depending on legislation and other issues. Contact the admissions office of the Kansas state-supported college of your choice to learn how to apply for this benefit with that school or institution.
Waiver of Tuition and Fees for Dependents and Spouses of Deceased Military Personnel
This program is similar to the tuition/fees waiver for former prisoners of war. Qualifying applicants will meet the following conditions:
- The military parent or spouse was a Kansas resident
- The military parent or spouse served on active duty, active state or federal service in the Kansas army or air national guard, at the time of death
- The military spouse or parent person died on or after September 11, 2001, while, and as a result of serving in military service.
- The applicant can provide documentation such as a DD Form 13000 Report of Casualty, Form AR 600-8-1 or other written documentation.
Contact the admissions office of the Kansas state-supported college of your choice to learn how to apply for this benefit with that school or institution.
The State of Kansas offers qualifying veterans the opportunity to be awarded a college diploma if their schooling was interrupted by wartime military service. Diplomas may be awarded posthumously. Qualifying criteria includes:
- An Honorable discharge
- Military service during World War Two between September 16, 1940 and December 31, 1946 OR
- Korean War service between June 27, 1950 and January 31, 1955
This program is also open to veterans who earned a diploma, but could not participate in graduation due to military service during the qualifying dates.
Kansas State Veteran Employment Benefits
Kansas State Government Hiring Preference for Veterans
The State of Kansas offers hiring preference for veterans who have not received punitive discharges. There may also be hiring preference extended to spouses of qualifying veterans.
According to the State of Kansas Employment Center official site, state law is designed to, “prevent veterans seeking State employment from being penalized because of time spent in military service. Veterans’ preference recognizes the economic loss suffered by citizens who have served their country in uniform.”
Qualified Kansas veterans and spouses who qualify are, “guaranteed an interview and to receive consideration for the position for which they apply.”
Veteran preference is offered to military members and spouses qualified for the vacant position applied for under the following conditions:
- The vacancy is a “regular classified position” with “Veterans Preference” Eligible (VPE) listed in the job description
- There are no applicants eligible under the Kansas Employee Preference Program who have applied for the specific job listed
- The veteran was not dismissed from state service
- The qualifying active duty service is “not for the Reserves or National Guard training”
- The veteran is not currently on active duty at application time.
Learn more about this hiring preference, qualifying service periods, and how to identify Veteran’s Preference Eligible vacancies at the State of Kansas Employment Center official site.
Veteran Housing Benefits
Kansas State Veterans Homes
The State of Kansas operates two veterans homes located in Fort Dodge and Winfield. Priority care is given to veterans who have a demonstrated need or “no adequate means of support.” Veterans must have active duty service to qualify for admission and the veteran must have a discharge not characterized as Dishonorable.
There are other admissions criteria including:
- Disabled veterans with service-connected disabilities
- Former prisoners of war
- Veterans who receive or are eligible to receive disability compensation
- Veterans who agree to pay the applicable copayment “if they seek VA hospital nursing home or outpatient care.”
Spouses and surviving spouses may be eligible for care in these homes on a space-available basis.
At the time of this writing, the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs official site states that applicants for state-run veterans’ homes, “need not have been actual residents of the State of Kansas. However, Kansas residents will receive priority for acceptance in the Home.”
Kansas State Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Retirement Pay Tax Breaks
Military retirement pay is not subject to state tax in Kansas.
Kansas State Homestead Tax Break for Qualifying Veterans
Qualifying Kansas veterans who were residents of the state for the full tax year may be eligible for a refund of homestead taxes up to $700. This applies specifically to those with a household income that meets need-based thresholds. This may change from year to year as the threshold for household income in 2015 was $34,000 or less.
Those who qualify for this tax refund include:
- Disabled veterans VA-rated at 50% disabled or higher
- Unremarried surviving spouses of disabled Kansas veterans
- Unremarried surviving spouses of active duty military personnel who died in the line of duty.
These refunds are for homes owned and occupied by the veteran and/or spouse as the primary residence. Contact the Kansas Department of Revenue to learn how to claim this tax break and what may be required in the current tax year.
Kansas State Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption for Qualifying Veterans
Kansas state law provides a privately-owned vehicle tax exemption for “not more than two motor vehicles.” This applies when the military member is “mobilized and deployed on the date of the application for registration of the vehicle(s).
“A separate exemption may be granted by the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals for RV-titled vehicles.” The vehicles cannot be used as part of a business and the following qualifying circumstances apply including, but not limited to:
- The veteran’s name is listed on the vehicle title as the legal owner
- Kansas is listed as the home of record
- The applicant is active duty, National Guard or Reserve (mobilized or deployed).
Contact the Kansas Department of Revenue to learn how to claim this motor vehicle tax exemption. Tax laws change frequently. The requirements of previous years or the amounts of the tax break may not be consistent from year to year.
Additional Kansas State Veteran Benefits
Recreational Benefits for Veterans
Kansas offers free and discounted fishing and hunting licenses, reduced or free state park admission, and other outdoor recreation perks to National Guard members and disabled veterans. There are a variety of these benefits which all require documentation and applications. Application forms for licenses and permits can be downloaded from the KDWPT website at www.kdwp.state.ks.us.
Free hunting and fishing licenses are available for qualifying Guard members and veterans VA-rated at 30% disabled or greater. Discounted park entry is also an option. Active duty military stationed in Kansas are allowed to buy annual state licenses, permits, etc. at the Kansas resident rate.
Burial Benefits for Veterans
The State of Kansas operates four veterans’ cemeteries located in:
- Fort Dodge
- Fort Riley
Requirements for interment are basically identical to the Department of Veterans Affairs requirements for burial in a veteran’s cemetery operated under VA jurisdiction. Those requirements include:
- Any military discharge not characterized as Dishonorable
- Veterans who died on active duty
- National Guard or Reservists members with 20 years of qualifying service entitled to retirement pay and at least 60 years old.
Spouses, surviving spouses, and certain dependent children may also qualify under the following conditions:
- The spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran eligible for interment in a State Veterans’ Cemetery. The veteran does not have to be buried there, but qualified for the benefit.
- Any natural or adoptive child of an eligible veteran who is under the age of 21 and unmarried.
- Under 23 years of age and pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved education institution.
- Unmarried adult children of eligible veterans in cases where the child became permanently physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support prior to the 21st birthday (or before reaching 23 years age if pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved educational institution).
Basic burial services for veterans, spouses, and dependents are fee-free and pre-need eligibility determination is encouraged. Applying for pre-need determination does not guarantee a space in the cemetery. but does establish that the veteran and/or spouse’s ability to be interred at the facility.
Learn more at the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs official site.
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