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Veteran Benefits for Mississippi

Veteran Benefits for Mississippi

 Mississippi offers unique benefits for Service members, Veterans, and their Families, including tax exemptions on military pay and military retired pay, property tax exemptions, state employment assistance and preferences, education, and tuition assistance, special military vehicle tags, and hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status. The following are benefits for the state of Mississippi.

Mississippi Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Mississippi Taxes on Military Pay: The following military pay received by a Mississippi resident Service Member is exempt from Mississippi income tax:
    • Pay received by a Service member serving in a designated combat zone
    • The first $15,000 received by a reserve component Service member for:
      • Inactive duty training (monthly or special drills or meetings)
      • Active duty training (summer camps, special schools, cruises)
      • State active duty (emergency duty)

    All other military pay is taxed in Mississippi.

  • Mississippi Military Retired Pay Income Tax Exemption: Military retired pay is exempt from Mississippi income tax.

    Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not withhold taxes for state or local income tax, but it is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes, and early distributions may incur higher taxes.

  • Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA): The spouses of nonresident Service members stationed in Mississippi are exempt from Mississippi taxes on income earned in Mississippi.
  • Mississippi State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retirement Pay: Mississippi does not tax Veteran disability pensions. Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity, or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income. Some payments considered disability benefits include:
    • Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid either to Veterans or their family
    • Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
    • Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of their limbs or
    • Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program
  • Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Veterans With 100% Disability: Honorably discharged Veterans with a service-connected total disability are exempt from all property taxes on the assessed value of their homestead property. Surviving spouses of eligible Veterans can also receive the tax exemption.
  • Mississippi State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): 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-connected injury or disease.
  • Mississippi State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): SBP, RCSBP and RSFPP annuities are not taxed in Mississippi.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 7.0%
  • Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 1.0%
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 7.052%


  • 100% Disabled Veterans not Required to Possess Mississippi Hunting or Fishing Licenses: Resident Veterans with a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA are not required to purchase hunting or fishing licenses.
    • Who is eligible for 100% Disabled Veterans not required to Possess Mississippi Hunting or Fishing Licenses? Veterans must carry proof of age, residency, and 100% service-connected disability rating while hunting or fishing. Veterans can buy a Disabled Exempt License for $5 as a single source of proof.
  • Nonresident Service Members may purchase Mississippi Resident Hunting and Fishing Licenses: Nonresident active duty Service members stationed in Mississippi are authorized to purchase Mississippi hunting and fishing licenses at resident prices. Applicants must show a valid military ID.
  • Mississippi Nonresident Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing Licenses: Nonresident Service members on active duty can purchase the Mississippi 14-day Hunting/Fishing License for $37.25. Applicants must show a current military ID when applying. Service members can only purchase two Nonresident Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing Licenses during a license year.
  • Mississippi Resident Service Members Exempt from Purchasing a Hunting or Fishing License when on Leave: Mississippi resident Service members serving active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and assigned outside Mississippi are not required to purchase hunting or fishing licenses when home on leave. Service members must carry their leave form and a military ID when hunting or fishing.

Mississippi Miscellaneous Military & Veterans Benefits

  • Mississippi Veterans Document Archival and Retrieval: Mississippi has special benefits for Veterans and their family members regarding official documents.
    • Recording of Discharges: Chancery Clerks will record honorable discharges and all certificates of service for resident U.S. Armed Forces Service members and provide certified copies free of charge.
  • Exemption from Jury Duty for Mississippi National Guard Service Members: Mississippi National Guard Service members are exempt from jury duty when it interferes with military duty. Service members must get a statement from their superior officer stating their jury duty will interfere with their military duties.
  • Exemption from Arrest for Mississippi National Guard Service Members: Mississippi National Guard Service members cannot be arrested when traveling to, from, or when at their official place of duty, except for a felony or treason.
  • Mississippi Veterans’ Home Purchase Board (VHPB): VHPB provides low-interest mortgage loans for Veterans, active and reserve component Service members, and un-remarried Surviving spouses. The VHPB offers competitive rates, fewer fees, and 100% loans to value.
    • The property must be a single-family residence in Mississippi to qualify. Permanent financing of a construction loan to construct a single-family residence is also available. Farms, raw land, mobile homes, townhomes, and condominiums are not eligible.

