VETERANS BENEFITS

FEDERAL & STATE: Most Veterans benefits are federally funded and administered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); however, there are significant additional state entitlements which benefits can be explored through the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

TO QUALIFY: To be eligible for most services a veteran must have completed at least 90 days of active duty in the Armed Forces (except for training purposes) and have a discharge other than dishonorable however veterans who were discharged before 90 days due to service connected disabilities are also eligible.

FAMILY: Spouses, widows, widowers and parents of members of the military killed during a time of war along with certain merchant sea men who served in active, ocean-going service from 12/7/41 to 8/15/45 may be eligible for certain federal entitlements.

STATE: Receiving federal benefits does not disqualify a veteran from receiving those offered by New Jersey.

LONG TERM CARE: The division of health care services of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs operates free Veterans Memorial Homes within the state, located in Vineland, Menlo Park and Paramus. These homes provide long-term care for nearly 1,000 New Jersey veterans. Around the clock medical and nursing care is provided by full time staff of physicians, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants. Rehabilitative services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are provided under the direct supervision of licensed therapists.

DVS: The Division of Veterans Services oversees the veterans service offices, maintains the toll-free information line, veteran’s preference determinations, veteran’s status determinations and the bind and catastrophic veteran pension entitlements.

HOMELESS: The division of Veterans Services also oversees the state’s Veterans Cemetery the operation of the state’s veterans cemetery, the operation of the state’s Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program, the state owned monuments and memorials and the State Approving Agency which is responsible for certifying the VA funded educational and training program. Stand Down helps the New Jersey’s homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets by providing a broad range of necessities, including food, clothing, medical, legal and mental health assistance, job counseling, and referrals, in a venue that fosters companionship and camaraderie.
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CLAIMS: Through its network of regional Veterans Service Offices, the Division of Veterans Services provides the state’s veterans and dependants with information and guidance in filing claims for benefits. The various county offices are located throughout the state.

OTHER SERVICES: Trained Veterans Service Officers (VSO) at the above offices also assist the veterans with issues pertaining to employment, education, burial, counseling, housing, social and medical services, and other areas of concern to veterans and their families.

PENSION: The department, along with other state and municipal agencies, administers many other programs important to veterans and their families such as pensions for certain disabled veterans, PTSD counseling, transportation to veterans service facilities, tuition assistance for war orphans, real estate tax abatements and civil service preferences. For civil service and pension plans go to - Website

TAX ABATEMENT: Some entitlements such as state property tax abatements require the veterans to have served during a specified war-conflict. Click Here for such “war period” dates.

HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA: DMAVA and the department of education jointly launched a program on October 5, 2002 to honor world war two era veterans who left school to join the military and have never received a high school diploma. This program will award a state-endorsed high school diploma to any New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to enter military service during world war two. The program was later expanded to include veterans from the Korean and Viet Nam conflicts.
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FREE COLLEGE TUITION: Any child born or adopted before during or after the period of time his or her parent were officially declared a POW or MIA after 1/1/60 may apply for free undergraduate college tuition.

WAR ORPHANS TUITION ASSISTANCE: Children of service personnel who died while in the military or due to service-connected disabilities, or who are officially listed as MIA may claim $500.00 per year for four years of college or equivalent training. For information regarding the Viet Nam Veterans Tuition Credit Program call your local Service Office.

PROGRAM FOR NJ NATIONAL GUARD: There are two programs that are presently available serving New Jersey National Guardsmen (army or air). The program pays up to $250.00 per credit hour to a maximum of $3,500.00 per Fiscal Year for tuition costs at any accredited school, other than a state school. Any member of the New Jersey National Guard shall be permitted to attend regularly scheduled courses at any of the 31 public institutions of higher learning in this state and receive up to 15 credit hours per semester of free tuition. Army or Air

EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE: War period veterans who pass state civil service examinations are given absolute preference over non-veterans when applying for state, county or municipal employment. (This includes a veteran with a service connected disability of at least 10%)

SPOUSE OF DISABLED VETERAN: The spouse of a disabled veteran may be eligible for preference for hiring in New Jersey this also includes the surviving spouse of veterans who died while on active duty in the US Military Service

APPOINTMENT OF VETERANS: Whenever a disabled veteran or veteran shall be certified to an appointing authority from an open competitive employment risk, the appointing authority shall appoint the disabled veteran or veterans in the order of ranking .

LAYOFFS: When a layoff occurs preference shall be given first to a disabled veteran and then to a veteran but the preference shall apply only where the disabled veteran or veteran has seniority entitled equal to that of a non veteran also affected by the layoff.

