Call us at: (833) 577-8387
Decoration Texture

Veteran Benefits for New Jersey

Veteran Benefits for New Jersey

New Jersey offers unique benefits for Service members, Veterans, and their families, including income tax exemptions on military retired pay and property taxes, state employment preferences, education, and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, New Jersey Military Service Medals, burial benefits, free state park admission, free private beach facilities, as well as 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 New Jersey.

New Jersey Veteran Financial Benefits

  • New Jersey Income Tax on Military Pay: Military pay is taxed in New Jersey.Military pay received in a combat zone or when hospitalized due to an injury received in a combat zone is not taxable.

    In addition, New Jersey follows federal guidelines and offers an extension to file New Jersey income taxes for Service members serving in a combat zone. Service members have 180 days after redeploying or being released from hospitalization due to injuries or illness they received in a combat zone to file and pay any owed taxes.

  • New Jersey Taxes on Nonresident Military Spouse’s Income: A nonresident military spouse who lives in New Jersey does not have to pay Income Tax on wages earned in New Jersey. For state taxation purposes, a military spouse can choose their home state, the state where their Service member spouse is stationed, or the same state of legal residence as the Service member. spouses can choose this even if they never lived in that state or did not live with the Service member during the tax year.
  • New Jersey Military Retired Pay Tax Exemption: U.S. Armed Forces pensions are exempt from New Jersey 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. Early TSP distributions may incur higher taxes.
  • New Jersey Taxes on Military Disability Retirement Pay: New Jersey does not tax total and permanentVA disability 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
  • New Jersey 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.
  • New Jersey Taxes on Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): SBP, RCSBP and RSFPP are exempt from New Jersey Income Tax.
  • New Jersey Veteran Income Tax Exemption: Veterans are eligible for a $6,000 exemption on their New Jersey Income Tax return if they are a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty at any time before the last day of the tax year. The spouse (or civil union partner) of an eligible Veteran may also claim this exemption if they are filing a joint return. This exemption is in addition to any other exemptions they are entitled to claim and is available on both the resident and nonresident returns.A taxpayer whose military spouse died during the tax year can claim the deceased Veteran exemption if they meet the following requirements:
    • Filed a joint New Jersey tax return, and
    • Did not remarry by December 31 of the tax year or were divorced/legally separated from the Service member on the date of death
    • The Surviving spouse may not claim the Veterans exemption for the deceased spouse any following year
  • New Jersey 100% Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption: Honorably discharged Veterans who are 100% permanently and totally disabled due to active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces may qualify for an annual property tax exemption on their primary residence. An eligible veteran’s survivor’s spouse or domestic partner is also eligible.
  • New Jersey Veteran $250 Property Tax Deduction: Honorably discharged Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces may qualify for an annual $250 property tax exemption on their primary residence. An eligible veteran’s survivor’s spouse or domestic partner is also eligible.
    • Each can claim a deduction if both spouses or domestic partners are Veterans
  • New Jersey Income Tax Exemption for Combat-Related Death: New Jersey will not tax the income of a resident Service member who dies while serving in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area or who dies as a result of wounds, disease, or injuries received in a qualifying area in the year of their death. New Jersey will also cancel any assessments of unpaid tax.
    • In addition, New Jersey will not assess taxes for previous years that the Service member was in the combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area, and their estate is eligible for a refund of any taxes already paid
  • New Jersey Wounded Warrior Caregivers Relief Act: The New Jersey Wounded Warrior Caregivers Relief Act provides a tax credit to qualified Family caregivers who take care of a U.S. Armed Forces Service member who has a disability from service in any war or conflict on or after September 11, 2001. The credit equals 100% of the Veterans disability compensation, or $675, whichever is less.
  • New Jersey Active Military Service Property Tax Deferment: Service members deployed or mobilized for active duty service during the war may qualify for a deferment of their property tax bill.The deferment is limited to:
    • Property owned solely by the deployed or mobilized Service member
    • Property owned together with a spouse (civil union partner)

    Service members will have 90 days after their deployment or mobilization to pay their property taxes. This deferment does not apply to any delinquent tax payments before deployment or mobilization. Any interest on late deferral payments is assessed back to their original due date. This deferment does not apply to sewer, water, electric, or other municipal charges.

