Veteran Benefits for Nebraska
The state of Nebraska 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 Nebraska.
Nebraska Veteran Financial Benefits
- Retired Military Pay: Retirement pay is eligible for one of two exemptions: All retirement income after the 40% election or before the 15% election is treated as fully taxable income and once an election is made, it cannot be changed. *Note: If you don’t make a choice within 2 years of discharge you lose the exemption.
- A 40% exclusion of military retirement income for seven consecutive tax years beginning with the year in which the election is made
- A 15% exclusion of military retirement income for all tax years beginning at 67 years of age
- National Guard and Reserve Service Members: Service members who retire from service, but do not begin receiving military retirement benefits immediately upon retirement, still must make the election to exclude a portion of their military retirement benefits within two years of retirement.
- Nebraska Veterans’ Aid Fund: This temporary emergency aid fund assists Veterans, their spouses, and dependents when an unforeseen emergency occurs affecting their quality of life and method of living. When other resources are not immediately available, this fund is eligible. Aid can only be used for food, fuel, shelter, wearing apparel, funeral, medical, and surgical items. The application must be made through the County Service Officer or post-Service Officer of any recognized Veterans’ organization within the nearest county.
- Nebraska Homestead Exemption: Veterans with a 100% disability rating and their unmarried surviving spouse may qualify for a reduction in the amount of their property taxes. Un-remarried surviving spouses of members killed in action may also qualify, however, there are income limits, and home value limits.
- Statewide: 5.5%
- Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 2.0%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 6.02%
Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Nebraska resident Veterans with at least a 50% disability rating can get free lifetime hunting & fishing licenses. Any Veteran 64 and older can get a hunting and fishing license for just $5. Active duty members stationed in Nebraska for 30 days or more can buy hunting & fishing licenses at the residential rate.
Deployed Military Permit: Nebraska residents who have been deployed out of the state within the last 12 months can get an Annual Small Game Hunt/Fish Permit on a one-time basis for just $5. This permit includes all state stamps.
Tuition Waiver: The University of Nebraska and all state and community colleges may waive tuition for eligible children of Veterans. Children of members who died on active duty, as a result of active duty, or who are permanently and totally disabled as a result of active duty may also be eligible.
Reservist Tuition Credit: Enlisted members of Nebraska based reserve units may be eligible for a 50% tuition credit at state and community colleges.
Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes
Nebraska State Veterans Home at Bellevue
Nebraska State Veterans Home at Norfolk
Nebraska State Veterans Home at Grand Island
Nebraska State Veterans Home at Scottsbluff
Eligibility for admission:
- Discharged other than on dishonorable accounts
- A spouse may be eligible depending on availability
- The Veteran must require skilled nursing care
- Veterans pay based on income
Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference
All honorably discharged Veterans can have 5 points added to any state employment examination scores. Those with a VA service-connected disability will get 10 points added to their score. Spouses of active-duty members, those separated within 180 days, and spouses of Veterans who have a 100% disability rating may also qualify. This preference is for all state, county, and municipal jobs.
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.
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. Veterans and their dependents are eligible for burial at no charge. Eligibility for interment in the State Veterans Cemetery follows National Cemetery Administration eligibility requirements.
National Cemeteries include:
Maxwell: Fort McPherson National Cemetery
Omaha: Forest Lawn Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot
Omaha: Omaha National Cemetery
Nebraska VA Benefit Resources
Nebraska provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and a VA Medical Center.
Nebraska VA Regional Benefits Office
- Lincoln: Lincoln Regional Office
Nebraska VA Medical Centers
- Grand Island: Grand Island VA Medical Center
Important information for Nebraska 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
Nebraska Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Nebraska 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.