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Veteran Benefits for Montana

Veteran Benefits for Montana

Montana offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans, and their families, including property tax exemptions, the Montana National Guard Tuition Waiver Program, education and tuition assistance, Veteran preference in hiring for public employment, 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 Montana.

Montana Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Montana Military Pay Exemption for Active Duty Service Members: The following military pay can be excluded from Montana Income tax:
    • Base pay, special pay, and incentive pay received by Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Pay received by National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members serving on active duty in support of a Contingency Operation or for Homeland Defense
    • Combat zone pay:
      • Officers in the U.S. Armed Forces who did not receive a complete tax exemption from the federal government for combat pay can exclude additional combat-zone pay.
      • Pay received by hospitalized Service members as a result of service in a combat zone

    Service members claiming this exemption must verify their military status, such as a copy of their military orders with their income tax return.

  • Montana Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Premium Reimbursement: Reserve component Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces in support of Contingency Operations can receive a reimbursement for SGLI premiums paid when they file their Montana Taxes. The maximum reimbursement amount they can receive is $17.50 per month for each month they serve on active duty in a Contingency Operation.
  • Montana Military Retired Pay Income Taxes: Montana taxes all pension, annuities, and retirement income taxable on the federal return. Montana does offer a partial exemption for those eligible.
    • 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.
  • Montana Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retirement Pay: 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 of the payments that are considered disability benefits include:
    • Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Veterans or their families
    • Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
    • Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs or
    • Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program
  • Montana 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 Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-connected injury or disease.
  • Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Montana State Tax Benefits: Montana taxes all pension, annuities, and retirement income if it is taxable on the federal return. Montana does offer a partial exemption for those eligible.Taxpayers must complete the Montana Department of Revenue, Partial Pension and Annuity Income Exemption Worksheet, Form 2, Page 6.

    to see if they qualify for an exemption.

    This retirement exemption is subject to two limitations:

    • Cannot exclude more than $4,640 per taxpayer for the 2022 tax year
    • Exclusion is reduced by $2 for every dollar their 2022 federal adjusted gross income exceeds $38,660, regardless of filing status
  • Montana Income Exemption for Nonresident Military Spouses: A nonresident Service member’s spouse may be exempt from paying Montana taxes on income earned while stationed in Montana.Who is eligible for Montana Income Exemption for Nonresident Military Spouses? A nonresident military spouse must meet the following requirements to be exempt from Montana income tax:
    • Service members must be a resident of another state or territory
    • The service member is in Montana in compliance with military orders
    • The spouse is in Montana only to be with the Service member
    • Spouse is a resident of the same state or territory as the Service member
  • Montana Disabled Veteran Assistance Program (MDV), Property Tax Reduction: MDV reduces the property tax rate on the homes of disabled veterans or their un-remarried surviving spouses.For homes on agricultural or forest land, the benefit applies to the house and the one-acre home site.
    • Depending on the marital status and income of the homeowner, the tax rate is reduced by 100%, 80%, 70%, or 50% of the average tax rate. The income ranges are updated each year for inflation.
  • Montana Veterans’ Clubhouse Tax Exemption – Incompetent Veterans’ Trusts: Property owned by a Veteran’s organization that is used primarily for educational, fraternal, benevolent, or purely public charitable purposes rather than for gain or profit, and any personal property used in the building, is exempt from taxes.
    • All property, real or personal, under the control of a legal guardian for an incompetent U.S. Armed Forces Veteran or minor dependents of a Veteran is exempt from all taxes. To be eligible for a tax exemption, the property must have been paid for with funds from the U.S. Government as a pension, compensation, insurance, adjusted compensation, or gratuity.
  • Montana National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service Members can Deduct Travel Expenses from their Income Tax: Montana National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members can deduct travel expenses if they must travel more than 100 miles for military duty.
    • This deduction is taken on Schedule 1, Line 11 of the federal Form 1040 and on Schedule 1, Line 11 of the Montana Form 2. Service members must include a copy of your federal Form 2106 or 2106-EZ with their return to claim this deduction.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: None
  • Counties: cannot levy any sales tax
  • Gasoline Tax: 27 cents/gallon (includes all state, local, and federal taxes)


