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October 12, 2021

Top 10 Kansas Veteran Benefits

Last updated on October 14, 2021

Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Kansas Veteran Benefits in 2021

A wide range of Kansas veteran benefits (including disabled veteran benefits) are available to augment the federal benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These additional benefits and exemptions support veterans and their families in their return to civilian life.

More than 118,000 veterans live in Kansas (about 10.5% of the population). The Jayhawk State is proud to honor the sacrifice of those who served.

kansas veteran benefits
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What are the top Kansas veteran benefits?

Kansas veteran benefits specifically include homestead tax refunds, educational and training programs and tuition assistance, free recreational licenses, help with employment (including training and hiring preferences), and more.

A veteran’s (or service member’s) military branch, career status, disability status, and residence status can affect benefit eligibility.

The Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs administers many of the programs and benefits for Kansas veterans. This is a great place to learn about your state and federal benefits or get help with claims and applications. 

Read on for the ultimate guide to Kansas veteran benefits in 2021!


Kansas Disabled Veteran Benefits and the Homestead Refund 

To claim a homestead refund, veterans must be:

  • Kansas residents
  • honorably discharged, and 
  • certified to have 50% or more service-connected disability

Surviving spouses of deceased disabled veterans are also eligible (and remain so until they remarry). An original disability determination letter, or a letter from the regional VA office or VA.gov (Benefit Summary Letter) establishing disability prior to Jan. 1, 2009 (and percentage of disability) must be filed with the Homestead Refund Claim (K-40H). 

Surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty can also claim a homestead refund (and can do so until they remarry).

You can set up an account with the Kansas Department of Revenue and file online. 

More about the Kansas homestead refund


What Kansas Veteran Benefits Are Available For State Taxes?

For starters, Kansas does not tax military retirement income. Military disability retirement pay received as a pension, annuity, or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service should not be included in taxable income if you:

  • Were entitled to receive a disability payment before Sept. 25, 1975
  • Were a member of the military (active or reserves) or enlisted on or after September 24, 1975
  • Receive payments for an injury sustained in combat, on extra-hazardous service, during training or maneuvers, or caused by an instrumentality of war
kansas disabled veteran benefits

Kansas Veteran Benefits for Education

Kansas veteran benefits for education are plentiful. The state provides information, tools, and programs for Kansas veterans and service members (and their families) who seek education and tuition support.

Search Tool for Kansas Veterans

This Program Search Tool helps you find programs and training opportunities at Kansas public higher education institutions. Search by program, institution, or award level (certificate, associate degree, or  bachelor’s degree).

Adult Education Centers

From basic skills to career advice, Adult Education Centers in Kansas are ready to help veterans improve their reading, math, and writing skills. They also offer English as a Second Language (ESL) services.

Kansas Veteran Benefits in Military Alignment 

The Kansas Credit for Prior Learning Task Force works closely with the Kansas Collaborative on Military Credit and others to make recommendations for evaluating and awarding credit for military training. Faculty and administrators compare university and college course outcomes to the skills, outcomes, and competencies learned in various military occupational specialties (MOS).

Review what MOS classifications align with academic programs in Kansas.

Kansas Veteran Benefits Include Resident Tuition Rates  

All veterans eligible for federal education benefits (and all current service members) are charged in-state tuition rates at all 32 public post-secondary colleges and universities in Kansas. Also eligible are veterans who had established residency while permanently stationed in Kansas (or before service). Eligible spouses and dependent children also qualify for in-state tuition rates. All must live in Kansas at the time of enrollment.

To confirm your eligibility, contact the Office of the Registrar where you want to go to school. 

Follow the links (listed as “Veterans Information”) on this list of all 32 public post-secondary institutions in Kansas to learn more.

Student Financial Aid

The Kansas Board of Regents is responsible for the administration of the state-funded grants and scholarships that are among Kansas veteran benefits. There’s more information here regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Kansas Learning Quest College Savings Program, and the Midwest Student Exchange Program (a tuition discount program for specific academic programs).

Check here for eligibility requirements.

You can see the entire list of scholarships and grants administered by the Kansas Board of Regents here, as well as application instructions and information on specific programs, including the Kansas National Guard Education Assistance program and Kansas Military Service Scholarship.

Kansas Military Service Scholarship

This scholarship covers tuition and fees at Kansas public institutions for students who: 

  • are residents of Kansas (and have served at least 90 days in a hostile fire pay location after Sept. 11, 2001) OR
  • have been awarded the Purple Heart (and received an honorable discharge)

Because financial need is a priority in awarding this scholarship, students must file a FAFSA form. Once your school considers you as a graduate student, you are not eligible for this scholarship.

