Veteran Benefits for Louisiana
The state of Louisiana 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 Louisiana.
Louisiana Veteran Financial Benefits
- Louisiana State Taxes on Retirement Income: Persons 65 years or older may exclude up to $6,000 of annual retirement income from their taxable income. Federal retirement benefits received by federal retirees may be excluded from Louisiana taxable income. Social Security Retirement benefits are exempt.
- Louisiana State Taxes on Retired Military Pay: Federal retirement benefits received by federal retirees, shall be excluded from Louisiana state income tax.
- Louisiana State Taxes on World War II Veterans Retired Military Pay: Compensation or retired pay received from the United States by any Veteran of the military or naval forces of the United States of World War II, who is a citizen or resident of Louisiana and who has been honorably discharged from the military or naval forces as a result of a physical disability, shall not be included in gross income and shall be exempt from taxation under this chapter.
- Louisiana 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.
- Louisiana State Taxes on Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with the state department of revenue office.
- Louisiana Homestead Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses: In addition to the homestead exemption authorized under the provisions of Article VII, Section 20 of this constitution, which applies to the first seven thousand five hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of property, the next seven thousand five hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of property receiving the homestead exemption that is owned and occupied by a Veteran with a service-connected disability rating of one hundred percent unemployability or totally disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation. The Surviving Spouse of a deceased Veteran with a service-connected disability rating of one hundred percent unemployability or totally disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs shall be eligible for this exemption if the Surviving Spouse occupies and remains the owner of the property, whether or not the exemption was in effect on the property prior to the death of the Veteran.
- Statewide: 4.45%
- Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 7.0%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 9.11%
Free Hunting/Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans: Disabled Veterans classified with a service-connected permanent disability, rated 50% or higher and who are Louisiana residents can get hunting and fishing licenses free of charge.
Active Duty Military Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Active duty members and their dependents may buy hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate.
Free and Discounted Admission to State Parks: Disabled Veterans, as well as everyone in the same vehicle as them, are exempt from paying the day-use entrance fee to any Louisiana state park. Active duty members plus one additional family member get half off admission to state parks.
Louisiana Title 29 Dependents Educational Assistance: Louisiana offers education assistance to surviving spouses of deceased Veterans, as well as children of 90% or greater disabled Veterans and children of 100% disabled and unemployable Veterans. The deceased Veteran must have been a resident of Louisiana for at least 12 months immediately preceding entry into service. The living Veteran must have lived in the state for at least 24 months prior to the child being admitted into the program. Any eligible child must be between the ages of 16 and 25 to be eligible. The surviving spouse has 10 years to use the benefit.
National Guard Tuition: Members of the National Guard are exempt from tuition at any state-funded college, university, or vocational/technical school for five years or a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.
Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes
Eligibility for admission:
- Veterans must be honorably discharged
- Veterans must be Louisiana residents
- Monthly costs are based on how much the Veteran can pay
- Spouses and Gold Star parents are eligible if they meet basic qualifying criteria
Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference
Louisiana state and city civil service departments award a five-point preference to honorably discharged Veterans and ten-point preference to honorably discharged service-connected disabled Veterans. Spouses of Veterans who are rated VA unemployable as well as un-remarried widows of deceased Veterans and Gold Star parents are also eligible for this preference. Some restrictions apply for eligibility.
Transfer of Military Skills to Civilian Employment: Individuals with military training and experience can get a corresponding professional license or certification if they had a military occupational specialty that qualified them for that license.
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 cemeteries are available for qualifying Veterans, their spouses and dependent children. There is no charge for Veterans and only a small fee for spouses and dependent children.
National Cemeteries include:
Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge National Cemetery
Pineville: Alexandria National Cemetery
Zachary: Louisiana National Cemetery
Zachary: Port Hudson National Cemetery
Louisiana VA Benefit Resources
Louisiana provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and VA Medical Centers.
Louisiana VA Regional Benefits Office
- New Orleans: New Orleans Regional Office
Louisiana VA Medical Centers
- New Orleans: Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System
- Pineville: Alexandria VA Health Care System
- Shreveport: Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
- Shreveport: Shreveport
Important information for Louisiana 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
Louisiana Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Louisiana 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.