  • Discounted Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Licenses for Combat Disabled Veterans: A disabled Veteran or a disabled Service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who has a permanent, substantial combat-connected disability that causes a significant impairment of their functional ability may purchase certain tags or licenses for half price.Eligible applicants can purchase the following for half price:
    • Class A-3 deer A tag
    • Class A-4 deer B tag
    • Class B-7 deer A tag
    • Class B-8 deer B tag
    • Special antelope license
  • Free Montana Conservation License for Reserve Component Service Members: Montana resident Service members serving in the Montana National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves who are ordered to active duty in support of a contingency operation for at least two months outside Montana are eligible for a free resident wildlife conservation license, a Class A resident fishing license or a Class AAA resident combination sports license, (does not include a Class A-6 black bear tag) for five years.Service members are eligible in the year they return from active duty or the year following their return and for the next four years. Applicants must still pay the resident base hunting license fee and purchase the resident aquatic invasive species prevention pass.
    • To be eligible for the free licenses, Service members must provide proof of residency and their DD214 verifying their release or discharge from active duty. Apply by providing the required documentation at any regional department office or department headquarters in Helena or by mail.
  • Montana Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Purple Heart Recipients and Legion of Valor Members: The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks offers a reduction in licensing requirements for resident Purple Heart recipients or nonresident Veterans who are a member of the Legion of Valor. Resident Purple Heart recipients can fish and hunt game birds (not including wild turkeys) and must only purchase a Wildlife Conservation License and a Resident Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass. Other licenses are not required.

    Nonresident Purple Heart recipients are eligible for the same benefits above but only during expeditions arranged by a nonprofit organization that uses fishing and hunting as part of a rehabilitation program for disabled Veterans. Participants must purchase a Wildlife Conservation License and a Nonresident Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass.

    • Residents and nonresident Legion of Valor members can fish in Montana with only a Wildlife Conservation License. Other licenses are not required.
  • Montana Fishing Benefits for Veterans in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospitals: Veterans who are patients at a VA Hospital can fish without a license in Montana. The Veteran must carry documentation signed by the VA hospital staff indicating they are currently a patient instead of a license. 
  • Donated Montana Hunting Licenses for Disabled Service Members and Veterans: Montana residents can donate hunting licenses to be reissued to a disabled Veteran or disabled Service member. The donated license may only be used during hunting expeditions arranged by nonprofit organizations that use hunting as part of their rehabilitation services.Veterans are not required to be Montana residents or maintain a wildlife conservation license to receive a donated license.

    Those eligible for donated licenses are:

    • Purple Heart recipients
    • Veterans who were medically retired due to wounds or injuries received in combat and have a 70% or greater disability rating from the VA or a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Service member serving on active duty while receiving medical treatment at a medical facility
  • Nonresident Service Members and Dependents Stationed in Montana may Purchase Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Licenses at Resident Rates. Active duty nonresident Service members and their dependents stationed in Montana for 30 or more days are eligible to purchase hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses at resident prices.
    • Reassignment out of Montana terminates Montana residency, except when the Service member’s spouse and dependents continue to live in Montana, and the Service member continues to meet the residency requirements.
  • Montana State Parks and Camping Discount for Veterans: Montana resident Veterans receive a discount of 50% off camping fees (does not apply to electrical fees) at Montana State Parks. Proof of eligibility for the discount includes a DD214, VA ID card, or a Montana driver’s license with a Veteran designation.
    • In addition, Montana residents who are eligible for an exemption from Montana Motor vehicle registration fees are exempt from Montana State Parks entry fees.

Montana Military & Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits

  • Montana Military Family Relief Fund (MMFRF): MMFRF provides monetary grants to families of Montana National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members on federal active duty supporting a contingency operation on or after April 28, 2007.

    MMFRF grants are intended to help Montana families pay for food, housing, utilities, medical services, and other expenses that become difficult to afford when a wage-earner temporarily leaves civilian employment to be placed on active duty.

    Status-Based Grant:  The status-based grant offers a flat fee of $250 for each eligible dependent to help offset and pay costs related to a deployment.