Recipients of this scholarship must:

  • Remain in good academic standing at the Kansas educational institution where they are enrolled
  • Make satisfactory progress toward completion of the requirements of the enrolled program 
  • Enroll in a minimum of 6 hours each semester; can be part-time or full-time

Eligible students may be awarded a scholarship for up to four academic years of undergraduate study (up to five years if enrolled in a designated five-year program). 

Federal military tuition assistance is first applied toward the student’s tuition/fees; only the remaining balance will be eligible for scholarship assistance. 

Funding for this scholarship is subject to state appropriations.

Kansas Veteran Benefits for Dependents of Vietnam Veterans 

Any child of a Kansas resident who died in the line of duty in the Vietnam War (or as the result of a service-connected disability suffered during that war) may be eligible for college enrollment without tuition or fees. 

This applies for up to 12 semesters of instruction (or the equivalent). Once a person qualifies as a dependent, nothing can disqualify them from receiving these benefits.

Learn more about the Kansas Educational Benefits for Dependents of Veterans of the Vietnam War

Kansas Veteran Benefits Include “Operation Recognition”

“Operation Recognition” honors World War II and Korean War veterans who left school to join the military and never received a high school diploma. 

This program awards honorary high school diplomas to qualifying WWII and Korean War veterans. Eligible veterans include:

  • All honorably discharged veterans who served in WWII between Sept. 16, 1940, and Dec. 31, 1946
  • Korean War veterans who served between June 27, 1950, and Jan. 31, 1955, who did not graduate from high school

Veterans who obtained a diploma but entered into service before their graduation ceremonies are also encouraged to apply. Diplomas can be awarded posthumously.

Kansas “Operation Recognition” application

More Kansas Veteran Benefits for Tuition

Kansas veteran benefits for education also include free tuition for survivors of those killed in the line of duty in the Kansas National Guard. Tuition assistance is also provided for former prisoners of war.

Kansas veterans school benefits

Are There Kansas Veteran Benefits For Employment?

Yes! Several Kansas veteran benefits support veterans and their families seeking employment.

Kansas Disabled Veteran Benefits Include Hiring Preference for State Employment

Any Kansas disabled veteran may benefit from hiring preferences put in place for state employment. Veterans preference guarantees an interview and consideration for the position.

You’re qualified if you received a campaign medal, have a service-connected disability, retired as an O-3 or below, or are the spouse of a 100% disabled veteran.

Kansas Veteran Benefits with Private Employers

Private employers may establish a veterans’ hiring preference in Kansas. The veterans’ preference must be in writing and must be consistently applied. Veterans are required to provide the employer with proof of military service and discharge under honorable conditions.

Kansas Veteran Benefits for Professional Licenses

Kansas encourages veterans and military spouses to use existing training by offering exemptions, waivers, and other kinds of support related to professional licenses in the state.

  • Commercial driver’s licenses: Kansas will waive the skills test for a commercial driver’s license applicant who provides the required evidence of military driving experience. An applicant still needs to pass the Kansas knowledge test. The applicant must have military experience operating a vehicle similar to the commercial vehicle the applicant expects to operate (and must not have been convicted of any offense that would disqualify a civilian commercial driver).
  • Credit for military education and training: Kansas licensing bodies accept education, training, or service completed in the military if the applicant received an honorable discharge (or a general discharge under honorable conditions).
  • Expedited state licensure for veterans and spouses: A Kansas licensing body will issue a professional license to a nonresident military spouse or veteran within 60 days of receiving a completed application (if the potential licensee meets certain requirements).
  • Extended probationary license period: A Kansas licensing body will allow a veteran (or military spouse) to have a license on a probationary basis for up to six months when the licensing body does not have licensure, registration, or certification by endorsement, reinstatement, or reciprocity, and the service member or military spouse meets certain criteria.
  • Maintaining a license while serving: A Kansas license to engage in or practice an occupation or profession is valid while the licensee is in military service, and for up to six months following release—without the licensee paying a renewal fee, submitting a renewal application, or meeting continuing education or other license conditions.
  • No honorable discharge requirement: Kansas permits licensing bodies to grant professional credentials to veterans who meet all of the requirements for professional credentials but were separated from the military under less than honorable conditions (as well as under honorable conditions).
  • Recognition of barbering certification: A veteran may receive a license to practice barbering if certified in a related industry by any branch of the U.S. military and completing a course of study in a licensed Kansas barber college or school.
  • Temporary bar admission for military spouses: Applicants may be granted temporary admission to the Kansas Bar without a written examination. The spouse must have practiced law in another state or the District of Columbia (since 2016).
  • Preference for Kansas disabled veteran businesses: The Secretary of Administration gives a preference to disabled veteran businesses doing business in Kansas as firms, corporations, or individuals, or which maintain Kansas places of doing business, with a statutory goal of awarding at least 3% of such contracts to disabled veteran businesses.

