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Veteran Benefits for New York

The state of New York 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 York.

New York Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Retired Military Pay Income Taxes: Pension payments received by retired military personnel or their beneficiaries are totally exempt from New York State, New York City, and Yonkers income taxes.
  • New York Income Tax Benefits for Military Spouses: Military Spouses qualifying under the service members’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) may claim an exemption from New York State personal income tax withholding by their employer. SCRA provides certain tax relief for a military Spouse when he or she is present in a state solely to be with a Service member who is in that state so he or she can comply with military orders.
  •  State Taxes on Combat Zone Pay: Military pay received for active service as a member of the armed services of the United States in an area designated as a combat zone is exempt from New York State, New York City, and Yonkers taxes. Service members are entitled to a New York subtraction modification in computing their New York adjusted gross income for the amount of combat pay included in their federal adjusted gross income.
  • 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.
  • State Property Tax Exemption: There are three different property tax exemptions available to Veterans who have served in the U. S. Armed Forces.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 4.0%
  • Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 4.875%
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 8.23%

Recreation

Hunting Licenses & Permits for Disabled Veterans: NY resident Veterans with a 40 percent or greater disability rating can get low-cost hunting and fishing licenses.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Active Duty: Active military members stationed outside New York who is home on leave for 30 days or less are entitled to free hunting, fishing or trapping licenses (Note: if you are a New York resident stationed in New York, regular license fees apply). Non-residents stationed in NY for more than 30 days can buy hunting & fishing licenses at the resident rate.

State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans: Wartime Veterans with a 40 percent or greater disability are eligible for the Lifetime Liberty Pass. This pass gives free vehicle entry to state parks, day-use areas, historic sites, as well as numerous state boat launch sites, historic sites, arboretums, and park preserves; free golf at 28 State Park golf courses; free swimming pool entrance at 36 State Park pools, and discounted camping and cabin rentals at all 119 State Park and DEC campgrounds.

Education Programs

New York State Recruitment Incentive and Retention Program (RIRP): The Recruitment Incentive and Retention Program (RIRP) is a New York State program designed to recruit and retain members for the State Military Forces (Army and Air National Guard, and Naval Militia). This competitive program will pay the cost of tuition up to SUNY (State University of New York) tuition rates per semester.

  • Be in good standing with the State Military Forces (attend or make-up all drills and annual training)
  • Be accepted and enrolled in an undergraduate degree-granting program for a minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester or four (4) credit hours per quarter
  • Be a resident of the State of New York for a period of 186 days prior to using the program, excluding Active Duty periods

New York State Veterans Tuition Awards: Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awarded for full-time study and part-time study for eligible Veterans matriculated in an approved program at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

New York State Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans: Regents Awards for Children of deceased and disabled Veterans were created to provide financial aid to students whose parent(s) served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified times of national emergency. The award is $450 per year. Students whose parent(s) served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified periods of war or national emergency and, as a result of service, either died, suffered a 40% or more disability, was classified as missing in action, or was a prisoner of war. The Veteran must currently be a New York State resident or have been a New York State resident at the time of death.

New York Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely 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 children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment
  • 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 promulgation and 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 in order to achieve educational success for the student

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

New York State Veterans Home at Batavia

New York State Veterans Home at Long Island (Stony Brook University)

New York State Veterans Home at Montrose

New York State Veterans Home at Oxford

New York State Veterans Home at St. Albans

Eligibility for admission:

  • Veterans must have served in the Armed Forces (deployment necessary)
  • Discharged other than on dishonorable accounts
  • Must be New York resident Veteran
  • Spouses or unmarried surviving spouse (including Gold Star Parents) are also eligible provided they meet the age and residency requirements
  • There may be a charge for care (depending on the situation)

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

Civil Service Credit Preference – Ten-point additional credit preference toward original appointment for disabled wartime Veterans; five-points for wartime service; and two and a half points for other Veterans. Job retention rights applicable to Veterans and spouses of totally disabled Veterans.

New York State Department of Labor, Employment Assistance for Veterans: New York State Career Centers offer convenient no-cost job search Services to all job seekers. Every Career Center has dedicated staff to help assess your needs, skills, and interests and then guide you through a step-by-step approach to your job search. They offer Priority of Service to Veterans and their eligible Spouses. This means that if you served on Active Duty in the United States military, you will:

  • Be served first by the next available staff member
  • Get first priority for jobs and training for which you are eligible and qualified

New York State Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program (55-c): Section 55-c of the New York State Civil Service Law authorizes 500 positions to be filled with qualified wartime Veterans with disabilities. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the position but are not required to take an examination. Eligible Veterans are not guaranteed state employment and are not placed on a hiring list.

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. A supplemental burial allowance of up to $6,000 is authorized for certain military personnel killed in combat or while on active duty in hostile or imminent danger locations on or after September 29th, 2003. Death Benefits for New York State offers surviving family of military members killed in a combat zone a Supplemental Burial Allowance of up to $6,000.

National Cemeteries include:

Albany: Albany Rural Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot

Bath: Bath National Cemetery

Brooklyn: Cypress Hills National Cemetery

Calverton: Calverton National Cemetery

Elmira: Woodlawn National Cemetery

Farmingdale: Long Island National Cemetery

Schuylerville: Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery

New York VA Benefit Resources

New York provides Veterans with two Regional Benefit Offices and multiple VA Medical Centers.

New York VA Regional Benefit Offices

New York VA Medical Centers

Important information for New York 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 York Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in New York 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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