    To be eligible for a status-based grant, the recipient must meet the following requirements:

    • Montana resident family member of a resident Montana National Guard or a U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service member serving on federal active duty in support of a contingency operation for at least 30 consecutive days
      • Service member’s pay grade is no higher than O-3 or W-3 at the time of application
    • A family member is enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) as a dependent
    • Submit a completed and signed application
  • Need-Based Grant:  The need-based grant helps families who experience a decrease in household income or financial hardship during a deployment. If the Service member’s military income is at least 30% less than their civilian income or a family has an unexpected or emergency expense, MMFRF can provide a grant of up to $2,000.

    To be eligible for a need-based grant, the recipient must meet the following requirements:

    • Meet eligibility requirements for a status-based grant
    • Provide proof that the Service member’s monthly military pay and allowances, combined, are at least 30% less than their monthly civilian wages or income or
    • Provide proof that the Service member or a family member is experiencing a significant emergency that warrants financial assistance
    • Submit a completed and signed application
  • Casualty-Based Grant:  A casualty-based grant offers $2,000 to help offset the expenses of a Service member injured during a contingency operation. The injury must have been sustained during or related to combat.

    To be eligible for a casualty-based grant the recipient must meet the following requirements:

    • Resident Montana National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service member serving on federal active duty in support of a contingency operation for at least 30 consecutive days
    • Suffers a nonfatal injury during or related to combat as a direct result of hostile action
    • Submit a completed and signed application

Education Programs

  • Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education Tuition Waivers for Service Members, Veterans, and War Orphans: The Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education offers tuition waivers for Veterans, National Guard Service members, and war orphans at campuses of the Montana University System. Waivers only apply toward tuition and do not apply to any required fees.

    Students are eligible for continuation of a waiver, from year to year, unless otherwise limited and provided they make satisfactory academic progress according to their campus. No combination of waivers/discounts can exceed the total tuition the campus charges.

    Montana National Guard Tuition Waiver: Montana National Guard Service members must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a tuition waiver:

    • Serving in the Montana National Guard at the start of the semester for which they are requesting a waiver
    • Certified as a Montana National Guard Service member in good standing and has completed Initial Entry Training
    • Meets all admission requirements of the institution
    • Waivers are available for undergraduate and graduate degrees
    • Waivers will be applied as a last-dollar award after all federal, state, and private grants and scholarships have been used toward a student’s tuition fees
  • Montana War Orphans Tuition Waiver: Children aged 25 or younger of a Service member who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and was killed in action or died as a result of a combat-related injury, disease, or other disability are eligible for a tuition waiver. The Service member must have been a Montana resident at the time of entry into the U.S. Armed Forces and served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan conflicts. This waiver can be used up to a bachelor’s degree and not with other tuition waivers.
  • Montana Honorably Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver: The Montana Honorably Discharged Veterans Waiver offers tuition waivers to eligible resident wartime Veterans. Veterans who served during and before the Vietnam era are eligible for a waiver for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Veterans who served after the Vietnam era are only eligible for a waiver up to their first certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree.

    Veterans must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

    • Montana resident
    • Received an Honorable Discharge (General Under Honorable Conditions does not qualify) for service on active duty other than for training
    • VA educational benefits have been used or have expired.
    • Served on active duty before May 7, 1975, during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam, or
    • Awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal after May 7, 1975, or
    • Served in a combat theater during the Persian Gulf War, August 2, 1990, through April 11, 1991, or
    • Awarded the Kosovo Campaign Medal, or
    • Served in a combat theater in Afghanistan and Iraq after September 11, 2001, and received (or is eligible for) one of the following:
      • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
      • Afghanistan Campaign Medal
      • Iraq Campaign Medal

    This waiver cannot be used with any other waivers. 

  • Surviving Dependents of Montana National Guard Service Member Tuition Waiver: The Surviving spouse or child of any Montana National Guard Service member who was killed due to injury, disease, or other disability they received in the line of duty while serving on state active duty are eligible for a tuition waiver at campuses of the Montana University System. Students do not qualify for this waiver if they have comparable educational and financial assistance from any government or private benefit program. For more information, contact the financial aid office at the campus they plan to attend.
  • Grateful Nation Montana, Financial and Educational Assistance: Grateful Nation Montana helps the children of Service members killed while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan to find and use the financial and non-monetary support they are eligible for to succeed in college.

