The state of Texas offers numerous veteran benefits for those that have proudly served our country. However, the wealth of programs can be intimidating. To help you navigate these programs and find out which ones are perfect for you, let VetLink Solutions serve as a guide for veterans in Texas.
No Property Taxes for Disabled Veterans
Veterans with 100% disability and their spouses are exempt from all property taxes in Texas. Veterans with 10% to 90% VA disability receive reduced property taxes. Discounts range from $5,000 to $12,000 depending on disability level. Surviving spouses of deceased veterans also qualify.
Skilled Nursing Care for Veterans and Families in Texas
For seniors that have served in all branches of the military, the Texas Veterans Land Board helps them receive long-term skilled nursing care in multiple cities. These communities are owned by the state and regulated by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. These benefits extend to veterans, spouses and Gold Star parents.
Each Veterans Home has on-site representatives to oversee their experience. The veteran benefits of these homes include:
- Lower medication, living and therapy costs
- A community of veterans with similar life experiences
- Free services to many veterans with a 70% or higher service-related disability.
To be eligible, veterans must have:
- A doctor’s note stating their need for skilled nursing
- Lived in the state for a day or more
- Served 90 days
- A DD214
- Been honorably discharged
Care costs are largely determined by income and residents must meet a community’s age requirements.
Home Loans and Improvement Loans for Veterans
In Texas, there are three types of veteran home and land loan assistance programs. Eligible applicants can have one type of each loan in use at the same time.
Through the Veterans Land Loan Program, Texas veterans and active-duty service members can receive loans to purchase land with reduced interest rates. Financing covers land purchases up to $150,000 and includes a fixed-rate 30-year loan term. In many cases, land purchases for veterans in this program only require a 5% down payment.
Texas is currently the only state with this kind of program. For more information on eligibility requirements, visit the VLB Land Loans page.
The VLB Veterans Housing Assistance Program allows eligible Texas veterans to receive up to $647,200 on fixed-rate loans for terms ranging from 15 to 30 years. Veterans with a service-related disability of 30% or more may be eligible for even lower interest rates.
Home Improvement Loans
For 2 to 20 year loans, the VLB offers home improvement loans up to $50,000 at discounted interest rates. For 2 to 10 year loans, they offer $7,500 to $10,000.00 with the same interest discount. This program doesn’t require a down payment, but it does require veterans to pay:
- $10 flood certification fees
- $125 title search fee
- Closing costs
For veterans with 30% or greater disability ratings, this program offers loans with lower interest rates.
Education Programs for Texas Veterans and Families
The Hazlewood Act for Veterans
For veterans, the Hazelwood Act ensures up to 150 hours of tuition-free education at state colleges and schools. While this includes many fees, it does not include books, supplies or living costs. To be eligible, veterans must have:
- Spent at least 181 days on active duty
- Been honorably discharged
- Been a Texas resident when he or she entered the service and reside there now
- No more federal VA benefits to use
- Met the institution’s GPA and other academic requirements
The Hazlewood Legacy Act for Children, Spouses and Dependents
This program also gives 50 hours of tuition-free college education at state schools to spouses, children and dependents of veterans who:
- Died in the line of duty as a result of service-connected injury
- Became permanently and totally disabled
- Are missing in action
The requirements for family members and dependents vary depending on their relationship to the veteran, so consult the Texas Veteran Commission’s page about the Hazelwood Act for full details.
Texas Veteran Employment Programs
Wartime veterans and children and widows of service members killed on active duty have hiring preference for all state agencies and offices. This means that until an office has reached 40% veteran employment, their employment practices must favor these groups.
Military Time Credit Towards State Retirement
Veterans who are also state employees can count active duty service towards their retirement. A veteran can buy up to 60 months worth of active duty time to retire early.
Veteran Entrepreneur Program
The Texas Veteran Entrepreneur Program waives formation fees and franchise taxes for 5 years for 100% veteran-owned businesses. This isn’t solely a financial program — the Texas Veteran Commission also offers eligible businesses marketing, networking and permit resources.
Veteran Benefits and Discounts for Recreation and Licensing
Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans
Veterans with 50% or greater disabilities can receive a free hunting and fishing license combo package. This is also extended to veterans that have lost a foot or a leg in the line of duty. Veterans from all states are eligible.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Active Duty Service Members
The combo package is available for free to active duty Texas residents. Active duty service members from any state can purchase the package for the same cost as a resident.
Free State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans
Veterans from any state with a 60% or greater disability or who have suffered lower limb loss in the line of duty may enter any Texas state park for free.
Free Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards for Disabled Veterans
For veterans with a 60% service-related disability and an honorable discharge, driver’s licenses and state ID cards are totally free.
Texas State Veterans’ Cemeteries
For all Texas veterans and their spouses and children, the state has four veterans’ cemeteries that offer burial for no charge.
Let VetLink Solutions Connect You to the Right Texas State Veteran Benefits
At VetLink, we know finding the right benefits for disabled veterans can be a challenge. To find out how you can reap these veteran benefits in Texas, sign up for a free evaluation from one of our medical benefits advisors. You’ve risked life and limb for this nation — let us help you thrive.