    • To apply for a property tax deferment, Service members must file a completed application and provide all required documentation (listed on the application) to their local assessor or tax collector. Service members may authorize someone to apply for the deferment on their behalf while they are deployed or mobilized

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 6.625%
  • Counties: cannot levy any additional sales tax
  • Common Exceptions at the state level:
    • Prescription medications are exempt
    • Unprepared foods are exempt
    • Clothing expenses are exempt


  • Free Fishing, Trapping, and Hunting Licenses for New Jersey National Guard Service Members: New Jersey National Guard Service members are eligible for free hunting, trapping, fishing licenses, permits, and stamps.Who is eligible for Free Fishing, Trapping, and Hunting Licenses for New Jersey National Guard Service Members? New Jersey National Guard Service members must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
    • Completed Initial Active Duty for Training / Officer Basic Branch Course
    • Participated in unit training assemblies within the last 90 days
    • Up-to-date on any court-mandated child support payments
  • New Jersey Resident Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Nonresident Active Duty Service Personnel: Nonresident Service members serving active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces may purchase hunting and fishing licenses for resident prices. Service members must provide proof of active duty service when purchasing their license. Completion of an approved hunter education course is required for hunting licenses.
  • Free New Jersey Fishing and Hunting Licenses for Resident Disabled Veterans: Honorably discharged New Jersey resident Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability are eligible for free New Jersey hunting and fishing licenses, permits, and stamps.
    • Who is eligible for Free New Jersey Fishing and Hunting Licenses for Disabled Veterans? Resident Veterans honorably discharged from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces and have a service-connected disability of any degree from the VA are eligible for free hunting and fishing licenses, permits, and stamps. Veterans must provide the following:
      • Proof of service-connected disability:
        • Letter of certification of service-connected disability from VA or
        • Wallet-sized card from the VA indicating service-connected disability
      • Proof of honorable discharge (DD214 or similar document)
      • New Jersey driver’s license or other proof of residency

      Veterans who have a Disabled Veteran license are eligible for the following additional benefits:

      • Unlimited antlerless deer permits and one free antlered deer permit for each deer season
      • Two free spring turkey permits, one free fall turkey permit during the lottery, and additional free permits when leftover permit sales begin.
      • Free bear permits
  • New Jersey State Park Benefits: New Jersey offers the following State Park and Forest benefits to National Guard Service members, disabled Veterans, and Gold Star Families.
  • Free Entry to State Parks or Forests for National Guard Service Members and Disabled Veterans: New Jersey resident National Guard Service members who have completed initial active duty training and honorably discharged resident Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating from the VA are authorized free entry to New Jersey State Parks or Forests.
  • Free Permit to Operate a Motor Vehicle on a State Park Beach for Disabled Veterans: New Jersey offers free permits to operate a motorized vehicle on a state park beach to disabled Veterans.
  • Free entry to State Parks and Forests for Veterans attending a Veterans’ Organization Event: Veterans are authorized free entry to a State Park or Forest during an event held by a Veterans’ organization. In addition, no facility fee is charged to the Veterans’ organization for using a state park or forest for an event.
  • Gold Star Families Authorized Free Entry to State Park: Gold Star Family members with a New Jersey driver’s license or ID card with the Gold Star Family designation are allowed free entry to State Parks and Forests.
  • National Guard Training Center (NGTC) at Sea Girt Morale, Welfare and Recreation Facility: The NGTC at Sea Girt has a private beach with a covered pavilion, campsites, cottages, and a picnic area that is available for the use by Service members, Veterans, Retired Service members, and their families.

Education Programs

  • New Jersey “Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: New Jersey will award a state high school diploma to Veterans who left a New Jersey high school to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I, World War II, or the Korean or Vietnam conflicts.Who is eligible for New Jersey’s “Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans? To be eligible, Veterans must meet the following requirements:
    • Current New Jersey resident who left a New Jersey high school to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces between the dates of:
      • April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918
      • September 16, 1940, through December 31, 1946
      • June 23, 1950, through January 31, 1955, or
      • December 31, 1960, through May 7, 1975
    • Received an honorable discharge
    • Diplomas may also be issued posthumously
  • New Jersey National Guard Tuition Waiver Program (NJNGTP): NJNGTP will waive tuition at public institutions of higher education for New Jersey National Guard Service members and their Surviving spouse and children.Those eligible can receive up to 16 credits per semester tuition-free. NJNGTP pays after all other financial aid has been applied toward the student’s tuition. This waiver does not apply to all other expenses, including lab fees and books.

