A Guide to the Best 2021 Benefits for Veterans in the State of Maryland
There are plenty of excellent Maryland veteran benefits and exemptions to complement the federal benefits available to all eligible U.S. military veterans. Veteran benefits in Maryland specifically include property tax exemptions, education and training programs, financial assistance, recreational licenses and discounts, vehicle registration discounts, and help with employment.
The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs administers many of the veteran programs and benefits for the 384,000 veterans living in the state. This is an excellent place to learn about your state and national benefits. Find a Services Program location near you to get help with claims and applications.
Read on to learn about all the Maryland VA benefits you can take advantage of!
- A Guide to the Best 2021 Benefits for Veterans in the State of Maryland
- Statewide Property Tax Exemptions for Maryland Veterans
- Maryland Veteran Benefits Include Income Tax Exemptions
- Education-Related Maryland Veteran Benefits
- Maryland Resident Tuition for Nonresident Military Service Members and their Dependents
- College Credit for Military Experience in Maryland
- Tuition Waiver and Tuition Reimbursement for Maryland National Guard Members
- Scholarships Available to Veterans and Family Members
- Maryland Higher Education Commission Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (VAIC) Scholarship
- Are there veteran benefits in Maryland for employment?
- Financial Assistance Programs in Maryland
- Veteran Health Care in Maryland
- Maryland Veteran Vehicle and Licensing Benefits
- Maryland Veteran Benefits for Parks and Recreation
- Miscellaneous Benefits for Maryland Veterans
- Are there special property tax exemptions for Maryland veterans?
- Are there income tax benefits for Maryland veterans?
- Do Maryland veteran benefits include tuition assistance for college?
- Does Maryland award college credit for military training?
- Do Maryland veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?
- Does Maryland offer employment counseling and assistance to veterans seeking employment?
- Does Maryland offer any special financial assistance to veterans and their families?
- Are there special Maryland veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?
- MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE
- About the Author
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Statewide Property Tax Exemptions for Maryland Veterans
Maryland disabled veteran benefits for property taxes are some of the best. If you’re a resident of the state and are a 100% permanently and totally (P&T) disabled veteran, you may be completely exempt from paying property tax on your primary residence! You must have an honorable discharge and proof of residency. Surviving spouses are also eligible for this exemption.
Local Property Tax Benefits in Maryland by County
Maryland disabled veteran benefits also include county-specific additions to property tax exemptions:
- Anne Arundel County offers a 15 percent property tax credit for retired veterans who are at least age 65.
- Baltimore County offers a three-year refund for property tax paid once the statewide exemption is accepted.
- Calvert County offers a property tax refund backdated to the date of the VA’s decision that qualified the veteran for a property tax exemption.
- Cecil County and Hartford County grant a 20 percent tax credit for up to five years for veterans age 65 and older with an adjusted gross income of $84,000 or less. Veterans must be retired from the military or have been living in the home for at least 40 years.
- Frederick County grants a 20 percent tax credit on the first $300,000 value of the home for veterans age 65 and older with an adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less. Veterans must be retired from the military or have been living in the home for at least 40 years.
- Howard County grants a 20 percent tax credit on the first $500,000 value of the home for veterans age 65 and older. Veterans must be retired from the military or have been living in the home for at least 40 years.
- Montgomery County offers property tax credit for veterans over 65 who are either retired from the military or have lived in their main dwelling for at least 40 years.
- Washington county offers property tax credit for veterans with a disability rating of 50 percent and greater.
Maryland Veteran Benefits Include Income Tax Exemptions
Service members who are Maryland residents must pay state income tax regardless of where they’re stationed. Up to $15,000 of military pay may be exempt if the service member earned the pay outside of the U.S and earns less than $30,000 of military pay annually. Nonresident spouses of service members stationed in Maryland may also be exempt from Maryland state income tax.
Maryland income tax ranges from two percent to 5.75 percent, depending on income.
Additionally, Maryland veteran benefits include a baseline $5,000 state income tax exclusion on military retirement pay unless you meet one of the following:
- $15,000 deduction for veterans age 55 and older
- $31,100 deduction for veterans age 65 and older or permanently and totally (P&T) disabled
Veterans don’t have to pay Maryland state income tax on:
- Military disability pay
- VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) pay
Veterans can simply deduct these payments from their adjusted gross income for the state.
