Are you one of the 165,538 Mississippi veteran residents? MS is proud that you’ve chosen to live here. Are you familiar with all the Mississippi State Veteran Benefits available to you?
You may be surprised at the education, tax, recreation, and other assistance available. Keep reading the learn about all the MS has to offer you.
Housing Options for Veteran Citizens in Mississippi
Are you interested in living in one of the four veteran homes? They’re located in Kosciusko, Oxford, Jackson, and Collins. You will need to meet these requirements.
- Active-duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Honorable discharge or separation documentation (DD 214 or equivalent)
- Spouse of a resident living in an MS State Veteran’s Nursing Home
- MS residency (unless no current resident is waiting for admission)
- Current physician medical exam within 30 days before admission
New residents can’t have communicable diseases or need care beyond the home’s limits. You must also not demonstrate dangerous behavior to yourself or others.
If you wish to buy a home, you may be eligible for a VA-Backed mortgage with low interest. This only applies to single-family residences in the state. You can also apply for permanent financing on a construction loan to build a home.
Did you serve on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces for 90 during a war or armed conflict? Did you receive an honorable discharge? Did you sustain a service-connected injury within 90 days that led to your discharge?
Are you certified as a disabled veteran (DAV)? This means you have at least a 30 percent disability rating or received a Purple Heart.
If you answered yes, you’ll get five preference points above other applicants for jobs. If you’re disabled, the MS Personnel Board gives you ten extra preference points. During state layoffs, veterans get four and DAVs get eight retention points.
All state employees get 15 paid military leave days each year. This doesn’t affect your efficiency ratings or annual leave. If your military duties exceed 15 days, you’re eligible for a leave of absence and reemployment.
Mississippi Veteran Education
The Mississippi State Educational Assistance Program (SEAP) oversees veteran education. If you aren’t receiving Federal Tuition Assistance, they’ll pay tuition.
The SEAP requires schools to be state or regionally accredited. Another option, at some schools, is the Free Tuition Program.
You must be a registered voter in MS and enrolled in a state or regionally accredited program. Participants can only use this for undergraduate or vocational training. They must keep their GPA at least 2.0 per semester.
All MS National Guard members and those enlisted for the whole semester are eligible. You may also use this benefit if you’re a cadet, officer candidate, or have completed basic training. There is a 10-year limit from the first payment for this benefit.
The Yellow Ribbon Program also offers tuition and fee help at some schools. It provides aid to foreign schools, out-of-state schools, or graduate schools. This assists with education expenses not covered by the Post-9/11 Bill.
To qualify for the 100 percent benefit, you must meet one of the following qualifications.
- Active-duty service for at least 36 months and honorable discharge
- Purple Heart recipient on or after September 11, 2001, and honorable discharge
- Thirty consecutive days of active duty on or after September 11, 2001, and discharged
- Dependent children of a Veteran using transferred benefits
- Fry Scholars
Active-duty members won’t qualify for this program until August 1, 2022. At that time you must have completed 36 months of active duty service. Spouses may then use transferred benefits as well.
MS Veteran Burial
Veteran cemeteries are located in Biloxi, Natchez, Corinth, Jackson, Kilmichael, and Newton. There’s no fee for veteran burial. A fee is charged for spouses and qualified dependent children.
Tax Breaks for Veteran Families
Military veterans receive tax breaks in MS. Make sure you’re getting these exemptions.
Homestead Property Tax Exemption
Honorably discharged veterans with VA proof of service-connected total disability qualify. Surviving spouses also don’t pay property taxes on the assessed value of their property.
MS Income Tax Exemption
Retired MS veterans don’t pay income tax for pensions, retirement income, or annuities. You must meet the retirement plan qualifications.
Military spouses moving to MS for a duty assignment can keep their former residency. You must file a joint Non-Resident Individual Income Tax Return Form 80-250.
Copies of the Military Spouse ID card and Federal Form DD-2058 are also needed. It’s important to know that you’re still responsible for taxes on non-military income.
Combat Pay Exemption
Are you receiving payments from the U.S. Armed Forces for hazardous duty performed in a combat zone? If so, this income isn’t taxable.
MS National Guard and Reserve Member Exemption
The first $15,000 of income doesn’t count in your income for tax purposes. This includes all inactive training duty and active duty pay.
All 100 percent MS DAVs get free MS hunting or fishing licenses. MS military residents serving outside of MS don’t need to buy a license when home on leave.
Non-MS resident military members stationed in MS may buy a license at resident prices. If non-residents aren’t serving in MS, they’re allowed to buy a 14-day license.
Concealed Weapon Permit
Active-duty servicemembers don’t have to pay for a concealed weapon permit. DAVs are also exempt from these fees.
If you’re a veteran and resident of MS for at least the last 12 months, you can apply for a permit. Those who already have a permit from another state don’t have to meet this residency rule. Exemptions are also given to active military stationed in MS.
Do You Need Help With Mississippi Veterans Disability Benefits?
Are you struggling to complete the Disabled Veteran Benefits application? VetLink Solutions helps veterans with getting medical evaluations. Their staff will guide you to complete the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ).
They’ll also walk you through the steps for filing your claim. Veterans must e-file or mail their DBQ to the Veterans Administration directly.
Are You Getting All the Mississippi State Veteran Benefits You’re Entitled To?
You served your country and now MS wants to thank you. VetLink Solutions will help you find the Mississippi State Veteran Benefits you qualify for.
Our staff includes service-disabled veterans with decades of experience working with the VA. They will answer your questions, help you find benefits, and guide you through the process.
We want to make a difference in our veteran’s quality of life. Schedule your free evaluation today to speak to a Veteran Medical Benefits Advisor.