    Who is eligible for the NJNGTP? To qualify, New Jersey National Guard Service members must meet the following requirements:

    • Completed Initial Active Duty Training
    • Active drilling Service member in good standing with their unit
    • Accepted and in good standing in a course of undergraduate or graduate study. The Surviving spouse and children of a New Jersey National Guard Service member who is killed in the line of duty are also eligible for this benefit
  • New Jersey Veterans Tuition Credit Program, Vietnam Veterans Tuition Aid Program: The Veterans Tuition Credit Program provides a partial tuition reimbursement at a New Jersey public institution of higher education for Veterans who served during the Vietnam conflict. The maximum refund is $400 per year for full-time students and $200 for part-time students.
  • New Jersey Prisoner of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA) Tuition Benefit Program: New Jersey offers free undergraduate college tuition at a public or private educational institution to a child born or adopted before, during, or after the time their Service member parent was declared a POW or MIA, after January 1, 1960.
  • New Jersey War Orphans Tuition Assistance: Children of Service members who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or due to service-connected disabilities or who are declared missing in action are eligible for $500 per year for four years of college or equivalent training.
  • New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation Scholarship Program: Each year, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation awards two $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors for use at a college, university, or trade/technical school.
  • New Jersey 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 academic success for the student


  • New Jersey Purple Star School Program for Military-Friendly Schools: Recent legislation authorized the New Jersey Purple Star School program for military-friendly schools. The Purple 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 Purple 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. Each school will also have a dedicated page featuring resources for military families

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes: The Division of Veterans Healthcare Services operates three Veterans Memorial Homes that provide long-term care to Veterans and their eligible Family members.

New Jersey State Veterans Home at Menlo Park

New Jersey State Veterans Home at Paramus

New Jersey State Veterans Home at Vineland

The Veterans Memorial Homes offer around-the-clock medical and nursing care, provided by a full-time staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and trained nursing assistants.

Each home offers rehabilitative services, such as occupational, physical and speech therapies, and recreational activities provided under the direct supervision of licensed therapists.

Who is eligible for care at the New Jersey Veteran Memorial Homes? To be eligible for admission the applicant must be an honorably discharged Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Veteran’s spouse, Surviving spouse of a deceased eligible Veteran or the Gold Star Parents of a Service member who was killed in action during a wartime period.

A spouse or un-remarried Surviving spouse must be at least 50 years old and must have been married to the Veteran for a least 10 years prior to the date of application.

Preference is given to applicants who were New Jersey residents for at least two years immediately prior to application for admission.

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

  • New Jersey State Employee Leave for Military Service: New Jersey public employees who are Service members in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are authorized up to 30 paid workdays of military leave per calendar year for federal active duty service.
  • New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Veterans Services: Staff specialists at local New Jersey One-Stop Career Centers help Veterans find suitable jobs and opportunities. Veterans will receive priority referrals for all job and training opportunities they qualify for. Veterans can also receive:
    • Free enrollment in job search workshops
    • Resume assistance
    • Career training program information
    • Benefits information for VA, state, and local benefits
  • New Jersey State Employment Veterans Civil Service Preference: New Jersey Veterans are provided an absolute Veterans Preference when applying for a New Jersey civil service position. This means that qualified Veterans who receive a passing score are placed at the top of open competitive employment lists, ahead of Non-Veterans, regardless of their scores.Disabled Veterans are given the highest preference, placed above both Veterans and Non-Veterans on open competitive employment lists.
    • Veterans can apply for preference as early as eight days before an open competitive employment list is issued
  • Who is eligible for New Jersey State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference?Qualifying for Veterans’ Preference: Honorably discharged veterans must have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during a New Jersey Statute Qualifying War Era to be eligible for Veterans’ Preference.

    The following documents are required:

    • WD 53-55 or DD214
    • Honorable Discharge Certificate
    • New Jersey Civil Service Veterans Preference Claim Form
    • Additional documents as needed

    The un-remarried survivor’s spouse of an eligible veteran may also claim this preference.

