Kansas provides exclusive benefits for Service members, Veterans, and their families, encompassing emergency financial relief for Service members, military service credit through the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, support via the Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance Program, access to special vehicle license plates, and privileges under the Department of Wildlife and Parks benefits. Eligibility for certain benefits may vary based on factors such as residency, military branch, and Veteran disability status. The following are benefits for the state of Kansas.
Kansas Veteran Financial Benefits
- Kansas Income Taxes on Military Retired Pay: In Kansas, retired pay from the military that is part of one’s federal adjusted gross income is exempt from state taxation.Regarding the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), it does not automatically withhold state or local income taxes. However, TSP information is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes, and taking early distributions may result in higher tax liabilities.
- Kansas Military Pay Income Taxes: Military pay received by resident Service members is taxed by Kansas.
- Kansas Income Tax Exemption for Nonresident Military Spouses: A nonresident Service member’s spouse may be exempt from paying Kansas taxes on income earned while stationed in Kansas.
- Kansas State Taxes on Military Disability Retirement Pay: Income received as Military Disability Retirement Pay, characterized as a pension, annuity, or a similar allowance due to personal injury or illness stemming from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces, should be excluded from taxable income. Disability benefits that fall within this category encompass payments such as:
- Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Veterans or their families
- Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
- Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs, or
- Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program
- Kansas State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation) is a non-taxable financial support provided to qualified survivors of military Service members who perished in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose demise was a consequence of a service-connected injury or disease.
- Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Kansas State Tax Benefits: Survivor annuities are not taxed in Kansas.
- Extension for Tax Filing for Deployed Kansas Service Members: The Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) observes IRS guidelines to provide resident Service members deployed overseas with an extended period of 180 days following their deactivation to complete tasks related to income tax, including filing returns, making tax payments, requesting refunds, and other necessary actions.
- Kansas Homestead Refund for Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses: The Kansas Department of Revenue offers a Homestead Refund for Disabled Veterans, their Surviving spouse, and the Surviving spouse of a Service member killed in the line of duty.
- The Homestead Refund is a rebate program for the property taxes paid by homeowners. The refund is based on a portion of the property tax paid on a Kansas resident’s home. The appraised value of the home cannot exceed $350,000, and the maximum refund is $700
- Statewide: 6.5%
- Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 4.25%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 8.66%
- Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) National Guard and Disabled Veterans, Free Hunting, Fishing, and Park Vehicle Permits: Kansas provides no-cost hunting and fishing licenses to Service members serving in the Kansas National Guard and to honorably discharged resident Veterans who possess a service-connected disability rating of 30% or higher. Additionally, Kansas National Guard Service members are eligible for a free park vehicle permit.
- Kansas Resident Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Nonresident Active Duty Service Members: Nonresident active duty Service members stationed in Kansas can purchase all annual Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks licenses, permits, and stamps for resident prices.
- Kansas Resident Service Members and Dependents may continue to Purchase Resident Hunting and Fishing Licenses when Stationed out of State: Kansas residents who were on active duty when they entered the U.S. Armed Forces, along with their immediate family members residing with them, are eligible to acquire resident licenses, permits, and stamps, with the exception of lifetime licenses.
- Kansas Permit Refund for Active Duty Service Members: U.S. Armed Forces Service members in Kansas who receive permanent change of duty station (PCS) orders prior to the first day of hunting season, that prevents them from using their permit, can receive a refund of all fees.
- Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Elk Draw for Military Personnel: The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks offers Military Elk Permits to Service members Stationed at Fort Riley.
- Kansas Heroes Scholarship: Kansas public educational institutions will waive tuition and fees for the spouse, Un-remarried Surviving spouse, and dependent children of the following resident Service members or Veterans:
- Service member who died in the line of duty while serving on state or federal active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001
- Veteran who has an 80% or greater service-connected disability rating
- Former POW
Those eligible can receive a waiver for the equivalent of 10 semesters of undergraduate instruction at Kansas state universities, community colleges, or vocational-technical colleges.
- Kansas Resident Tuition Rates for Eligible Veterans, Service Members, and Dependents: All Veterans eligible for federal education benefits, in addition to current U.S. Armed Forces members, are entitled to in-state tuition rates at all Kansas public postsecondary institutions, regardless of their duration of residence in the state. Spouses and dependent children of Veterans and Service members also qualify for in-state tuition rates. Furthermore, those who initially established residency while permanently stationed in Kansas or prior to joining the U.S. Armed Forces will have their eligibility for resident tuition reinstated. To qualify, students must be residing in Kansas at the time of enrollment.
