California is home to the most veterans of all the US states at over 1.8 million.
Because of this vast veteran population, many California state veteran benefits are available. From housing to recreational perks, it’s important to help those that have protected the US reintegrate into society after years of service.
However, the benefits aren’t always widely publicized, and many veterans (and their families) aren’t aware of everything they’re entitled to. Here we’ll review all of the available help for active-duty members, veterans, and their families.
Read on to find out more.
Veterans Homes In California
Veterans aged 55 or over that were honorably discharged from military service can apply for admission to one of the eight veteran homes in California.
If a veteran is disabled or homeless and needs long-term care, they don’t need to meet the age requirement.
The eight homes are located in Yountville, Barstow, West Los Angeles, Chula Vista, Ventura, Fresno, Redding, and Lancaster.
Financial Benefits For Veterans
Many veterans struggle to support themselves financially after being discharged and often struggle to find new employment. To help with this, there are several government schemes set up for California veterans to help them financially.
Income Tax Relief
While veterans are positioned outside of California, they do not pay any income tax. This is one of the most significant benefits for California veterans as not all States have this allowance.
CalVet Farm and Home Loans
Any veteran that’s honorably discharged and completed at least ninety days of service is eligible to apply for certain loans. These loans cover farm, home, construction, home improvement, rehabilitation, and mobile home costs.
Veterans Property Tax Exemption
Honorably discharged veterans that don’t own property above the value of $5000 are eligible to claim a $4000 tax benefit for property purchase – this can be a house or personal property such as a boat or motorhome.
Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption
A 100% disabled veteran or the spouse of a deceased veteran can claim property tax exemption. There’s no personal wealth restriction for claiming this exemption.
At the basic level, there is a $100,000 exemption. For low-income applicants, the exemption is increased to $150,000.
California Military Family Relief Fund (CMFRF)
The CMFRF provides short-term financial assistance for the California National Guard members and their families. This grant can be awarded when deployment needs financially impact families.
Vehicle Registration Fees Waiver
Anyone that has received a medal of honor is totally disabled or is an ex-POW is eligible to apply for a waiver for vehicle registration fees. They can also apply for free license plates.
Business License, Tax, and Fee Waiver
Any honorably discharged veteran who sells services from a fixed location can apply for a waiver of all business license taxes and fees. However, this benefit does not apply to the sale of alcohol.
Employment Preference For California Veterans
Employment preference points are awarded to any honorably discharged veterans and their spouses. The spouses of deceased 100% disabled veterans are also given preference and ranked at the top of the eligibility list.
Disabled Veteran State Contract Preference
The disabled veteran state contract preference is run by the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program. This helps small businesses that are owned by disabled veterans bid for state contracts.
Commercial Driver’s License
When obtaining a commercial driver’s license, any service members who operated military motor vehicles may be exempt from a road test. They must show that the vehicle they operated in the field is equivalent to the type they’re obtaining a license for. A local veteran advisor can assist in claiming this benefit
California College Tuition Fee Waiver for Dependents
The dependents of veterans are often eligible for paid fees at college. There are four plans, all with different eligibility requirements and awards. Plan A is suitable for children or spouses of veterans left disabled, dead, or declared missing in action. Plan B has similar requirements, except wartime service is not required.
Plan C covers any dependent of a member of the California National Guard who was killed in the line of duty or of related injuries. Plan D is for recipients of a medal of honor and their children.
California National Guard Education Assistance
Anyone in the California National Guard can apply for help with fees at certain universities and colleges. They must remain in active status while they attend the course.
California Veteran Recreation Benefits
Veterans can get several discounts on recreational activities across the state. As well as many in-store discounts, they can claim benefits relating to fishing, hunting, and state parks.
Fishing and Hunting Licenses
Veterans with at least 50% service-connected disabilities can receive reduced fees for hunting and fishing licenses. They do not have to be a resident of California to apply for this benefit.
State Parks and Recreation Pass
One of the most widely enjoyed California veterans benefits is access to all California state parks. This includes both camping and day use. To be eligible for this benefit, they must have a medal of honor, be an ex-POW, or be more than 50% disabled.
California State Veteran Cemeteries
There are two veteran cemeteries in California. California Central Coast Veterans Cemetary and Nothern California Veterans Cemetary.
Burials are free for veterans and $500 for spouses and dependents.
California State Veteran Benefits Explained
There are many types of California state veteran benefits available to help you as an active-duty member and as a veteran. Veteran care is a critical way of saying thank you to those that serve the USA and protect its citizens.
At VetLink Solutions, we’re here to help all veterans and their families. We know how to submit successful claims to the VA and get you the benefits you’re entitled to.
Find out more about the benefits you’re due as a veteran or veteran family member with us at VetLink Solutions. Why not contact us today for a free evaluation by a veteran benefits advisor?