Veteran Benefits for Iowa
The state of Iowa offers many veteran benefits for service members and Veterans that have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. These benefits include income and property tax exemptions, financial exemptions, education and training programs, hunting and fishing licenses, vehicle registrations, and assistance with employment. Your residency, military career, and disability status may result in certain differences in what benefits you may be eligible for. The following are benefits for the state of Iowa.
Iowa Veteran Financial Benefits
- Iowa Retired Military Pay Income Taxes: Military Retirement Benefits Exclusion from Iowa Income tax – enacted legislation (2014) exempts federal retirement pay received for military service and survivor benefits from state individual income tax. This exemption is in addition to the general $6,000/$12,000 pension exclusion available for Iowa individual income tax for taxpayers 55 years of age or older.
- Iowa State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
- Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Iowa State Tax Benefits: Enacted 2014 legislation exempts military survivor benefits from state individual income under 10 U.S.C. 1447. The exemption is available for both residents and non-residents of Iowa.
- Iowa Military Property Tax Exemption: Reduces a Veteran’s assessed home value for the property by $1,852. Must have served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime to be eligible. The home must have been owned by July 1st of each claimed year.
- Iowa Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Credit: The State of Iowa offers a 100% property tax credit to eligible Veterans and certain dependents. This exemption is limited to a 1/2 acre where the home and the buildings, if any, are located when within a city limit. For properties located outside city limits, the maximum size is 40 acres which include the house and any buildings.
- Statewide: 6.0%
- Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 1.0%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 6.97%
Iowa Veteran Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License: Iowa resident Veterans with at least a 0% VA disability rating can get a lifetime hunting or fishing license for $7.00.
Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program (NGEAP): The Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant (NGEAP) provides annual awards to Iowa National Guard members who attend eligible Iowa colleges and universities. Maximum individual awards cannot exceed the current average resident tuition rate at Iowa Regent Universities. National Guard officials have determined that they will pay 100 percent of the average regent tuition rate for the 2018-19 academic year, an amount of $7,725. The Iowa Adjutant General determines eligibility.
Iowa War Orphans Tuition Assistance: The Iowa War Orphans Education Aid program is for Children of Veterans who died before September 11, 2011. A war orphan is the Child of a Veteran who died during active federal military service while serving in the Armed Forces or during active federal military service in the Iowa National Guard or another military component of the United States, or who died as a result of such service.
National Guard Tuition Benefits: Iowa National Guard members in good standing are eligible for up to $2,700 per semester for full-time enrollment. Part-time students are eligible for $196 per semester hour. Additionally, Guard members who are mobilized will receive a tuition refund.
Iowa Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the timely enrollment of children of military families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements
- Facilitating the student placement process through which children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment
- Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities
- Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military families
- Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact
- Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military families under this compact
- Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children
- Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student
Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes
Eligibility for admission:
- Veterans must be honorably discharged
- Spouses, surviving spouses, and Gold Star parents of Veterans are also eligible
- Monthly costs are based on the need of the Veteran
Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference
Honorably discharged Veterans get 5 percentage points added to their grade or score attained in qualifying examinations for jobs with the state, public works, counties, cities, and schools. An additional five points are added to the grade or score for Veterans getting VA disability or pension.
State Employee Paid Leave for Military Duty: State employees shall be granted 30 days paid military leave per the calendar year. Permanent or probationary State employees when ordered to inactive (drill status) or active duty by proper authority for military duty are eligible.
Iowa Veterans Employment Centers: Each Regional Workforce Development Center has a Veteran’s Employment Representative coordinating all specific services provided to Veterans. Services include identifying training opportunities; identifying employment opportunities; ensuring priority for certain jobs; working with Vocational Rehab; conducting outreach to employers, community and Veterans organizations, unions, local counseling, and social service agencies; developing job interview and resume writing skills; and helping conduct productive job searches. Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States are eligible.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive the Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Home Base Iowa Program: The Home Base Iowa initiative is a non-profit, private-public partnership that was launched with the purpose of recruiting Veterans and active duty Service members for private-sector job opportunities in Iowa. The website serves as a comprehensive source for job services available to Veterans in Iowa. The site features job postings, links to job fairs, and up-to-date information about educational opportunities, National Guard recruiting job training, and much more.
Burials and Memorials
Please note that your preference regarding burial in a national cemetery and use of a headstone provided by VA should be documented and kept with your paperwork and medical records. Eligibility for burial in the cemetery is the same as for VA national cemeteries. Spouses may also be eligible for burial. Honorably discharged Veterans will be interred at no charge and spouses and/or dependents will be buried for a $300 fee.
National Cemeteries include:
Davenport: Oakdale Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot
Keokuk: Keokuk National Cemetery
Iowa VA Benefit Resources
Iowa provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and VA Medical Centers.
Iowa VA Regional Benefits Office
- Des Moines: Des Moines Regional Office
Iowa VA Medical Centers
Important information for Iowa Veteran Benefits:
For Veterans applying for VA benefits for the first time, you must submit a copy of your DD 214 (discharge paperwork). This will provide your discharge status, along with your full name, social security number, branch of service, and dates for which you served. Honorable and general discharges qualify a Veteran for most VA benefits.
You should always keep your paperwork, along with your medical records, in a safe place where you and your family can have access to them. It is imperative to have it in a location where it cannot be destroyed or tampered with, which includes a safe.
Your eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Environmental Services Administration or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Any Veteran discharged from the military under the conditions of “Dishonorable” due to bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison and parolees may be eligible for certain VA benefits. VA regional offices can clarify the eligibility of prisoners, parolees, and individuals with multiple discharges issued under differing conditions.
*This information is accurate as of December 2019
Iowa Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Iowa and are VA rated 90% or less, you may be eligible for additional benefits. Contact Veterans Guardian for a free consultation with no obligation. Let us review your claim to determine whether you qualify for additional benefits.