Veteran Benefits for Maryland

The state of Maryland 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 Maryland.

Maryland Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Income Tax: Military pay earned while serving overseas is tax-free up to $15,000. Retirement military pay is tax-free up to $5,000. When the Veteran is 55 or older, this increases to $15,000.
  • Property Tax Exemption: Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled from service-connected causes are exempt from property tax on their primary residence. Upon the Veteran’s death, the exemption passes to their spouse. The surviving spouse of active-duty military personnel who died in the line of duty, as well as the surviving spouse of a totally disabled veteran, or a spouse who receives DIC may also receive an exemption
  • Maryland State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the armed forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:
    • You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25th, 1975
    • You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24th, 1975
    • You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury
    • You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA)
  • Maryland 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.
  • Vessel Excise Tax: Active duty military personnel are exempt from the 5% vessel excise tax. This is only for vessels purchased out-of-state and brought into Maryland due to a PCS.
  • Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Maryland State Tax Benefits: Surviving Spouses receiving military retirement income are able to subtract up to $5,000 of the income from federal adjusted gross income before determining Maryland tax. Beginning with the tax year of 2018, if you are age 65 or older, you will be able to subtract up to $15,000 of the military retirement income.
  • Maryland Military Spouse Residency Relief Act: The wages earned by a spouse of a non-resident U.S. Service member may be exempt from Maryland income tax under the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act when the Spouse of the Service member is not a legal resident of Maryland. The income tax withholding exemption may be claimed by filing a revised Exemption from Maryland Withholding Tax for a Qualified Civilian Spouse of an Armed Forces Service Member. As the military Spouse, you remain a non-resident for purposes of Maryland taxation and are not required to file a Maryland return, unless you received non-military income from Maryland sources.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 6.0%
  • Counties: cannot levy an additional sales tax
  • Common exceptions at the state level:
    • Prescription medicines are exempt
    • Unprepared foods are exempt


Free Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans: A free lifetime hunting license is available to Maryland residents certified as former POWs, or 100% service-connected disabled Veterans. The lifetime license includes the bow stamp, muzzleloader stamp, and furbearer permit. The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp is not part of the Complimentary License. The license incorporates both the non-tidal angler’s license and the Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license. It does not, however, include the trout stamp.

Active Duty Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Maryland residents on active duty and home on leave do not need to purchase a hunting or fishing license.  Non-residents stationed in MD can buy hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate.

Hunting in Maryland without a License for Resident Service Members: You are not required to possess a Maryland hunting license if you are:

  • A Maryland resident serving in the United States Armed Forces that is on official leave in Maryland (whether stationed in Maryland or outside Maryland) and possesses a copy of official leave orders while hunting
  • A person serving in the United States Armed Forces who has a service-connected disability and possesses a valid military identification while hunting
  • A person who is a retired former member of the United States Armed Services and hunting on farmland that is inactive farming status and owned by the person or the person’s Spouse, Child, Child’s Spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, niece or nephew. A retired former member who hunts on farmland without a hunting license must possess the retired military identification card and written permission from the owner of the farm property specifying the relationship of the person to the owner of the property

Complimentary Maryland Lifetime Fishing License for Disabled Veterans and Former Prisoners of War: A complimentary lifetime license is available to Maryland residents who are 100% service-connected disabled Veterans or former prisoners of war. The license incorporates both the non-tidal angler’s license and the Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license. It does not, however, include the trout stamp. Applicants must furnish a letter of disability or a letter of certification from the Veterans Administration with their initial application.

Complimentary Maryland Fishing License for the Blind: Complimentary annual tidal and non-tidal licenses are available to residents and non-residents who are blind.

Discounted Maryland Fishing Licenses for Purple Heart Recipients: Any Maryland Veteran who has received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat qualifies for a 50 percent discount on Maryland and fishing licenses.

Maryland Resident Service Members May Fish without a License when on Leave: A Service member who is a resident of MD, on active duty with the Armed Forces, and is on leave with official leave orders may fish without a license in the tidal waters of the State.

Complimentary Prisoner of War and Disabled Veteran Maryland Hunting Licenses: A complimentary lifetime hunting license is available to Maryland residents certified as a former Prisoner of War (POW) or a 100% service-connected disabled American Veteran (Veterans Administration documentation required).

