Did you know that New Jersey has more than 400,000 veterans, making up almost 5 percent of the population? It ranks 19th in total number of veterans. Because of this high number, New Jersey has a wealth of financial benefits, health care, and other benefits military veterans can turn to.
If you are a military veteran living in New Jersey, you may not know about all of the benefits you can apply for. Let us look a bit closer at the New Jersey state veteran benefits you may want to turn to.
New Jersey State Veteran Benefits: Housing Benefits
New Jersey offers a number of housing options for veterans who have been honorably discharged from service. These include veterans memorial homes and Veterans Haven.
Veterans Memorial Homes
The state has three main memorial homes located in Paramus, Menlo Park, and Vineland. These homes are available to honorably discharged servicemen and women, their spouses, and Gold Star families. Residents do pay but how much is based on income assessment.
These homes are inspected and licensed annually by the New Jersey Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These state-operated nursing homes offer medical and nursing care around the clock. They have rehabilitative services, including physical therapies, speech therapies, and occupational therapies.
The homes have fully-equipped beauty and barber shops, outdoor patios, picnic grounds, chapels for religious services that include all faiths.
Preference for housing is given to people who were state residents for at least two years before applying.
Veterans Haven is a transition home for homeless veterans. The VA Medical Center will medically evaluate the veterans who are willing to take part in a long-term program focusing on social, psychological, and vocational rehabilitation. This will take place at Veterans Haven South.
At Veterans Haven South, veterans must agree to maintain sobriety. Staff will conduct random drug and alcohol testing and violators of the rules will go to an outpatient program.
Veterans Haven South is a 100-bed facility that offers bridge housing, clinical treatment, and service-intensive transitional housing. To be eligible the person must be a veteran, must be homeless, must be eligible for VA healthcare benefits, and the person has to be drug and alcohol free at admission.
New Jersey also offers a wide array of financial benefits for eligible veterans. These include income tax benefits, tax deductions, and catastrophic entitlement.
For people who were residents of New Jersey before they went into the military, the income they make from their service is not subject to state taxes as long as you meet certain criteria.
You must not have had a permanent home in New Jersey for the tax year and you must have spent less than 30 days in the state during the same tax year. You must also have had a permanent home outside of New Jersey for the entire year. Keep in mind that barracks, quarters assigned on vessels, and bachelor officers´ quarters do not count.
Retired pay and Survivor Benefit Plan payments are also tax-free.
Veteran Income Tax Deduction
On the year you are honorably discharged from duty or released under honorable circumstances, you are eligible for a one-time $6,000 tax deduction. It is an option available to residents and non-residents and you are still eligible to apply for all other tax benefits.
New Jersey Property Tax Deduction
If you served at least 14 days in a combat zone and were honorably discharged, you are eligible for a $250 property tax deduction every year.
War veterans who are permanently and totally disabled may be eligible for a total exemption of property taxes on their homes.
New Jersey Catastrophic Entitlement
Wartime veterans who are New Jersey residents and who are permanently disabled can apply for a monthly payment of $62.50. The qualifying disabilities include loss of sight, paralysis, limb amputation, and more.
New Jersey veterans can also have access to employment benefits. These include preference for state jobs, CDL licenses, and pensions.
Preference for State Jobs
Veterans who apply for a New Jersey state job, who qualify, and who receive a passing score are placed as the top candidates for the position. Veterans with at least 10 percent disability are given the most preference.
The spouse of a disabled veteran is also entitled to these benefits, but if they receive the job, the veteran loses this benefit. Until they remarry, the surviving spouse of an eligible veteran also receives these benefits.
Veterans who have or have had military commercial driver’s licenses do not have to take the practical portion of the CDL license exam.
Veterans Status for Pensions
If you are a veteran and employed by the state, you may qualify for retirement benefits. One of the requirements is that you are covered by the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), or the New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF).
The added benefits for veterans include being able to retire at 55 after having served 25 years and having a larger maximum annual allowance.
War Orphans Tuition Assistance
Children of military members who were killed in battle or because of disabilities connected to their service, or who are missing in action can receive $500 every year for a four-year college program or equivalent training.
For qualification, the child has to have been a resident of New Jersey for at least a year before applying and they must be between 16 and 21 years of age.
Honorably discharged disabled veterans can apply for free hunting and fishing licenses along with free quail, pheasant, and trout stamps. Active duty servicemen and women can apply for free licenses, as well, no matter where they are stationed, as can National Guard members.
New Jersey provides free burial and perpetual care for veterans who were residents of the state, as well as their spouses and dependent children, at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown.
Know Your Benefits
If you are a veteran, you need to know what New Jersey state veteran benefits you are entitled to. If you run into problems claiming disability, it is vital that you have someone on your side to help.
At VetLink Solutions, we are veterans helping other veterans, offering the assistance you need to claim your benefits. We will help you file a successful claim with the VA. Get your free evaluation by a veteran medical benefits advisor. today.