You can learn more about Maryland’s military state income tax policies with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Education-Related Maryland Veteran Benefits
In addition to the federal programs available to all U.S. veterans, Maryland veteran benefits include excellent educational options for veterans and their families.
There are many military-friendly colleges in Maryland. According to the VA, in 2017, 122 Maryland schools received Post 9/11 GI bill funds for over 25,000 students totaling over $126 million dollars.
Maryland Resident Tuition for Nonresident Military Service Members and their Dependents
In-state tuition rates are available at any University of Maryland System school for veterans with an honorable discharge residing in Maryland. Additionally, veterans or their dependents using GI Bill benefits who were discharged within the last three years are eligible for in-state tuition.
College Credit for Military Experience in Maryland
The University System of Maryland awards academic credit for education and training received in the military. This credit can be used toward a degree. The most common credit for which a service member or veteran is eligible is Basic Military Training (BMT). BMT usually awards up to six credits towards general electives. Your career may make you eligible for additional transfer credits.
Tuition Waiver and Tuition Reimbursement for Maryland National Guard Members
There are two separate programs to assist members of the Maryland National Guard: tuition waivers and tuition reimbursement. When combined, these can cover up to 100 percent of your tuition.
The traditional State Tuition Waiver (STW) enables National Guard members to attend all state-supported colleges. The waivers provide a reduction in tuition between 15 and 50 percent.
The State Tuition Assistance Reimbursement (STAR) program in Maryland reimburses members for up to 50 percent of tuition and fees at all Maryland State-supported colleges and universities, as well as some private institutions and trade schools. You can choose to use this if you’re in pay grades E-1 through O-4. This can be used in addition to GI Bill benefits and the traditional tuition waiver.
To use either of these tuition benefits, you must have two years left on your obligation from the course start date.
Scholarships Available to Veterans and Family Members
Edward T. and Mary A. Conroy Memorial Scholarship & Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarship Program
If you or your dependents are enrolled or planning to enroll in college in Maryland, you may be eligible to apply for this scholarship! The Edward T. and Mary A. Conroy Memorial Scholarship & Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarship provides Maryland veteran benefits to honor the sacrifice of service members and family members.
The scholarship award amount may go up to maximum in-state tuition for University of Maryland system colleges. Apply by July 15 to your institution. All majors are eligible. Veterans and their family members listed below are eligible:
- Child or unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran who:
- Died in the line of duty
- Is 100 percent permanently and totally (P&T) disabled
- Died due to the attacks on September 11, 2001
- POW/MIA of Vietnam
- A veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 25 percent or greater with exhausted GI Bill benefits
Maryland Higher Education Commission Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (VAIC) Scholarship
If you’re a resident of Maryland and a veteran of Afghanistan or Iraq, you may be eligible for this additional scholarship for undergraduate students. Students must meet full and part-time credit requirements to apply as an undergraduate student.
This scholarship will cover up to 50 percent of annual tuition, fees, and room and board within the University System of Maryland.
For 2021 the maximum award amounts are:
- Living on campus: $7,735
- Living off campus: $5,220
- Living with parents: $4,650
Apply for the scholarship by the deadline of March 1st. Awards are subject to availability of funds, so it’s smart to apply early!
Keep in mind that Maryland caps total state award amounts across all waivers and state funded scholarships at whichever is less: $28,000 or the maximum cost of attendance.
Are there veteran benefits in Maryland for employment?
Yes, there are a number of Maryland veteran benefits that offer support with employment, and many resources are available to help veterans and their families find jobs and advance their careers.
Maryland Veterans’ Employment Preference
Maryland honors the service and sacrifice of veterans and their spouses with employment preference by adding points to civil service selection tests. Veterans and disabled veterans receive preference when applying for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in Maryland.
To qualify, veterans must have an honorable discharge as well as meet minimum qualifications for the applicable job. All eligible veterans receive 10 points added onto their selection tests. Veterans with a VA disability rating of 30 percent or higher receive an addition of 15 points. Spouses (including surviving spouses) of disabled veterans with a rating of 30 percent or higher receive a 10-point addition to the selection test.
Maryland Military Personnel Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program
Maryland veteran benefits include financial assistance for small business owners. For veteran and service member entrepreneurs, Maryland operates a program to offer financial assistance in the form of a no-interest loan. These loans range from $1,000-$50,000 and are designed to help cover business expenses. Loan maturity is from one to eight years.
You must submit a business plan, financial statements, tax returns, amount of personal or business funds you plan on contributing to the project, and collateral provided.
