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Veteran Benefits for New Mexico

The state of New Mexico 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 New Mexico.

New Mexico Veteran Financial Benefits

  • New Mexico Veterans Property Tax Exemption: Veterans may qualify for a $4,000 reduction in the taxable value of their real property for county taxation purposes. This benefit can also be used for a 1/3 discount when registering a vehicle in New Mexico. Any Veteran who served a minimum of 90 days consecutive active duty (other than for training), was honorably discharged and is a legal resident of New Mexico are eligible. The benefit is also available to the un-remarried surviving spouse of a Veteran who would have otherwise qualified for this benefit.
  • New Mexico Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption: Any Veteran who has been rated with a 100% service-connected disability by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and is a legal resident of New Mexico, qualifies for a complete property tax waiver on their primary residence.
  • New Mexico Veterans Exemption from Excise Taxes on Vehicle Purchases: Qualified Veterans are exempted from excise taxes when purchasing a new vehicle. Any Veteran who has suffered the loss, or complete loss of use of one or more limbs due to their service in the military are eligible.
  • New Mexico Veterans’ Service Organization Property Tax Exemption: Veterans’ Service Organizations are exempt from paying property tax on the property of its facility. The Property of a Veterans’ Service Organization chartered by the United States Congress and that is used primarily for the benefit of Veterans and their Families, is exempt from property taxation.
  • New Mexico Retired Military Pay Income Taxes: The state offers a low- and middle-income exemption. The maximum exemption is $2,500. To qualify, the amount on line 7 of the state income tax form must be equal to or less than $36,667 (single), $27,500 (married filing separately), or $55,000 (married filing jointly). A deduction also applies for those 65 and older if your adjusted gross income is not over $51,000 for a joint return, $28,500 for a single taxpayer, or $25,500 for a married taxpayer filing separately.
  • New Mexico State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
  • Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) New Mexico State Tax Benefits: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 5.125%
  • Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 9.0622%
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 7.22%

Recreation

Veterans’ Day Recreation and Museum Privileges: Every Veterans Day, any honorably discharged New Mexico resident veteran or active duty member—along with their spouse and children–get into any state park for free. Admission fees are also waived for campsites, the Museum of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, and the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

State Park & Museum Admission for Disabled Veterans: Any veteran rated 50% or higher service-connected disabled can get an annual free day-use pass and three free nights of camping for personal use only. They can also get a free state monument and a museum pass for personal use only.

Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans: Any veteran rated 100% service-connected disabled is eligible for a free lifetime New Mexico small-game hunting & fishing license.

Reduced-Fee Hunting & Fishing License for Disabled Veterans: Any New Mexico resident veteran with a service-connected disability can get a fishing & small game hunting license for $10.

Temporary Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Active-Duty: Active duty, National Guard or Reserve members who are New Mexico residents can get a temporary fishing or small game hunting license. Applicants must show proof of residency and not claim residency elsewhere. Applicants may also apply if they are on active duty outside the state but are currently on leave in New Mexico for not more than 30 days.

Education Programs

Children of Deceased Veterans: Children between the ages of 16-26 whose veteran parent was killed in action or died as a result of their wounds incurred in battle, qualify for a full tuition waiver at any state-funded post-secondary school. A $150 stipend, per semester, will be issued to help with books or fees.
Vietnam Veteran Scholarship: Veterans who have been residents of New Mexico for a minimum of 10 years, served in Vietnam, and were issued the Vietnam Campaign or Service Medal are eligible. The Vietnam Veteran Scholarship will pay full tuition and books at any state-funded post-secondary school.
Wartime Veteran Scholarship Fund: For any veteran who served in combat since 1990 and who has exhausted all their GI Bill. The scholarship pays the full cost of tuition and books at any state school.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

New Mexico State Veterans Home at Truth or Consequences

Eligibility for admission:

  • Discharged other than on dishonorable accounts
  • Spouse and Gold Star Parents may be eligible for admission
  • New Mexico resident Veterans get preference
  • Veterans pay based on their needs

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

All honorably discharged veterans or anyone currently serving in the National Guard gets five points added to their final passing score on hiring exams for state employment. Honorably discharged veterans honorably discharged with a service-connected disability get ten points.

New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services – Field Services: There are 16 field offices of the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services located throughout the state. Each is staffed by an accredited Veterans’ Service Officer (VSO) to assist Veterans and their dependents with filing for their federal and state benefits. Most VSO’s also have regularly-scheduled outreach visits to smaller surrounding communities.

New Mexico On-The-Job Training (OJT): The state offers On-the-Job-Training (OJT) programs which typically last between six months to two years. Participating Veterans work under a skilled worker’s supervision and draw monthly benefits from the U.S. Veterans Administration. Upon completion, the Veteran is awarded a certificate by the employer indicating the successful completion of that training program. Some of the programs offered under the OJT program are heating and air conditioning repair, law enforcement, security and corrections officer training, warehouse operations, shipping and receiving clerks, landscaping, welding, commercial painting, auto mechanics and the beverage & food industry. For more info call 505-383-2431.

New Mexico Operation Sound Stage: Operation Soundstage is a pilot program to put military Veterans to work on movie and TV productions in New Mexico. The Veterans’ movie production pilot program is a multi-state agency partnership that aims to increase the hiring and training of military Veterans for production by movie studios and television production companies here in New Mexico. The partnership includes New Mexico Film Office, the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

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. Honorably discharged Veterans and their spouses. There is no fee.

National Cemeteries include:

Fort Bayard: Fort Bayard National Cemetery

Santa Fe: Santa Fe National Cemetery

New Mexico VA Benefit Resources

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

New Mexico VA Regional Benefits Office

New Mexico VA Medical Centers

Important information for New Mexico 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

New Mexico Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in New Mexico and are VA rated 90% or less, you may be eligible for additional benefits. Contact Veterans Guardian for a free consultation with no obligation. Let us review your claim to determine whether you qualify for additional benefits. 

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