Find Mississippi state and local veteran’s benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation, and much more below. A little under 200,000 veterans reside in “The Magnolia State” according to the VA.
Mississippi State Veteran Education Benefits
In-State Tuition Benefits for Veterans
Any military veteran or those entitled to education benefits under Title 38 (including survivors and dependents) may qualify for in-state tuition even if they are not a state resident.
Education Benefits for Children of POWs and MIAs
Children of those reported as missing in action or prisoners of war may qualify for eight semesters of education benefits from the State of Mississippi. Tuition is free in such cases for qualifying applicants attending state supported schools, but the following expenses are not covered by the scholarship:
- School supplies
- Dues or fees for extracurricular activities
Mississippi National Guard Scholarships
“Certain members of the active Mississippi National Guard” may qualify for free tuition at accredited colleges, vocational schools, junior colleges, etc. Mississippi residency is required. Applicants should contact their unit orderly room or command support staff to learn what application procedures are required at the unit level.
State of Mississippi High School Diploma Program for Qualifying Wartime Veterans
Mississippi law allows local school boards to offer honorary high school diplomas to veterans of World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam if those veterans could not complete high school due to enlisting in the United States military. Specifically, this program is for:
- Mississippi residents
- Those who should have graduated between 1941 and 1955 OR
- Scheduled to graduate between 1963 and 1973 and awarded the Vietnam Service Ribbon.
Family members may apply to have a diploma awarded posthumously.
Mississippi State Veteran Employment Benefits
State Retirement Credit for Qualifying Wartime Veterans
Anyone contributing to the Mississippi State Public Employees Retirement System with wartime service during World War Two (including Maritime Service) may be entitled to four years of credit. This is as long as they entered state service after finishing their military obligation.
There is also the option to have this credit extended beyond four years in cases where the employee was retained by the military for circumstances beyond the service member’s control.
Mississippi State Veteran Housing Benefits
State of Mississippi Veterans Home Purchase Board
Qualifying veterans may be eligible for low interest mortgages up to $250,000, which is good for existing construction homes or for having a house built to suit.
This loan option from the State of Mississippi is available for those who were residents of the state prior to enlisting. Additionally for those who have been a Mississippi resident for two consecutive years before filling out loan application paperwork.
This loan option is available to anyone who qualifies for the VA home loan program and can provide a VA Certificate of Eligibility for a VA mortgage. An Honorable discharge is also required.
Mississippi Veterans Homes
The State of Mississippi operates four veterans’ homes located in Collins, Jackson, Kosciusko, and Oxford. They feature skilled care and 150 beds in each facility. Nursing care, pharmacy services, rehabilitation, and social services are available in these facilities. Admission requirements to these homes includes:
- Qualifying military service with a discharge other than Dishonorable
- Mississippi residency
- No communicable diseases or conditions that may affect safety of other residents
- Out-of-state veterans may be admitted on a space-available basis
- Out-of-state veterans must demonstrate a medical need for skilled care.
Spouses may also qualify for care in these homes, as long as the military member meets the above requirements. Admissions paperwork for families may include the following requirements:
- Application Cover Sheet
- Letter from the Administrator
- Family Cover Sheet
- Social History
- Form 21-22
The entire application process takes approximately two weeks, but expedited processing may be possible in cases of an emergency.
Mississippi state law declares, “There shall be no State Veterans Nursing Home resident daily charge for those residents in need of nursing home care for a VA adjudicated service-connected disability.”
This fee exemption is also extended to veterans who have a singular or combined service-connected rating of seventy percent or higher OR a disability rating of one hundred percent “based on individual unemployability.”
Special assistance may be available for qualifying homeless veterans who need these services.
Mississippi State Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Retirement Pay Tax Exemption
Military retirement pay is not subject to State of Mississippi income tax.
Ad Valorem Homestead Tax Breaks for Veterans
The State of Mississippi offers a homestead tax exemption to “any Veteran having a service-connected, total disability” with an honorable discharge. This exemption is good for “all Ad Valorem taxes on the assessed value of homestead property.” Unremarried surviving spouses of veterans who qualify may also apply for this exemption.
State Business Privilege Tax Exemption for Qualifying Disabled Veterans
While not aimed specifically at veterans, the State of Mississippi offers a business tax exemption from the “privilege tax for specified businesses” to “persons who are 65 or older, blind, deaf, dumb, or with loss (or loss of use) of hand or foot.” Documentation of the disability is required for this tax break. Income requirements may also apply.
Fee-Free Documents and Document Services for Qualifying Veterans
Birth and death certificates are available at no cost from the Mississippi Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. This applies when the records are intended by state residents to make claims for:
- Survivor benefits
The Mississippi State Bureau of Vital Statistics is required to provide a similar service for certified copies of birth certificates for anyone joining the military. Chancery and Circuit Clerks are required to provide fee-free records for veterans and family members including:
- Marriage licenses
- Divorce decrees
- Adoption decrees
- “All other records”
This fee-free service is offered when the documents requested are needed for the following purposes:
- Claims for dependency
- Claims for disability
- Claims for survivor benefits
Mississippi State Additional Veteran Benefits
Concealed Carry Permits Training Exemption for Qualifying Veterans
The state exempts honorably discharged military members and those currently serving from concealed carry firearms training. The service member must have completed law enforcement or combat training with any handgun. An affidavit may be required from the service member stating the required training took place.
Concealed Weapon Permit Fee Exemptions
All active duty service members are exempt from concealed carry permit fees and renewal fees in the State of Mississippi. Furthermore, any veteran having a service connected disability is exempt from concealed carry permit and renewal fees if the veteran is a state resident for 12 months or more at application time.
There is an exception for residency made in cases where the applicant has a valid concealed carry permit from another state, is an active duty military member stationed in the state, or is a law enforcement officer establishing state residency.
Hunting and Fishing Recreational Benefits for Qualifying Disabled Veterans
Veterans with VA rated service-connected disabilities at 100% are not required to buy hunting or fishing licenses in the state. They must have proof of both state residency and disability status while hunting or fishing.
Burial Benefits for Veterans
There are two state-run veteran cemeteries in the State of Mississippi. The Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery is in Newton and North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael.
Interment is open to those with Honorable discharges, plus spouses and dependent children. These cemeteries are also open to Reservists who die while on active duty, or while performing training duty, or “who have 20 years of service in reserve components of the Armed Forces creditable toward retirement pay.”
- Opening and closing of the gravesite
- Furnished grave or columbarium space
- Grave Liner
- Use of Committal Shelter for services
- Supply and installation of suitable headstones or markers
- Perpetual care
Burial benefits are free for veterans, but services for dependents and spouses may require a fee.
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