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Veteran Benefits for Maine

The state of Maine 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 Maine.

Maine Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Maine Retirement Income Taxes: You and your Spouse may each deduct up to $10,000 of pension 65+taxable and nontaxable social security and railroad retirement benefits received. Deductible pension income, other than military retirement pay, includes state and federal pension benefits and retirement benefits received from plans established and maintained by an employer for the benefit of its employees such as qualified pension plans, including qualified SIMPLE plans; employee annuities; and eligible deferred compensation plans from state and local governments or tax-exempt organizations. Deductible pension income also includes benefits received from individual retirement accounts, including ROTH and SIMPLE IRAs, and simplified employee pension plans. Married taxpayers who elect to file a joint return may have a total deduction of up to $20,000.
  • Maine Retired Military Pay Income Tax: For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, benefits received under a military retirement plan, including survivor benefits, are fully exempt from Maine income tax.
  • Maine 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.
  • Maine Veterans Property Tax Exemption: A Veteran who served during a recognized war period and is 62 years or older; or, is receiving 100% disability as a Veteran; or, became 100% disabled while serving, is eligible for a $6,000 property tax exemption. For a Veteran to be eligible they must:
    • Be a resident of the State of Maine
    • Have notified in writing the assessors of the municipality in which he or she resides of his or her claim for exemption and furnished proof of his or her entitlement on or before April 1 (such notification once made need not be repeated in subsequent years)
  • Maine Paraplegic Veteran Property Tax Exemption: Estates of paraplegic Veterans, including property held in joint tenancy with the Veteran’s Spouse or held in a revocable living trust for the benefit of that Veteran, are exempt up to $50,000 of just valuation, for a specially adapted housing unit, and only in the place where the Veteran is a legal resident provided the Veteran:
    • Is a resident of the State of Maine
    • Has notified in writing the assessors of the municipality in which he or she resides of his or her claim for exemption and furnished proof of his or her entitlement on or before April 1 (such notification once made need not be repeated in subsequent years)
    • Is a paraplegic Veteran, so-called, within the meaning of 38 United States Code, Chapter 21, Section 2101
    • Has received a grant from the United States Government for such specially adapted housing

    Veterans or un-remarried surviving spouses are eligible for the exemption.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 5.5%
  • Counties: cannot levy an additional sales tax
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 5.5%

Recreation

Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans: A disabled Veteran who has a service-connected disability of at least 50% can get a free license to fish, trap, & hunt.
This includes:
-archery, muzzleloader, crossbow
-bear, migratory bird, pheasant, spring/fall wild turkey, coyote night hunt, one expanded archery antlerless deer permit
-upon meeting qualifications, a license to guide
This license(s) remains valid for the life of the license holder, as long as they keep residency requirements.

State Park Admission Fees: Any Maine Veteran with an other-than-dishonorable discharge gets free admission to all of Maine’s state parks and historic sites. Maine residents who are enlisted active-duty members and their dependents also receive free admission to state parks and historic sites.

Active Duty Military Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Active duty Maine residents, and their dependents, can buy a discounted hunting, fishing, or combination hunting and fishing license.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Non-Resident Active Duty Members: Any military member stationed in Maine, as well as their dependents, can pay the resident fee for hunting, fishing, or trapping license.

Education Programs

Maine offers a 100 percent waiver of tuition and all fees at state schools for dependents of Maine Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled, died of a service-connected disability, or were killed in action. This benefit applies to dependents of Maine Veterans who entered the service from Maine or has been a resident for 5 years immediately preceding application for aid and, if living, continues to reside in Maine throughout the duration of benefits administered under the educational guidelines. Spouses have 10 years from the date of first entrance to complete the program, children have 6 academic years from the date of first entrance to complete 8 semesters.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

Maine State Veterans Home at Augusta

Maine State Veterans Home at Bangor

Maine State Veterans Home at Caribou

Maine State Veterans Home at Machias

Maine State Veterans Home at Scarborough

Maine State Veterans Home at South Paris

Eligibility for admission:

  • Veterans must have served in the Armed Forces for at least one day
  • Discharged other than on dishonorable accounts
  • Spouses, or unmarried surviving spouse (including Gold Star Parents) are also eligible provided they meet the age and residency requirements

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

State Employment preference points shall be added to passing examination scores for state employment. Honorably discharged Veterans get a 5 point preference. Disabled Veterans with 10 percent or greater disability rating  get a 10 point preference. Spouses may be eligible as well.

Maine Veterans Services Employment Assistance: The Career Center offers specialized employment and training services for Veterans. If you served in the U.S. Armed Forces a Career Center Representative can help you find a job, obtain new skills, or access other state or federal resources available to Veterans.

Paid Leave for Military Duty for Maine State Employees: State employees must be granted military leave to enter military service or participate in training, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, in peacetime or in wartime. The type and duration of military duty will determine whether the employee remains in pay status. State employee receives 17 workdays paid military leave per the calendar year and unlimited leave without pay. State employees engaged in any form of military duty are eligible for military leave.

Military Leave without Pay for Maine State Employees: When military service exceeds the 17 workdays authorized for military leave with pay, the employee must be placed on unpaid military leave. Employees may use, but are not required to use, accrued vacation, compensatory, or personal leave when entering unpaid military service. Provisions for the optional use of accrued vacation, compensatory, or personal leave also apply to employees who are called to active state duty by the Governor. State employees engaged in any form of military duty that exceeds 17 days are eligible.

Maine Monetary Compensation for National Guard Service Members on State Active Duty: Members of the Maine National Guard ordered to active state service under Title 37B, except under section 150, are entitled to receive at least the same pay and allowances as would be payable to those persons from the United States Armed Forces. The member’s pay, except for that payment of those members serving under section 150, must include minimum pay based upon at least 12 hours a day at the state minimum wage. National Guard Service members on state active duty are eligible for compensation.

Maine Veterans Preference for Retention in State Employment: In any reduction in personnel in the state service, employees who are Veterans or Gold Star Spouses must be retained in preference to all other competing employees in the same classification with equal seniority, status and performance reviews. Any Veteran who has served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces including the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces and the National Guard and received a discharge other than dishonorable. Documentation (submission of the DD Form 214) is required.

Maine State Employee Reemployment after Military Duty: State employees who enter military service retain reemployment rights under both the Uniformed Services Employment and  Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 and Maine law. The state employee who enters military service on a short-term basis would generally be returned to the position that he or she left. Employees who enter military service on a long-term basis would be returned to the position that he or she left or be returned to a position of like status and pay for which he or she is qualified. Agency human resource representatives should be consulted if denial of reemployment for any reason is contemplated. Upon the completion of service (less than 31 days, including weekend drills) employees are also entitled to reasonable time for return travel, and an eight-hour period of rest, before returning to work. The allotted time to apply for reemployment increases incrementally, depending upon the length of service.

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. Burial is free of charge to Veterans with an other-than-dishonorable discharge, as well as their dependents.

National Cemeteries include:

Augusta: Mount Pleasant Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot

Togus: Togus National Cemetery

Maine VA Benefit Resources

Maine provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and a VA Medical Center.

Maine VA Regional Benefits Office

Maine VA Medical Centers

Important information for Maine 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

Maine Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in Maine 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.

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