  • This free lifetime hunting license is available only at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Service Centers
  • This license also includes free, lifetime Archery Stamps, Muzzleloader Stamps, and Furbearer Permits
  • The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, and Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp are required to be purchased annually and are not included with this license

Discounted Maryland Hunting Licenses for Purple Heart Recipients: Maryland residents who were recipients of the Purple Heart Award are eligible for a discounted hunting license and any associated stamps and permits. This year’s discounted rate is 50% of the regular price of the license or stamp. These discounted hunting licenses and stamps can only be purchased in person at a DNR Licensing & Registration Service Center. Documentation proving the Purple Heart Award was received by the hunter must be provided at the time of purchase. The Purple Heart medal does not suffice as proof of receiving the award. All other requirements apply for obtaining a hunting license and stamps.

Admission to State Parks: All entrance charges to MD state parks are waived for all veterans, both resident, and nonresident as well as all active-duty personnel. The waiver is applicable to the veteran only and not others in the same vehicle unless a per-vehicle charge is in effect at the time. In that case, the per-vehicle fee is waived.

Education Programs

Maryland National Guard State Tuition Waiver (STW): ALL state-supported colleges/universities (Except UMUC) offer tuition waiver for members of the Guard when taking credited, undergraduate or graduate courses. Each institution has its own rules that govern the number of seats available and the number of credit hours eligible for a tuition waiver. Classes held at Maryland National Guard locations are available to all Guard members with a 25% or 50% tuition waiver, regardless of space available. Professional courses are not eligible for STW. *Can now be used for Trade Schools in partnership with the Maryland Army National Guard.

Who is eligible for the Maryland National Guard State Tuition Waiver (STW)? Must be a Maryland National Guard Service member in good standing and must have a two-year obligation remaining from the course start date. This can be used with State Tuition Assistance Reimbursement, Montgomery G.I. Bill, and Federal Tuition Assistance.

Maryland High School Diplomas for WWII and Korean War Veterans: County Boards of Education award high school diplomas to Korea and World War II Veterans who left high school early to enter the Armed Forces. Diplomas are also issued to any Veteran upon successful completion of the General Education Development (GED) test. For more information contact your local board of education.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

Maryland State Veterans Home at Charlotte Hall

Eligibility for admission:

  • Maryland Veterans who served on full-time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (other than active duty for training) and were discharged or released under honorable conditions
  • Certain members of reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces who meet the legal residence requirements.
  • Certain Non-Veteran Spouses of eligible Veterans.
  • Maryland residents, at least 62 years of age or deemed disabled by either the Social Security Administration or the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

Federal Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during a reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

The appointing authority for skilled and professional appointments will award a credit of ten points on any selection test to an eligible veteran, the spouse of an eligible veteran who has a service-connected disability, or the surviving spouse of a deceased eligible veteran. A credit of two additional points will be given to any Veteran with a service-connected disability.

CDL License: The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will waive the CDL class A & B skills test requirements for veterans within 12 months of their discharge if they had those qualifications in the service.

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.

Maryland State Retirement System Service Credit for Military Service: A Veteran is entitled to receive service credit for military service only on the attainment of 10 years of service credit earned through employment as a member of a state retirement system. An individual may not receive credit for that military service if the individual receives credit for military service from another retirement system for which retirement benefits have been or will be received by the individual. This credit may not exceed 5 years.

A member of the Maryland National Guard or of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States who has not been activated under Title 10 of the United States Code, shall receive service credit at the rate of 4 months for each full year of service with the Maryland National Guard or with a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, not to exceed a total of 36 months.

Maryland Military Personnel Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program: The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), in consultation with the MDVA, offers no-interest loans via the Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program for the following categories:

  • A small business owned by a military reservist or a National Guard member called to active duty
  • A small business that employs a military reservist or National Guard member called to active duty
  • A Veteran small business owner or a Veteran seeking to start a small business
  • A small business that employs a service-disabled Veteran

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 and are residents of Maryland. Plots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Dependents are eligible at a cost.

National Cemeteries include:

Annapolis: Annapolis National Cemetery

Baltimore: Baltimore National Cemetery

Baltimore: Loudon Park National Cemetery

Scotland: Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery

Maryland VA Benefit Resources

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

Maryland VA Regional Benefits Office

Maryland VA Medical Centers

Important information for Maryland 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

Maryland Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in Maryland 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.