There are around 127,000 veterans living in Nebraska, with the largest number of them located in Sarpy County and Logan County. The high number of veterans in Nebraska has encouraged state legislation to offer lots of benefits. These range from education and recreation to housing benefits.
If you are a veteran living in Nebraska, you may know there are benefits available but you may not know everything you are eligible for. Read on to learn about the Nebraska state veteran benefits you can apply for.
Nebraska State Veteran Benefits for Housing
In Nebraska, there are four veterans homes located in Bellevue, Kearney, Norfolk, and Scottsbluff. These houses offer resident veterans who are disabled and need care admission based on some income requirements.
These homes offer physical therapy meant to improve quality of life through diagnoses, prognosis, physical intervention, and patient education. There are also occupational therapy services that help residents participate in activities, even if they require special equipment.
The housing facilities offer speech therapy, as well, which helps evaluate, diagnose, and treat communication issues, voice disorders, swallowing disorders, and more. You can also receive hospice and palliative care, offering comfort at the end of life of a veteran.
For veterans with memory issues, there are memory support care units. There is a dementia program, encouraging members to live their life to the fullest in a communal setting. The program is tailored to meet the needs of members with grooming, meals, ADLs, and exercise.
It offers gender-specific activities, music, walks, one on one interventions, group interactions, and much more.
There are many financial benefits for veterans in Nebraska. Here are some of the most important ones you want to consider.
Retired Military Pay
A veteran has to choose an exemption for retirement pay within two years of separating from the military.
They can choose to have 40 percent of their retirement pay excluded from taxation for 7 years. They can also have 15 percent of their retirement pay excluded from taxation. That option begins when the veteran turns 67 and continues for the length of the pay.
Nebraska Veterans’ Aid Fund
This is a temporary aid fund for veterans, their spouses, and their dependents. If there is an emergency that disrupts their way of living and there are no other resources available, this fund can help.
The money from the fund can only be used for food, fuel, shelter, medical items, surgical items, funerary needs, and wearing apparel. You can apply for this fund through the county or post service officer in any recognized veterans’ organization in the nearest county.
Nebraska Homestead Exemption
Veterans who are completely disabled and who have been honorably discharged may qualify for reduced property taxes. The spouses of a veteran can also be eligible after the veteran’s death as long as they remain unmarried. Unmarried spouses of veterans killed in action can also qualify but there may be income limits as well as home value limits.
Veteran Employment Benefits
Some of the best benefits for veterans in Nebraska are the employment benefits. These include preferences as well as occupational licenses.
State Employment Veterans Preference
This type of Nebraska veteran benefit for employment lets honorably discharged have a hiring preference in all state, county, and municipal jobs. Veterans receive 5 percent points added to their testing score for employment and disabled veterans get 5 percent on top of that.
Some spouses can also receive a hiring preference, especially those of active-duty members honorably discharged within 180 days as well as spouses of veterans who are completely disabled.
Veterans and active-duty members, along with their families, can apply for occupational licenses based on the military experience they had. They can also apply for expedited and temporary license approvals.
Veterans in Nebraska may also be eligible for many education benefits. These can include tuition waivers as well as reservist tuition credits. Let us look at these a bit closer.
All state and community colleges, including the University of Nebraska, can offer free tuition to eligible dependent children of veterans. The child must have a veteran parent who died in service or because of active duty. Or, they must be permanently and totally disabled because of active duty.
Reservist Tuition Credit
A member of the reserve unit can be eligible for half-off tuition at state-funded community colleges and universities.
Nebraska veterans who are at least 50 percent disabled can apply for free lifetime hunting and fishing licenses. Veterans who are older than 64 can get these licenses for $5. Active duty members who are stationed in Nebraska for more than 30 days can also apply for these licenses at the residential rate.
Nebraska residents who are deployed out of state in the last 12 months can get an Annual Small Game Hunt/Fish Permit at $5 on a one-time basis, including all state stamps.
In Nebraska, there is one veterans’ cemetery in Alliance. It follows the same eligibility rules that federal cemeteries have. They allow eligible veterans and their dependents to be buried there for free.
Get the Benefits You Deserve
If you are a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, you want to be sure you can get the benefits to which you are entitled. If you are not sure about your eligibility or if you have questions about what you can expect from Nebraska state veteran benefits, you can turn to experts like us at VetLink Solutions.
We are veterans ready to help other veterans get the help they deserve. Get a free evaluation by a Veteran Medical Benefits Advisor today.