Education Programs

  • The Mississippi State Educational Assistance Program (SEAP): SEAP pays tuition to state and regionally accredited institutions in Mississippi for Mississippi National Guard Service members. SEAP currently funds up to $5,000 per year:
    • $1100 per semester for full-time students at a two-year Mississippi institution
    • $2500 per semester for full-time students at a four-year Mississippi institution
      • Students may apply less than full-time (11 semester hours or less but at least six semester hours) but will only receive half of the full-time allotment.
    • Students have a 10-year window from when the first payment is made until the expiration of SEAP eligibility. SEAP funds may be combined with Federal Tuition Assistance, GI Bill (excluding Ch. 33), grants, scholarships, or any other funding the student receives and can be used towards the first undergraduate degree or technical certificate.


  • Mississippi Resident Tuition Rates for Nonresident Service Members: Nonresident Service members serving in the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty stationed in Mississippi and nonresident Service members serving in the Mississippi National Guard are considered residents for tuition purposes at Mississippi state-supported institutions of higher learning. Nonresident Service members reassigned outside Mississippi or leaving the Mississippi National Guard are no longer eligible. Students should contact the admissions office at the school they plan to attend for information.
  • Mississippi In-State Tuition for Nonresident Veterans: Nonresident Veterans are eligible for in-state tuition when attending Mississippi state supported institutions of higher learning.
  • Mississippi In-State Tuition for Spouse and Children of Service Members: The spouse and child of a Service member serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in Mississippi are eligible for in-state tuition when attending Mississippi state-supported institutions of higher learning. The spouse and children will lose their residency status when the Service member is reassigned to another duty station inside the continental U.S. unless they meet the following requirements:
    • Begin and complete their senior year of high school in Mississippi and enroll in a Mississippi institution of higher learning
    • Enrolled in and remains continuously enrolled in a Mississippi institution of higher learning
    • Dependents of a Service member who is stationed overseas after a duty assignment in Mississippi
    • Students should contact the admissions office at the school they plan to attend for information
  • Mississippi Honorary High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: Mississippi school districts may award an honorary Mississippi high school diploma to Veterans who left high school before graduation to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified wartime periods.
    • Who is eligible for a Mississippi Honorary High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans?

      Honorary diplomas may be awarded to Veterans who received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces for service during the following wartime periods:

      • World War II
      • Korean Conflict
      • Vietnam Conflict
      • Family members of deceased eligible Veterans may apply for the diploma posthumously. For more information, contact the school district where the Veteran attended high school.
  • Mississippi 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 due to 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 variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content, or assessment do not disadvantage children of military families
    • 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 to achieve educational success for the student
  • Mississippi Military Star School Program for Military-Friendly Schools: The Mississippi Military Star School program recognizes schools with a significant commitment to students and Families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces.

    For a school to qualify for the Military Star Award, they must appoint a school liaison 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.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

  • Mississippi State Veterans Homes: Mississippi has four State Veterans Homes that provide skilled long-term care for eligible Veterans and their spouse. Each Veteran home has 150 beds and is staffed with dedicated professionals to provide the best possible care.

Mississippi State Veterans Home at Collins

Mississippi State Veterans Home at Jackson

Mississippi State Veterans Home at Kosciusko

Mississippi State Veterans Home at Oxford

Who is eligible for care at a Mississippi State Veterans Home? To qualify for admissionVeterans or their spouses must meet the following requirements:

  • Veteran who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and was discharged under other than dishonorable conditions (applicant must provide a DD214 or equivalent) or
  • Spouse of a Veteran who is currently a resident of a Mississippi State Veterans Home
  • Nonresident applicants may be admitted if no Mississippi resident is waiting for admission
  • Must have a medical examination by a physician within 30 days of admission and does not have any of the following:
    • Communicable disease
    • Require care that the Home cannot provide
    • Has behavior that may be dangerous to themselves, other residents, or employees

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

  • Paid Leave for Military Duty for Mississippi State Employees: State employees receive 15 working days of paid military leave per year without loss of pay, time, annual leave, or efficiency rating when ordered to required military duty. Service members who attend duty needed for more than 15 days are authorized leave of absence and are entitled to reemployment.
    • Who is eligible for Paid Leave for Military Duty for Mississippi State Employees? Mississippi state employees who are Service members in a U.S. Armed Forces reserve component are eligible for paid military leave.
  • Mississippi State Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences: The Mississippi State Personnel Board grants fully qualified Veterans five preference points over other applicants for initial or promotional appointments; disabled Veterans are given ten preference points.