    Qualifying for Disabled Veterans Preference: Only one of the following is eligible for disabled Veteran hiring preference:

    • Honorably discharged wartime Veterans receiving 10% or more disability compensation from the VA.
    • Spouse of an eligible disabled Veteran, as long as the disabled Veteran is not employed in a civil service position, disabled Veterans must waive all preference for the duration of their spouse’s civil service employment.
    • Unmarried Surviving spouse of a deceased disabled Veteran
    • Unmarried Surviving spouse of a Service member who died while serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Parent of any service member who died on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Other New Jersey State Employment Benefits with Veterans’ Preference: The following various preferences are provided by New Jersey law for qualifying veterans.
    • Compensation of Public Officers while in Military Service: State employees serving in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and called to state or federal active duty may be eligible to receive pay that will equal their state employment salary when added to their military pay.
  • Application of Statutes to Promotions: Veterans who are state employees are given preference for promotion over non-veterans
  • Preference in Appointment in Noncompetitive Employment: Veterans are given priority in hiring for state noncompetitive jobs over non-veterans
  • Preference to Veterans During Layoffs: During a state employment layoff, disabled Veterans are given first preference in retention, followed by Veterans over non-veterans
  • Hearing on Dismissal of Veterans: Before any department head can dismiss a Veteran, they must provide the reason for their release to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission. The Veteran is authorized to appear before the Civil Service Commission regarding their retention
  • Veterans not to be Discriminated Against Because of Physical Disability: Veterans with a service-connected disability cannot be discriminated against in an examination, classification, or appointment unless this disability would prevent them from performing the duties required of their state employment.
  • Employment or Promotion of Veterans Awarded the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross: A resident Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross can be hired or promoted in state employment, without complying with the rules of the Civil Service Commission. This benefit applies to all promotions or appointments for which the eligible veteran applies.
  • Purchasing Military Service Credit for New Jersey Civil Service Pensions:Military Service before Enrollment: New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), and State Police Retirement System (SPRS) members are eligible to purchase credit for up to 10 years of active military service in the U.S. Armed Forces that was performed before enrollment in the retirement system.

    Veterans receiving or eligible to receive military retirement pay or a pension from any other state or local source are not eligible. Retired Service members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces receiving or eligible to receive military retired pay can purchase military service credit.

    Active military service eligible for purchase means full-time active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces. It cannot include periods of service of less than 30 days and does not include basic training, weekend drills, or annual summer training of a reserve component Service member.

    Wartime Veterans can purchase an additional five years of military service credit.

    Note: All members must provide a DD214, which includes their character of service, active/entry dates, and discharge/ending dates of service.

    Military Service after Enrollment: State employees enrolled in a New Jersey State retirement system can receive credit for military service performed after October 13, 1994. The employee must have entered the peacetime U.S. Armed Forces and, when discharged from or otherwise ended their military service, then return to state employment within the periods under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This credit will only be used to determine eligibility for benefits unless the employee pays the required pension contributions for their period of military service.

  • Veterans Status for New Jersey Pensions: Veterans who are enrolled in the following state-operated pension funds qualify for Veterans Retirement:
    • New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
    • New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF)

    Veterans retirement is different from standard service retirement and has unique benefits.

    These benefits include the ability to retire at age 55 (with 25 years of service) and a more generous calculation of the Maximum Annual Allowance during retirement.

    A Veteran can qualify for Veteran Retirement with either:

    • Twenty-five years of service at age 55+
    • Twenty years of service at age 60+

    For Veterans retiring with 25 years of service at age 55+ OR 20 years of service at age 60+, the Maximum Annual Allowance calculation is:

    54.5% × Highest 12 Consecutive Months of Salary

    For Veterans retiring with 35 years of service at age 55+, the Maximum Annual Allowance calculation is:

    (Years of Service ÷ 55) × Highest 12 Consecutive Months of Salary

    Veterans can choose a Service Retirement over a Veterans Retirement if they prefer.

    This benefit does not transfer to a Surviving spouse.

  • New Jersey Helmets to Hardhats Program (NJ H2H): NJ H2H is designed to help transition service members and veterans from active or reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces find careers in the building and construction industry.
  • Free New Jersey License to Vend for Veterans: Honorably discharged Veterans are eligible for a free license to sell goods, wares, merchandise, or to solicit trade in New Jersey.
  • 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.

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:

Beverly: Beverly National Cemetery

Pennsville: Finn’s Point National Cemetery

New Jersey VA Benefit Resources

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

New Jersey VA Regional Benefits Office

New Jersey VA Medical Centers

Important information for New Jersey 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