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Veteran Benefits for Minnesota

The state of Minnesota 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 Minnesota.

Minnesota Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Income Taxes: Military pay and retirement pay are tax-free.
  • Minnesota Tax Exemption for Active Duty Military Pay: If you are a military member and a Minnesota resident, you may subtract federally taxable active-duty military pay when determining your Minnesota tax.
  • Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption: Disabled veterans with a 70 percent or greater VA disability may qualify for a reduction in the assessed value of their home. The reduction varies depending on the amount of disability. Some surviving spouses may also qualify.
  • Short Term Financial Assistance: The Subsistence program provides temporary financial assistance with housing, utility, insurance, and other expenses. The benefit is income and asset-based and is designed to assist veterans for up to six months for those who are unable to work due to a temporary disability, or who are permanently disabled and are waiting to receive federal government benefits.
    Surviving spouses may also be eligible for this benefit without a temporary disability if they apply within the first 12 months of their spouse’s death.
  • Minnesota 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.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 6.875%
  • Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 2.0%
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 7.28%

Recreation

Minnesota State Park Vehicle Permits: All active-duty personnel and disabled veterans get free admission to Minnesota state parks. You do not have to be a Minnesota resident to qualify.

Active Duty Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Nonresidents stationed in Minnesota can get hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate. Minnesota residents home on leave can hunt & fish for free. The hunting and fishing benefits to active duty members and veterans are very generous, but specialized licenses such as bear, deer, waterfowl, etc. may require fees not listed here. Always check the current MN DNR regulations before hunting or fishing.

Resident 100 Percent Disabled Veterans Hunting & Fishing License: Minnesota 100 percent disabled veterans get a free lifetime fishing license and a free annual hunting license.

Firearms Safety Training: Anyone who has successfully completed military basic training may be exempt from the Field Day components of the Hunter Firearms Safety course.

Education Programs: GI Bill

The Minnesota GI Bill is available to Minnesota Veterans who served honorably in any branch of the armed forces at any time
non-veterans who served honorably for a cumulative total of five years or more as a member of the MN National Guard or any other active or reserve component and had active service after September 11, 2001. Eligible spouses, surviving spouses, and children of permanently and totally disabled veterans who are eligible for the Federal GI Bill. Full-time undergraduate or graduate students may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per semester and part-time students can receive up to $500 per semester (up to $3,000 per academic year and $10,000 per lifetime).
OJT and Apprenticeship individuals are eligible for up to $2,000 per fiscal year for either program. Approved employers are eligible to receive $1,000 placement credit payable upon hiring a person under this program and another $1,000 after 12 consecutive months of employment.
Recipients must be a Minnesota resident under the age of 62 and enrolled at a Minnesota institution.

Surviving Spouse & Dependent Education Benefit: The Surviving Spouse and Dependent Education benefit is for spouses and dependents, including adopted and step-children, whose veteran spouse and/or veteran parent died while on active duty, or as a result of a service-connected condition. The veteran must have been a resident of Minnesota when they entered the military, or have been a resident of Minnesota for at least six months prior to passing away due to a service-connected disability. Applicants must be Minnesota residents and the spouse cannot be remarried. There is no age limitation for eligible survivors. Surviving spouses and dependents can get a bachelor’s degree without paying tuition. They also get $750 per year for fees, books, and supplies, and/or room and board. The benefit is available at MN state schools or private schools in the state.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

Minnesota State Veterans Home at Fergus Falls

Minnesota State Veterans Home at Hastings

Minnesota State Veterans Home at Luverne

Minnesota State Veterans Home at Minneapolis

Minnesota State Veterans Home at Silver Bay

Eligibility for admission:

  • Discharged other than on dishonorable accounts
  • Veterans must have served in the Armed Forces for at least 181 days
  • Spouses at least 55 and older who meet residency requirements may be eligible
  • The Veteran must need medical or clinical need
  • Costs are based on the needs of the Veteran

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

10 Point Veteran’s credit will be added to the competitive open examination rating of a Non-disabled Veteran, 15 points Veteran’s credit will be added to Veterans with a 50% or more permanent service-connected disability rating provided that the Veteran obtained a passing rating on the examination without the addition of the credit points.

Paid Leave for Minnesota State Employees for National Guard or Reserve Military Service: State employees receive 15 days of military leave per the calendar year for training, federal or state active duty. In addition, they shall be entitled to leave of absence from the public office or employment without loss of pay, seniority status, efficiency rating, vacation, sick leave, or other benefits for all the time when engaged with such organization or component in training or active service ordered or authorized by proper authority pursuant to law, whether for state or federal purposes. National Guard or Reserve service member who is a state employee is eligible for paid leave.

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.

Compensation for Minnesota National Guard State Active Duty: Every commissioned officer and enlisted Service member of the military forces shall receive from the state, while engaged in any service ordered by the governor, pay and allowances at the rate now or hereafter paid or allowed by law to officers or Enlisted Service members of the same grade and length of service in the Armed Forces of the United States, but not less than $130 a day. National Guard Service members on state active duty are eligible for the compensation.

Minnesota Veterans Employment Representative Services: Eligible Veterans, no matter the era of service, receive priority services in all WorkForce Centers across the state and can be assisted by specially trained Veterans employment representatives. Veterans’ employment representatives can help you if you have significant challenges finding or keeping a job, or have a service-connected disability. They work one-on-one with you to provide services custom-tailored to meet your individual needs.

Minnesota Disabled Veterans Program: Veterans employment representatives are available in many of Minnesota’s WorkForce Centers to assist Veterans with barriers to employment, disabled Veterans, and transitioning Service members. Disabled Veterans Outreach program specialists (DVOPS) provide intensive case-managed services designed to assist Veterans with the development and execution of a job search strategy and provide (one-to-one) guidance on various aspects of job search. These may include but are not limited to resume development, interviewing skills, networking, and use of social media, and direct referral to employers with available jobs. Additionally, local Veterans employment representatives (LVERs) provide valuable linkages to local employers and professional organizations to develop employment opportunities for Minnesota Veterans. They also work closely with other states, federal and local Veteran service organizations and agencies.

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 open to all Veterans who were honorably discharged. The burial is free of charge for Veterans, dependents may pay a small fee.

National Cemeteries include:

Minneapolis: Fort Snelling National Cemetery

Minnesota VA Benefit Resources

Minnesota provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and VA Medical Centers.

Minnesota VA Regional Benefits Office

Minnesota VA Medical Centers

Important information for Minnesota 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

Minnesota Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled veteran in Minnesota 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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