- Kansas Military Service Scholarship: The Kansas Military Service Scholarship will pay tuition and fees at a Kansas public institution of higher learning for Veterans and Service members who served in an area where they were eligible for Hostile Fire Pay. Eligible students may be awarded a scholarship for up to four academic years of undergraduate study (five years if enrolled in a designated five-year program).
- Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance Program: The Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance program provides eligible Kansas National Guard Service members a percentage of tuition and fees at accredited educational institutions, up to the maximum rate charged by state educational institutions for enrollment. The percentage awarded varies based on:
- Funds available
- Number of eligible applicants
- Amount of federal tuition assistance the student receives
- Kansas Educational Benefits for Dependents of Veterans of the Vietnam War: The Child of a Veteran who died as a result of service in Vietnam is eligible to attend a Kansas Public institution of higher learning without paying tuition and fees. This benefit is for up to the equivalent of 12 semesters of instruction. Once a person is eligible for this benefit, they may not be disqualified.
- Who is eligible for “Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Kansas Wartime Veterans? Honorably discharged Veterans who served in WWII between September 16, 1940, through December 31, 1946, or served in the Korean War between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955, who did not graduate from high school are eligible. Veterans who received their diplomas but were not able to attend their graduation ceremony are also eligible. Diplomas can be awarded posthumously.“Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Kansas Wartime Veterans: Kansas “Operation Recognition” will award honorary high school diplomas to Veterans who served in World War II (WWII) and the Korean War who left high school to serve prior to their graduation.
- Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3): The purpose of this compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the prompt 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 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
- Kansas Purple Star School Recognition Program for Military-Friendly Schools: The Kansas Purple Star School Recognition Program recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces.For a school to qualify for the Purple Star Award they must appoint a school liaison who is specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military families. This liaison will ensure that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military families can benefit from. Each school will also have a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military families.
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 may be eligible depending on availability
- Monthly costs are based on the need of the Veteran
Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference
- Kansas State Employee Leave for Military Duty: State employees who are part of the reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and serving as Service members are entitled to receive up to 30 days of paid leave for active duty military service within each 12-month period. This period starts from October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year.
- Kansas State Employee Veterans’ Hiring Preference: Kansas provides Veterans’ preference to eligible Veterans or spouses who apply for state employment. This means that they are guaranteed an interview and will be considered for the position they applied for. However, the Veterans’ preference does not guarantee them a job.
- Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences: Federal law mandates that Veterans, especially those with disabilities or those who served during specific time periods or in military campaigns, are granted preference over non-veterans when it comes to Federal civil service hiring and retention during workforce reductions. In various scoring processes for examinations and interviews, Veterans may be eligible for an additional 5 or 10 points.
- 5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
- During a war, or
- During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or
- During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or
- In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference
10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.
10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.
10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:
- A veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or
- Veteran who received a Purple Heart
10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of spouses, Surviving spouses, or mothers of Veterans. Both a mother and a spouse (including a Surviving spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran’s service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and:
- Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or
- Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin, or
- Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability
Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.
A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights for five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual’s service if the basic eligibility criteria are met.
Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.
Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status, and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded to other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.
Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer-sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA Benefits? Veterans, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard Service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.
The Department of Labor, through the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), helps all who have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
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.
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) pays tribute to eligible Veterans and their family members by providing a final resting place and a lasting memorial to commemorate the Veteran’s dedicated service to the nation.
The burial benefits encompass a gravesite in any of our open cemeteries with available space, the opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government-furnished headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, all at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also meet the criteria for a burial allowance. Cremated remains are interred or inurned in national cemeteries with the same honors and respect as casketed remains.
Burial benefits extend to eligible spouses and dependents, including burial alongside the Veteran and perpetual care of the interment site. The name and relevant dates of birth and death of the spouse or dependent are inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone at no expense to the family. Importantly, spouses and qualified dependents are eligible for burial even if they pass away before the Veteran and are not required to be interred in the same national cemetery as the Veteran.
National Cemeteries include:
Baxter Springs: Baxter Springs City Soldiers’ Lot
Fort Leavenworth: Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery
Fort Scott: Fort Scott National Cemetery
Leavenworth: Leavenworth National Cemetery
Mound City: Mound City Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot
Kansas VA Benefit Resources
Kansas provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and VA Medical Centers.
Kansas VA Regional Benefits Office
- Wichita: Wichita Regional Office
Kansas VA Medical Centers
- Leavenworth: VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System – Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center
- Topeka: VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System – Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center
- Wichita: Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center
Important information for Kansas 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, 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 and medical records in a safe place where you and your family can access 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 conditions other than dishonorable. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or 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 November 2023
Kansas Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Kansas 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.