Around 384,000 veterans call Missouri home. That’s 8.1 percent of the local population.
Each and every one of these brave men and women can claim certain Missouri state veteran benefits. From practical help to recreational activities, the state is committed to helping veterans after they make sacrifices to protect the freedom of the USA.
Unfortunately, the details of these benefits aren’t always well-publicized, and the process of making a claim can be complex. Therefore, many veterans struggle without the state help they’re entitled to.
In this article, we’ll review all the benefits available to veterans in Missouri and the eligibility criteria. Read on to find out more.
Missouri Veterans Homes
Missouri has seven veteran homes available for those in medical need. This is more than most states. Veterans hoping to be admitted to one of these homes need to have lived in Missouri for at least 180 days and not have a dishonorable discharge.
If there are spaces in each home, veterans can choose between living in Cameron, Warrensburg, Cape Giradeau, St. Louis, Mexico, Mt. Vernon, and St. James.
Missouri Veteran Financial Benefits
Every military veteran from Missouri can benefit from significant financial help both during active duty and after they retire. Rather than grants and loans, these benefits are in the form of long-term tax help.
Although other states offer grants, Missouri is one of the more generous states in terms of tax exemptions which can be more beneficial for many veterans in the long run.
Service members do not pay any tax on their earnings during active duty. Currently, up to 60 percent of reserve pay is also exempt from tax. However, this is going to increase to 100 percent tax-free by 2024.
Veterans also don’t pay any tax on military retirement pay and any SBP benefits.
Property Tax Credits
100 percent disabled veterans can claim tax credits through the Missouri Property Tax Credit Claim scheme. This gives them credits for real estate taxes or rent.
The maximum allowance is $750 for rental fees or $1100 for an owned property. However, the exact amount is calculated based on the total amount of tax due compared to the total taxable household income.
For help with claiming property tax credits, you should contact your local veteran advisor.
Missouri Veteran Employment Benefits
Getting back to regular employment after life in the forces isn’t always straightforward.
Veterans often find they’re too unwell or untrained for many jobs. However, Missouri state offers benefits to encourage and help veterans find a suitable position with a stable income.
Veterans Preference For State Employment
Any veteran from Missouri can claim a five-point advantage when they’re testing for state employment positions. If they have a service-connected disability, they can get 10 points. In some cases, spouses of eligible veterans can also apply.
Commercial Driver Exam (CDL) Exemption
If an active duty member or veteran meets specific criteria, they can get an exemption from the skills section of the commercial driver’s license exam. They must still complete the knowledge exam to get a full license.
Applicants must have at least 60 days of driving experience in a similar commercial motor vehicle while in the military within the last two years.
Missouri Veteran Education Benefits
Most veterans sacrifice their right to a typical education when they enlist. However, this doesn’t mean they or their families should suffer in later years. There are several educational veteran benefits in Missouri.
Missouri Returning Heroes Act
The returning heroes act is effectively a tuition cap. It limits state college fees to a maximum of $50 per hour.
To be eligible for this benefit, veterans must be residents in Missouri, not receive a dishonorable discharge, serve in a combat zone after 9/11, and meet GPA standards.
War Veteran’s Survivor Grant Program
The survivor grant helps the dependents of veterans whose death or injuries were due to combat action. Any resident veteran who is 80 percent disabled and served after 9/11 can apply for these grants to assist with education fees.
Missouri Veteran Recreation Benefits
Missouri offers recreational veteran benefits, allowing them to hunt and fish without difficulty.
Honorably discharged veterans with a 60 percent or more service-connected disability can fish and hunt without a license in Missouri. They must carry their eligibility evidence with them to show if questioned.
Guard and Reserve members do require a license, but if they’ve been relocated by federal orders in the last 12 months, they only need to pay $5 for their license.
Anyone on active duty and their families can purchase a license at the resident rate while they’re stationed in Missouri.
State Veterans Cemeteries
Veterans do not need to pay for burial at any of the five veteran cemeteries in Missouri. The eligibility requirements are the same as any federal cemetery, and veterans don’t need to live in Missouri to apply.
Spouses and dependent children can also request burial next to their loved ones.
These veteran cemeteries are located in Jacksonville, Springfield, Fort Leonard Wood, Higginsville, and Bloomfield.
Missouri State Veteran Benefits Explained
Missouri State is proud to offer certain help to the veterans that reside there. Many veterans and their families can benefit from the practical, financial, educational, and recreational aid available.
At VetLink solutions, we know everything there is to know about Missouri state veteran benefits so that you don’t have to. If you’re a veteran or veteran’s dependent, we can guide you through the process or even submit a claim on your behalf.
Why not contact us today for a free evaluation with one of our veteran advisors?