    During a layoff, Veterans are granted four retention points; disabled Veterans are granted eight retention points over non-veteran employees.

    • Who is eligible for Mississippi State Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences? Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for at least 90 days during a period of war or armed conflict and received an honorable discharge or who served less than 90 days and were discharged due to a service-connected injury are eligible for five points.
        • Veterans who have at least a 30% or more service-connected disability rating from the VA or received the Purple Heart are eligible for 10 points.
  • 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.

  • Credit for Military Service in Mississippi Public Employee Retirement System (PERS): Mississippi PERS offers military service credit for purchase and, in some cases, for free for state employees who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Employees can receive up to four years of service credit that may allow them to receive retirement pay earlier than usual. Employees must submit a copy of their DD214 (or similar documentation) to verify eligibility.

    Free Military Service Credit: To receive military service credit for free, employees must meet the following requirements:

    • Served on active duty in the U.S. Armed forces
    • Entered or reentered state service after discharge from active duty and vested in PERS
    • Received a discharge other than dishonorable
    • Do not have credit for this military service in any other retirement system administered by PERS and do not have overlapping service for the same period.

    National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members may be eligible for service credit if they served on federal active duty and received a DD214 for that service. Neither the NGB Form 22 nor the Chronological Statement of Retirement Points will be accepted to establish active duty military service eligibility.

    Military Service Credit for Purchase: Under certain circumstances, employees may be awarded credit for military service interrupting public service, provided the appropriate member and employer contributions are paid.

    To purchase service under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), you must have worked for a covered employer, left employment for a military leave of absence, and returned to work with the same employer within 90 days of discharge or release, except as otherwise provided under USERRA.

  • Mississippi Re-Employment Rights for Service Members: Service members serving in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces who leave their job for active state duty, state training duty, or any other military duty (authorized under Title 10 or Title 32) and receives a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable are entitled to be returned to their previous or similar position with the same status, pay, and seniority.
  • Mississippi Extension for Service Member’s Professional Licenses: A professional license issued under Mississippi Code, Title 73, Professions and Vocations to a member of the Mississippi National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves will not expire while the Service member is serving on federal active duty and will be extended until 90 days after their return.

    The Service member will only be responsible for normal renewal fees and will not be charged additional costs such as late or delinquency fees. The Service member must provide a copy of official military orders or written verification from their commanding officer before the end of the 90 days to qualify for the extension.

  • Mississippi Professional License for Active Duty Service Members and Military Spouses: Active duty Service members and their spouses who are permanently assigned to a duty station in Mississippi are eligible for accelerated processing of professional license applications. State licensing boards can grant either permanent or temporary licenses. Temporary licenses allow individuals to start working while waiting for their permanent license to be processed.

    In addition, Service members can apply military training (subject to licensing authority guidelines) toward licensing requirements.

    For more information, applicants should contact the licensing board or agency that regulates the profession they are interested in.

  • Mississippi Department of Employment Security Veterans Services (MDES): MDES has a webpage for Veterans with information about specialized benefits, housing, and how to get and keep a job. Veterans will receive priority services from MDES. The information provided is broken down into five categories:
    • Job Search- Links to sources for job information, availabilities listings, and advice when applying for a job
    • Education & Training– Links to education and training resources
    • Employment Rights– Links to websites regarding Veteran’s rights as it relates to employment
    • Resources– Links to resources for Veterans that include information on specialized benefits, service records requests, assistance for women Veterans, and more
    • Housing & Homeless Services– Links to resources to help Veterans find homes for their Families

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, spouses and dependents are eligible and may pay a small fee.

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:

Biloxi: Biloxi National Cemetery

Corinth: Corinth National Cemetery

Natchez: Natchez National Cemetery

Mississippi VA Benefit Resources

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

Mississippi VA Regional Benefits Office

Mississippi VA Medical Centers

Important information for Mississippi 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


Mississippi Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in Mississippi 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.