    Participating colleges and universities provide student tutoring and mentoring to eligible students during their high school years so that these students are academically and emotionally prepared to succeed in college.

  • Montana 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 because of 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
  • Purple Star School Designation for Montana Military-Friendly Schools: The Montana Purple Star School Designation for military-friendly schools recognizes schools with a significant commitment to students and families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces. Schools that earn the award will receive a special Purple Star recognition to display on site.
    • For a school to qualify for the Purple Star Designation, 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. Each school will also have a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military families.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

Montana State Veterans’ Homes: Montana has three Veterans’ homes that offer affordable long-term care to aged and disabled Veterans as well as their eligible Spouses.

Montana State Veterans Home at Columbia Falls

Montana State Veterans Home at Glendive

Veterans’ Homes Amenities:

  • Reduced costs for eligible Veterans
  • Rehabilitation services – Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapies
  • Nursing and domiciliary (assisted living) units
  • Memory care
  • Services, programs, and activities specifically for Veterans

Who is eligible for Care in a Montana State Veterans’ Homes? To be eligible for admission to a Montana Veterans’ Home applicants must be an honorably discharged Veteran, the spouse or Surviving spouse of an eligible Veteran who requires nursing home care. Spouses of Veterans will be admitted on a space-available basis. A Veteran and spouse may be admitted together if they both qualify for nursing home care.

Montana Code 10-2-403 requires that consideration must also be given to an applicant’s:

  • Age
  • Physical and mental status
  • Ability or inability to find suitable alternative accommodations
  • Length of time as a Montana resident
  • Gender as it relates to availability of appropriate living space
  • Ability of the Montana Veterans’ home to meet the applicant’s needs
  • Other admission requirements established by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

  • Montana Veterans’ Employment Preference Policy: Montana offers Veterans’ Employment Preference when hiring for public employment. Preference can be granted by adding points to scored hiring processes or by guaranteeing an interview.

    When a public employer uses a scored procedure, an eligible applicant will have the following percentage points of the total possible points added to the stored procedure:

    • Five percentage points if the applicant is a Veteran
    • Ten percentage points if the applicant is a disabled Veteran or an eligible relative
    • When a public employer uses a selection procedure other than a scored procedure, they will give preference to a disabled Veteran, disabled applicant, a Veteran, or an eligible family member (in that order) over an applicant who is not eligible for preference and has equal qualifications. This preference may include a guaranteed job interview for those eligible.
  • Montana Veteran Hiring Preference for Private Employers: A Montana private sector employer may adopt an employment policy that gives preference in hiring a Veteran. A private sector employer includes for-profit and not-for-profit employers.
  • Paid Military Leave for Montana Public Employees: Montana State employees who are members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for 120 paid military leave per year and can roll over unused military leave for 240 hours. Military leave can be used for state or federal active duty, federally funded training, drill, and annual training.
  • 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.

  • Montana Department of Labor, Veteran Services.: Employment Specialists at Montana Job Service Offices assist Service members who are leaving the U.S. Armed Forces, Veterans, and their Spouses to find meaningful careers by offering employment, training, and placement services.

    Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veteran Employment Representatives, located at several Job Service locations, are trained to address the needs of Veterans (and, in some cases, their Families) who encounter more severe challenges getting a job.

    Montana Job Service Offices offer priority of service to Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or Service members serving in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves who were activated for federal service. The spouse or un-remarried Surviving spouse of the following are also eligible:

    • Veteran who died from a service-connected disability
    • Service member serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and was declared one of the following:
      • Missing in action
      • Captured in the line of duty
      • Forcibly detained or interned by a foreign government or power
    • A veteran who has a total service-connected disability rating from the VA
    • Veteran who died while a total disability rating was in existence

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 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:

Laurel: Yellowstone National Cemetery

Missoula: Fort Missoula Post Cemetery

Montana VA Benefit Resources

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

Montana VA Regional Benefits Office

Montana VA Medical Centers

Important information for Montana 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

Montana Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in Montana 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.