Oregon has one of the highest percentages of veterans in the US. In some areas, occupancy can be as high as 12.9%. If you are one of them, are you taking advantage of the many benefits on offer?
We have compiled a handy guide to help you check. Read on as we discuss the Oregon State Veteran Benefits you need to know.
Housing Benefits for Oregon Veterans
There are two main benefits for veterans in Oregon related to housing. One is a loan program, while the other is for veterans who need care in their senior years.
Oregon Veterans Homes
Oregon veteran’s homes are open to all veterans as long as they have not had a dishonorable discharge. Their spouses are also eligible for admission to the homes, as are Gold Star parents. Any applicants must be in need of nursing care and have funds to cover the cost.
There are two veterans’ homes you can choose from. The first is in The Dalles, and the second is situated in Lebanon.
Oregon Veterans Home Loan
This loan is separate from the federal VA Home Loan Guarantee. It can offer fixed-rate financing for specific buying. Purchases made from it must be for an owner-occupied single-family residence and there can be up to four home loans maximum for life benefit.
Veteran Benefits in Oregon for Tax
There are several exemptions and tax benefits for anyone living in Oregon after the military. We outline the most important ones below.
Property Tax Exemption
In some instances, veterans can be totally exempt from paying property tax. If they have been diagnosed as 40% or more disabled by the VA they may qualify.
Military retirement earnings are taxed normally if you did not see service before October 1st, 1991. This also applies to Survivor Benefit Program payments. Anyone who was in active service before this time may be able to deduct part of their retirement pay.
All pay earned from active duty outside Oregon is tax-free. Up to $6000 of active pay earned within Oregon is also tax-free.
Oregon Veteran Pension Benefits
Senior citizens who have served in the military will qualify for the Federal VA Veterans Pension. The amount is set by federal law and varies depending on your other income sources.
A survivor’s pension is also available if you are the remaining spouse or child of someone who died in service. It is tax-free and set based on your current needs. This is only available to those who are single, regardless of if they are a spouse or child and you must meet low-income requirements.
Oregon Veterans Emergency Assistance
Emergency financial assistance is available to veterans and their immediate families. This can be used to cover bills, such as utility or medical, housing repairs, rent, and medical or dental. Payments are made directly to the applicant, and the amount loaned can vary depending on the situation.
Should you be a veteran or survivor who requires the aid of another person to live in a caring capacity an additional tax-free supplement is available. This is in addition to the monthly pension and is known as aid and assistance benefit. There are requirements for age, disability, or income and it can apply to a remaining spouse as well.
Oregon State Veteran Benefits for Leisure and Recreation
There are several recreational benefits for veterans in Oregon. Not all of them are only applicable to Oregon veterans either but can be enjoyed by visiting veterans to the state.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Active duty members can get their hunting and fishing licenses at a resident rate. Any disabled veterans rated 25% or more will be given licenses for free. They also qualify for discounts on an Oregon Elk tag.
State Park Benefits
Disabled veterans get parking and camping for free at all state parks in a tent, RV, or horse camp. This applies for 10 nights in any 30 day period. After this, you must pay the standard rate.
You can also get this if you are on active duty. However, you must pay normally then get the money reimbursed. Veterans Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day are times when state parks are free to all veterans.
Veteran Volunteer Program
One program open to Veterans is the state volunteer program. The aim of this is to have volunteers who find veterans in the state and let them know what benefits and services they’re eligible for. To volunteer, you must sign up for a year, but only need to commit around 10 hours a month.
One of the employment benefits for Oregon vets is that when making a test for employment, 5 points are automatically added to the final score. For disabled veterans, this rises to 10 points.
Disabled Veteran License Plate
If a veteran has a VA-rated disability of any level, they qualify for a Disabled Veteran license plate. This requires the payment of a one-time fee but will not need renewing. In certain areas, this can grant exemption from emission inspections.
Education Assistance for Oregon Veterans
Unfortunately, funding for the Oregon Veteran Education Programme is no longer running. This has been suspended until further notice. However, there is still some assistance available from National Guard State Tuition Assistance.
This program gives 100% of funding to qualifying members of the Oregon Army. Air National Guard Members are also eligible for this.
Claiming Oregon State Veteran Benefits
Now you know the many Oregon State Veteran benefits, check which ones you could claim. From here, you just need to conduct preliminary research on what documents you need to provide.
Alternatively, VetLink Solutions can do this for you. We can take care of the whole process, from deciding which benefits you can claim to the application. Click here for a free evaluation and let us get the assistance you deserve.