As of 2019, 292,586 veterans call Louisiana home. While this is a relatively small number compared to other states, it doesn’t mean the benefits program is any less preferential.
Veterans in Louisiana can benefit from a range of financial, educational, and recreational help after service. This is Lousiana’s way of thanking the brave men and women for the sacrifices they made to keep our country safe.
Unfortunately, the Louisiana state veteran benefits aren’t always well-publicized. Many veterans don’t have the resources to make the most compelling claims. This article will review all the benefits available for Louisiana veterans and show the eligibility criteria for each.
Read on to find out more.
Louisiana War Veterans Homes
There are five homes in Louisiana that provide medical assistance to veterans in medical need. They are located in Reserve, Bossier City, Monroe, Jackson, and Jennings.
These homes are available to any veteran citizens in Louisiana as long as they aren’t dishonorably discharged. In the rare situation that one of these veterans has an income, they need to pay for their stay. Otherwise, it’s free.
Spouses of veterans and Gold Star parents are also eligible if they meet essential qualifying criteria.
Louisiana Veteran Financial Benefits
Helping veterans financially is one of the most valuable ways to help them reintegrate after active duty. Veterans in Louisiana can claim certain tax allowances and assistance funds.
Veterans in Louisiana don’t pay any tax on the first $30,000 they earn if they’re stationed out of state for over 120 days in a row. They also don’t pay tax on any retirement pay or SBP payments.
Property Tax Exemptions
If veterans are classed as 100% permanently disabled after active duty, they don’t need to pay any ad valorem tax on their property. A surviving spouse of a military member killed in action can also claim this benefit.
Military Family Assistance Fund
The military family assistance fund is a valuable resource to help veteran families when they encounter financial difficulties. The Department of Veteran Affairs will pay up to $10,000 per claim (maximum one claim per year) depending on the veteran’s circumstances.
National Guard Death & Disability Benefit
There are payments of either $100,000 or $250,000 for certain Louisiana national guard members and their families.
Any guardsman who suffered a permanent, 100% disability while on duty after 9/11 is eligible for $100,000. Families of a guardsman killed under the same conditions can claim $250,000.
Louisiana Veteran Employment Benefits
Many veterans struggle to find steady employment after active duty. Louisiana has several benefits and schemes that aid service members in finding a permanent job if they’re able.
Any honorably discharged veteran can claim a 5 point preference in state hiring exams in Louisiana. Veterans with a service-related disability get an extra 10 points in total.
If a veteran is killed in action or unable to work due to disability or killed, the spouse or un-remarried widows and Gold Star parents can claim this benefit instead.
Transfer of Military Skills to Civilian Employment
Any military members with commercial skills that would usually require a license may not have to take the traditional route to obtain a permit outside of the military.
For example, they usually wouldn’t have to sit a new exam for a commercial driver’s license if they drove the same vehicles in the military.
Louisiana Veteran Educational Benefits
Many veterans waived their right to education at the traditional time when they enlisted. Therefore, several educational plans and grants are available for these veterans and their families.
Louisiana Title 29 Dependents Educational Assistance
The surviving spouses of military members can claim educational assistance in Louisiana. Veterans who are 90% disabled or more or unemployable can also claim this benefit.
There are strict eligibility criteria to claim educational assistance; contact your local veteran advisor for more guidance on this benefit.
National Guard Tuition Waiver
One of the most beneficial service member benefits is the tuition waiver that Louisiana offers. All members of the National Guard can claim free tuition at a state-funded college, university, technical school, or bachelor’s degree program.
Louisiana Veteran Recreation Benefits
As crucial as practical, financial, and educational benefits are, military members can also claim assistance for recreational activities. These include:
Licenses for Active Duty Members and Veterans
All active-duty members and their families can buy hunting and fishing licenses in Louisiana for the regular resident rate when they’re stationed in the state.
Veterans who are 50% disabled or higher and are residents of Louisiana can get these licenses for free.
Free and Discounted Admission to State Parks
Disabled veterans and anyone they travel with don’t need to pay any fees when visiting a Louisiana state park. If they’re still an active duty member, then they can claim a 50% discount.
Louisiana Veterans Cemeteries
There are four veterans cemeteries situated in Louisiana. These are in Keithville, Slidell, Leesville, and Rayville.
Veterans do not pay a fee to be buried here as long as they meet the qualifying criteria. Spouses and dependent children only pay a small fee.
Louisiana State Veteran Benefits Explained
That’s everything you need to know about the Lousiana state veteran benefits that are available. Whether you’re a veteran or the surviving spouse of a military member killed in the line of duty, you’re entitled to some help after service.
So, don’t miss out on what you deserve. At Vetlink Solutions, we understand the plight of the veteran and can submit claims to the VA on your behalf if necessary.
Why not contact us today for a free evaluation conducted by one of our veteran advisors?