To help you turn your military skills into a successful career in state government, follow these links:

KanVet

KansasWorks.com

Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs

Follow these guidelines

Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Kansas Veteran Benefits for Professional Training

The On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeship Program offers Kansas veterans an alternate use of VA (G.I. Bill) education and training benefits. The State of Kansas (as an employer) participates in the program to train Kansas veterans in several occupations. 

Contact the hiring agencies at the address or telephone number listed in any job vacancy, and explain that you are interested in the veterans training opportunity.


Kansas Veteran Benefits for Driver’s Licenses and Vehicle License Plates

Kansas veteran benefits include a “veteran” designation on driver’s licenses and state ID cards. Submit a DD214 indicating honorable discharge. (If you don’t have the DD214, the Kansas Commission on Veteran’s Affairs will help you get a copy. (A VA ID and a retired military ID are also accepted as proof).

More about veteran designation on Kansas driver’s licenses and ID cards

Kansas Driver and Motor Vehicle Services offer specialty license plates to veterans, disabled veterans, and qualifying family members. Available plate styles include:

More on Kansas veteran license plates

Kansas Motor Vehicle Registration Grace Period for Returning Service Members

Returning deployed military personnel with an expired registration have a seven-day grace period to register their vehicles in their home county.

More about the Kansas Motor Vehicle Registration grace period for service members

Kansas veterans license plate benefits

Kansas Veteran Benefits For Recreation

Kansas veterans looking to take advantage of the Sunflower State’s beautiful outdoors may be eligible for reduced license costs and recreational fees.

Kansas National Guard and Kansas Disabled Veteran Benefits for Hunting/Fishing Licenses and State Park Permits

Kansas National Guard and Kansas disabled veteran benefits include free hunting and fishing licenses and permits. You can apply with the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks Pratt Operations office. (Required documentation depends on the particular licenses or state park permits being requested).

You can download the application forms for licenses and permits at www.kdwp.state.ks.us.


Veteran Health Care in Kansas

Kansas Veterans Homes

The Kansas Veterans’ Home in Winfield and the Kansas Soldiers’ Home at Fort Dodge provide housing and nursing care for Kansas veterans.

Eligible veterans must have had active federal service and received an honorable discharge. Eligibility criteria for care include disability, inability to cover the expenses of necessary care, or status as a former prisoner of war.

Priority for admission is given to veterans who have no adequate means of support. Within this group, priority is based on the severity of medical care required and the ability to acquire and afford care or residency in the community.

Applicants need not have been actual residents of Kansas; however, Kansas residents receive priority. Certain spouses also are eligible.

Kansas Veteran Benefits for Injury, Illness, Disability, and Death in the Line of Duty

A Kansas National Guard member may receive compensation from the state if he or she sustains a wound, injury, illness, or death in the line of duty (or while traveling to or from deployment). The compensation is for resulting medical, surgical, and related services. In the case of death, the survivors are entitled to compensation.

Kansas veterans benefits property tax

Kansas Veteran Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are there property tax refunds available as Kansas disabled veteran benefits?

Yes! The disabled veteran must be a Kansas resident, honorably discharged, and certified to have 50% or more service-connected disability. Surviving spouses of deceased disabled veterans are also eligible (and remain so until they remarry). Unremarried surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty can also claim a homestead refund.

Are there other Kansas veteran benefits in state taxes?

The state does not tax military retirement income.  

Are there Kansas veteran benefits for education and tuition?

The state provides information, tools, and programs for Kansas veterans and service members (and their families) seeking education and tuition support. Among these benefits are scholarships, tuition assistance, training programs, recognition of military experience for academic qualifications, and several adult education centers.

Do Kansas disabled veteran benefits include preferential treatment in hiring practices?

Yes. A campaign medal, a service-connected disability, or retirement as an O-3 or below will qualify a veteran for preference. The spouse of a 100% disabled veteran is also eligible. Veteran’s preference guarantees an interview and consideration for the position.

Additionally, private employers in Kansas may establish their own veterans hiring preference. The veterans preference must be in writing and must be consistently applied by the employer.

Are there Kansas veteran benefits for driver’s licenses and license plates?

Yes! Kansas veteran benefits extend to “veteran” designated driver’s licenses and state ID cards. Also, Kansas Driver and Motor Vehicle Services offer 14 different specialty license plates to veterans, disabled veterans, and qualifying family members.

Do Kansas disabled veteran benefits include recreational privileges?

Yes, they do! Kansas National Guard and Kansas disabled veteran benefits include free hunting and fishing licenses and permits.

For answers to more questions, visit the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs.


MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE

Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that you pursue the monthly compensation payments due to you for disabilities connected to your military service.

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Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim (FDC)—so you can increase your rating in less time!  

If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low rating – or you’re not sure how to get started – reach out to us for a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call, so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you deserve. We’ve supported more than 15,000 veterans to win their claims and increase their ratings. NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.


About the Author

About VA Claims Insider

VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.

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