Did you know that state, city, and community programs also offer a range of veteran benefits and programs for qualifying vets and their families? There are also private groups that offer help with either direct benefits or resources to find veteran benefits. It’s important to know that there is no central repository of information for all such programs, but there are plenty of resources you can use to look up what is available in your area. See below for many ways to find and access these benefits.
District or Territory Department of Veterans Affairs office websites:
|American Samoa||Guam||Northern Mariana Islands|
|Puerto Rico||Virgin Islands||Washington, D.C.|
Additional Veteran Benefits Resources
The U.S. Department Of Labor
This government agency offers a search tool to help veterans find career help in their local area via the DoL’s CareerOneStop program. You can search for local help from your nearest “American Job Center.”
The U.S. Army Official Site
MyArmyBenefits.usarmy.mil offers a very helpful state-by-state clearinghouse of benefits information searchable by clicking on the appropriate state or using a pulldown menu to access information on that state’s education, employment, insurance, and other benefits. You can also find locations to that state’s VA clinics and other VA resources in this one-stop guide. Get started now.
City Websites, Chambers of Commerce Sites
Searching for veteran benefits by city can be a bit more challenging than searching for state resources. There are no real standardized templates for city sites, and you may find no help on one type of official site, while finding a large number of resources on a different city-specific resource.
It’s best to begin your search by checking the official page of your city, village, township, etc. If you have no luck there, try searching for veteran benefits on your local Chamber Of Commerce official site. While you’re at it, be sure to have a look at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site for information on national programs such as Hire Our Heroes.
The Department of Veterans Affairs
The VA official site has a by-state list of VA regional offices and state VA offices. Some of these site vary in detail from others, but many include lists of state resources for veterans that include both VA and non-VA benefit programs.
Organizations with Veterans Service Officers:
- American Legion
- Disabled American Veterans
- Military Order of the Purple Heart
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Vietnam Veterans of America
Some benefits are more well-known than others. Many states offer education assistance, housing, and employment programs for veterans. But there may be tax advantages, retirement home options, even business license exemptions available for qualifying veterans, depending on the state.
It’s always good to know as much about your state options as possible-you never know when you might need to apply for these lesser-known programs.
Examples of Available Veteran Benefits
Many states offer some kind of supplemental or replacement education benefit for veterans. In Illinois, a program known as the Illinois Veterans Grant is for qualifying veterans who listed Illinois as their home of record while serving, or who joined the military while living in the state. This program offers full tuition coverage that can be used separately from or in conjunction with the GI Bill.
Other states offer free or reduced tuition for the dependents of military members. California, Alabama, and other states offer such programs, which may be subject to change from year to year due to legislation or budget issues.
One of the best resources you can use to find these education benefits in your state? Your local state college or state university official website. You will find that in most cases, these sites will have specific information on the veteran education assistance programs offered in that state and how to begin.
These are often listed under a heading in the Admissions section. Look for “Paying For College” or “Student Financial Assistance” headings.
Some states, including Texas, California, Alabama, and others, offer tax breaks to veterans in the form of exemptions or tax-free income options. Alabama has an exemption on military retirement pay, California offers property tax exemptions to qualifying veterans, etc.
You will find tax exemption information on your state’s official site. It’s not safe to assume that any tax breaks you may be entitled to are automatic. Consider the requirements of the New York State official site which includes the following:
“If you’re an eligible veteran, you must submit the initial exemption application form to your assessor. The deadline in most communities is March 1—please confirm the date with your assessor. Proof of discharge under honorable conditions including times and places served in active duty (usually form DD-214) must be attached to the exemption application”.
There are the obvious benefits for veterans seeking home loans-VA mortgage area available from participating lenders all over the United States, but on the state level there are some options that may be of help later in life, such as Arkansas’ state veteran retirement homes.
That benefit is offered to honorably discharged military members with a priority for Arkansas residents. Other programs include Minnesota’s short-term assistance with rent or mortgage payments for qualifying veterans.
These benefits are likely best found via the state’s official site or the state VA regional office official site such as the one for Minnesota.
Finding state-level veterans’ benefits may seem daunting at first. But you’ll discover that getting to know your state’s official site and your state-level Department of Veterans Affairs official site is an excellent way to get caught up on these benefits, future legislation or state planning that might affect them, deadlines for applications, and points of contact in your community for learning more.