New York service members risk their lives every day to protect their country. It makes sense that their home state provides them with services when they come home.
The transition back into civilian life following their service in the U.S. Armed Forces isn’t easy. Living in NY as a veteran doesn’t mean that you have to struggle.
There are several New York State veteran benefits that veterans should take advantage of. Eligibility for certain benefits depends on residency, disability status, and other military components. Our free evaluation can help point you in the right direction.
Continue reading to see what New York has to offer veterans to make their lives a little easier once they return home from the military.
Veterans Housing Benefits
A veteran’s discharge might have been the result of an injury that left them unable to care for themselves. NY Veterans Homes benefits cover the cost of nursing facilities for veterans. Some facilities are located in Batavia, Long Island, Oxford, St. Albans, and Montrose.
Access to Homes for Heroes is a financial program that makes necessary changes to living spaces for low-income disabled vets. This is available for veterans with an income 120% lower than the local median income average.
Houses for Veterans is a home loan program for vets. The program has fixed mortgage rates and lowered interest rates. This program is also available for active-duty service members, reservists, and guard members.
Veterans Education Benefits
Veterans Tuition Award gives honorably discharged wartime veterans access to free education. This is for undergraduate and graduate programs or certifications from vocational training programs. Students must have been in the military during a certain set of wartimes, including:
- Vietnam vets from February 28, 1961, to May 5, 1975
- Persian Gulf vets on or after August 2, 1990
- Afghanistan vets following September 11, 2001
This also includes any veterans who served in hostile areas AND received an expeditionary medal.
There are also programs available for financial assistance for the dependents of veterans. The New York State Regents Award provides a $450 yearly stipend to students with a parent who served during national emergencies.
The Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) scholarship recognizes military service. It is financial aid offered to dependents of military service members who died or were disabled after August 2, 1990.
It provides four years’ tuition for an undergrad program. Students must attend full-time and have a good academic standing.
Veterans Employment Benefits
Veterans can receive additional points on a Civil Service exam with the Civil Service Credit Preference. Disabled wartime vets get 10 points, vets who served during wartime get 5 points, and honorably discharged vets get 2.5 points.
The Military Service Credit is available for veteran service members. It helps them to receive credits towards retirement through state and local retirement systems.
Some veterans are eligible for a free lifetime New York State Peddler’s License. These vets served overseas and received an honorable discharge. With the license, veterans can sell goods or solicit a trade in a certain area.
Veterans Financial Assistance
The NY State Gold Star Annuity is for the parents of a military member with a Gold Star label. It ensures they receive payments if a military member dies during certain conflicts.
The New York State Blind Annuity provides payments to blind military members following discharge. The blindness doesn’t have to be related to their service. This program can also benefit military spouses as well.
Veterans Tax Exemptions
Active duty service members are only exempt from income tax if they meet a series of requirements. Military retired pay, however, is exempt from New York state income tax.
Any military disability retirement pay received as a pension or annuity is non-taxable. This includes disability compensation and pension payments. It can also include grants for disabled vets needing wheelchair access and motor vehicles.
Property tax exemptions require that all applications are due before taxes (based on the city or county regulations). Qualifying spouses may also file for benefits.
The Alternative Veterans’ Exemption is for vets who served during a time of war or received an expeditionary medal. The Cold War Veterans’ Exemption is available for any vet who served between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991.
The Eligible Funds Exemption is for any properties bought with non-taxable income (i.e., pensions, bonuses, or insurance funds).
Veteran Recreation Benefits
Disabled veterans can get hunting and fishing licenses at a lower cost than civilians with a disability rating of 40% or higher.
State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans is also available at a reduced rate for wartime vets with a 40% or higher disability rating. They’re eligible for the Lifetime Liberty Pass.
Miscellaneous Veterans Benefits
Burial Allowance is available for the families of veterans killed in action. It provides up to $6,000 to cover burial costs.
NY Paid Family Leave Act is also available to veterans who are welcoming a child into their family or caring for sick relatives. This type of leave is for up to 10 weeks.
The New York State Thruway Authority has an EZ Pass for Disabled Vets that gives them free, unlimited travel on the Thruway. The vets who qualify for the EZ Pass must also be candidates for fee-exempt vehicle registration through the DMV.
New York State Veteran Benefits
As a veteran, there are several New York State veteran benefits that might be useful to your specific situation once you’ve been discharged from the military.
Contact us at VetLink Solutions today with any questions you might have regarding the veteran benefits available in your state. Being veterans ourselves means that we’ve all been through the process a time or two. We’d be happy to help you in any way that we can.