If you’re a veteran in the state of Maryland, you may be entitled to benefits you aren’t aware of. Read on for a list of state-provided benefits you can take advantage of daily, whether they’re financial, employment, or recreational-related.
In the state of Maryland, veterans have access to several financial benefits—most of which work to alleviate their yearly tax payments. These financial benefits include:
- Property tax exemption
- Income tax adjustment
- Pension tax exclusion
- Vessel excise tax
Property Tax Exemption
Any veteran who is totally and permanently disabled due to service-related causes is completely exempt from property taxes on their primary residence. Upon the death of the veteran, this exemption passes on to their spouse indefinitely. For surviving spouses of active-duty military personnel who have been killed in the line of duty or are permanently disabled, a property tax exemption may be applicable.
Income Tax Adjustment
Veterans in Maryland are also eligible for adjustments or decreases to their income tax payments. A veteran serving overseas can earn up to $15,000 tax-free. However, those earning $30,000 or more are not eligible for any income tax deductions.
For retired military personnel, up to $5,000 retired military pay and SBP payments are completely tax-free. After the age of 55, this un-taxable limit raises to $15,000.
Pension Tax Exclusion
Veterans who are over the age of 65 or are totally disabled may qualify for Maryland’s maximum pension exclusion of $34,300. According to instruction 13 of the Maryland resident tax booklet, eligible veterans may also be able to subtract a portion of their taxable pension or retirement annuity income from their gross federal income. This subtraction also applies to spouses of those who were totally disabled in a service-caused incident.
Vessel Excise Tax
Active-duty military personnel who have purchased a boat may be eligible for an exemption from Maryland’s 5% vessel excise tax. This exemption only applies to vessels that have been purchased out of state and brought to Maryland due to a permanent change of station. Veterans who have purchased a boat in the state for recreational use are not eligible for an exemption from the vessel excise tax.
Veterans also have access to a number of unique unemployment benefits, including:
- CDL license waiver
- State employment veterans preference
The purpose of these benefits is to reduce the strain of finding a job after exiting the service. Veterans are often overlooked due to their time outside a traditional working environment, and these employment benefits are intended to give veterans the added edge they need to secure a position.
CDL License Waiver
Veterans who are interested in a career that requires long hours of driving will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will waive the CDL class A&B skills test requirements for veterans who applied for a CDL license within twelve months of their discharge; providing they possessed those qualifications in the service.
State Employment Veterans Preference
Veterans will receive additional accreditation for all skilled and professional appointments. A credit of ten points will be awarded to any eligible veteran, the spouse of a veteran with a total disability, and to the surviving spouse of a deceased eligible veteran. Veterans with a service-related disability will be awarded an extra two points in compensation.
Veterans may also take advantage of several recreational benefits provided by the state of Maryland. This includes:
- Active duty hunting and fishing licenses
- Free hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans
- Free state park admissions
Active Duty Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Maryland military personnel who are on active duty either at home or on leave are not required to purchase a hunting or fishing license; one will be provided to them completely free of charge. Non-residents who are stationed in Maryland may purchase their hunting and fishing licenses at the residential rate.
Free Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans
Veterans who are residents of Maryland may be eligible for a free lifetime hunting license. This applies to veterans who are former POWs or are totally disabled due to a service-related incident. The lifetime hunting license comes complete with a bow stamp, muzzleloader stamp, and furbearer permit. However, this complimentary license does not include the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp.
Maryland veterans are also eligible for a free fishing license, provided they are certified as a former POW or are completely service-connected disabled. This license incorporates elements of both the Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license and the non-tidal angler’s license, but does not include the trout stamp.
Free State Park Admissions
Veterans are also encouraged to enjoy Maryland’s state parks with no added cost. All entrance charges to the state’s parks are completely waived for all veterans, whether they are resident, non-resident, or active duty personnel. This waiver applies to the veteran only, and not to others in the same vehicle; unless a per-vehicle charge is in effect at the time of entry.
Maryland Veterans Home
Veterans over the age of 62 who have been honorably discharged are welcome at Maryland’s veteran home in Charlotte Hall. While there may be a small charge, veterans who are disabled and unable to work are encouraged to utilize the facility.
Maryland State Veterans Cemetery
A burial plot will be provided to veterans who have received an honorable discharge, as long as they are a resident of Maryland. This also applies to the eligible dependents of the veteran, though plots are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
The veteran will incur no costs for the burial plot, opening and closing, headstone, and state liner, though dependents will incur a minimal opening and closing fee.
Find Out What Benefits You’re Eligible For
Find out if you qualify for an increase in your Veteran Benefits by visiting VetLink Solutions today.