NO DISCRIMINATION PERMITTED: Veterans suffering from any physical defect caused by wounds or injuries received in the line of duty in the military or naval forces of the US during war service shall not be discriminated against in an examination classification or appointment because of the defect, unless this defect, in the opinion of the Merit System Board, would incapacitate the veteran from properly performing the duties of the office, position or employment for which he or she applied.

PURCHASING MILITARY SERVICE: Members of the public employees retirement system (PERS) may purchase up to ten years active duty military service rendered prior to enrollment provided the members not receiving or eligible to receive a military pension or a pension from any other state or local source for such military service (and the employer shall not be liable for any portion of the cost to purchase).

FEDERAL BENEFITS: Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA) which replaced the Veteran’s Re-Employment Rights (VRR) guarantees re-employed persons pension plan benefits that accrued during military service, regardless of whether the plan is a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan (insert link). It also provides health benefits continuation for service members and their families during military service for up to 18 months. This may include service members returning from a period of service in the uniformed services so long as they meet eligibility criteria.

HOME OWNERSHIP BENEFITS: A New Jersey housing and mortgage financing agency (HMFA) offers low interest rate HMFA mortgages that provide veterans and their families with increased buying power and a savings of thousands of dollars of interest over the life of the loan Website

REVERSE MORTGAGE: A reverse mortgage loan allows seniors (62 and over) to access the equity in their home without a monthly repayment schedule for as long as they live in the home.

NEW JERSEY PROPERTY TAX BENEFITS: The New Jersey Property Tax Exemption and Deduction require veterans to serve during a specific war time period. There may be eligibility for spouses who meet certain criteria.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSES: Honorably discharged veterans may obtain a no fee license to vend any goods, wares or merchandise, or solicit trades within the state (NJSA 45:24-9). Licenses are procured from the county clerk’s office (NJSA 45: 24-10) and regulated by municipalities. Contact your county clerk for an application keep in mind that vendors must also register with the NJ Division of Taxation, and collect and remit sales tax on required items. In addition food vendors must also comply with state and local health licensing requirements.
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LICENSES FOR REAL ESTATE BROKERS, AGENTS AND SOLICITORS: These are available at no charge to a veteran who has served during a war period and a service connected disability certified by the VA.

AUTOMOBILE REGISTRATION: If the veteran is 100 percent disabled then he or she may be eligible for the automobile financial assistance from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Also Metal of Honor recipients are eligible for a no-fee automobile registration and will receive special license plate noting their reward.

HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES: The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife will annually issue certain hunting and fishing licenses free to each qualified disabled veteran. Website

ADMISSION TO STATE PARKS: The New Jersey Division of State Parks and Forestry does not charge an admission fee for entrance into any of the 38 state parks, 11 forests, 3 recreation areas, 1 golf course along with 42 natural areas and 57 historic sites. For any resident of the state who is an active member of the New Jersey National Guard who has completed initial active duty training. As this does not cover federal or local parks that may also be located within the state of New Jersey. Website

CATASTROPHIC ENTITLEMENTS: For certain veterans in receipt of a 100 percent permanent service connected disability rating from the US Department of Veterans Affairs that resulted from war time service – he or she may be eligible for a monthly entitlement of $62.50 Website

DISABILITY BENEFITS: The VA compensation program provides monthly benefits if a veteran is disabled because of an injury or disease incurred in or aggravated during military service and even for certain conditions which may develop after release from active duty. Website

TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM: Free transportation is available to the veteran in need of same to travel to VA medical centers and clinics as well as other hospitals, private physicians, VA regional office and local veterans service offices in most counties. Contact the state veteran’s service officer in your county for an explanation of the details of the program. Website

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: This program offers treatment to veterans of all war periods who are experiencing readjustment problems. The treatment extends to family members which are affected by the veteran’s affliction. State Veterans Service Officers will assist the veteran with scheduling counseling and the filing of any applicable VA claims. In addition contracted clinicians experienced in PTSD counseling, will determine the best course of treatment for the veteran and the veteran’s family Website

FEDERAL VA DEATH BENEFITS: All federal death related veterans benefits must be applied for after the death of a veteran.

BURIAL IN A VA NATIONAL CEMETERY: VA National Cemetery Directors have the primary responsibility for verifying eligibility for burial in VA National Cemeteries. The VA will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000.00 if the veteran’s death is service connected.

CUMULATIVE BENEFITS: Veterans monetary benefits may be permitted in addition to various other benefits discussed on this website.

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