You can obtain an application from the program manager, Celester A. Hall, at (410) 767-6356 or [email protected]
Expedited Maryland Licensing for Veterans, Service Members, and Spouses
If you or your spouse works in a specific career field, you may be eligible for expedited license processing ensuring you’ll receive your license within 60 days of applying. To apply, you must already have a valid license in good standing as one of the following in another state:
- Athlete Agents
- Athletic Commission
- Cemetery Oversight
- Certified Interior Designers
- Certified Public Accountants
- Elevator Safety Review Board
- Examiners of Landscape Architects
- Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors (HVACR)
- Home Improvement
- Individual Tax Preparers
- Land Surveyors
- Oil and Gas Professionals
- Professional Engineers
- Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies and Home Inspectors
- Real Estate Commission
- Secondhand Precious Metal Objects Dealers and Pawnbrokers
- Stationary Engineers
Veterans with an honorable discharge and surviving spouses living in Maryland are eligible. Service members and their spouses are also eligible as soon as they receive orders to assignment in Maryland.
American Job Centers Help Veterans with Civilian Employment
As a veteran you’ve learned valuable skills through your time in the military. For veterans or transitioning service members, Maryland veteran benefits include priority of service at the local American Job Centers throughout the state. The training available to you at American Job Centers includes everything from resume-building to interview preparation. Your spouse may also be eligible for employment-related training benefits at job centers throughout the state.
Within this program, the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program focuses on employment assistance for veterans with a service-connected disability.
Financial Assistance Programs in Maryland
Unemployment for Transitioning Service Members
Transitioning out of the military and finding a civilian job can be a difficult task for many veterans. Maryland recognizes this fact and honors veteran service with unemployment benefits as you continue your job hunt.
Maryland Veterans Trust Fund
If you’re a veteran in need, Maryland has a program to help. The Veterans Trust Fund is designed to help prevent veteran homelessness and focuses on assistance with rent and utility payments.
You must have an honorable discharge and be a resident of the state for at least 24 months before applying. Income limits also apply to this fund, with the limit set at 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. This limit fluctuates by the number of people in your family.
Income Limits for the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund
Single veterans: $25,760
Veteran with one dependent: $34,840
Veteran with two dependents: $43,920
Veteran with three dependents: $53,000
The trust’s board meets about once every month, so expect a longer response time once you’ve applied.
For any questions and to request an application, contact the MDVA Grant Administrator at (800) 446-4926 ext 6460.
Death Benefits for Survivors of Service Members Killed in Action
Maryland awards death benefits to family members of those who pay the ultimate price to serve our nation. This awards up to $125,000 to families of service members killed in action or due to a wound suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan. The service member must have been a resident of Maryland, and survivors have up to three years after death to submit the application for the death benefit.
Learn how to apply with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Office by calling (410) 339-3783 or emailing [email protected].
Maryland Veteran Benefits for Housing
Maryland operates one veterans home within the state for veterans and eligible spouses. The mission of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home is to provide quality medical services and increase the quality of life of veterans who have served our nation.
The veterans home offers care ranging from assisted living to skilled nursing care. To apply, a veteran must have an honorable discharge and be a Maryland resident.
The VA provides three levels of per diem to help offset the cost of care. Maryland disabled veteran benefits also extend to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, as veterans who reside in Charlotte Hall with a service-connected disability rating of 70 percent or more are completely covered by the VA.
Veteran Health Care in Maryland
List of VA Locations in Maryland
Maryland Veteran Vehicle and Licensing Benefits
Maryland Veteran Driver’s License Designation
Maryland offers the option to add a veteran designation with a “Veteran” on the lower left-hand portion of your driver’s license to honor your service to our nation at no additional cost. To be eligible, you must have an honorable discharge.
Bring your DD214 or other proof of honorable service with you to your local Motor Vehicle Administration location to get the designation added to your ID.
License Plate Discounts for Disabled Veterans in Maryland
As a veteran, service member, or eligible family member, you have the option of choosing from 22 unique license plates honoring your service. Eligibility requirements for a disabled veteran license include a 100 percent VA disability rating. These veterans can choose from any license plate type and receive free vehicle registration on that vehicle.
Maryland Veteran Benefits for Parks and Recreation
Maryland disabled veteran benefits include free hunting and fishing. Honorably discharged veterans with a 100 percent VA disability rating or former POWs who are Maryland residents are eligible for free lifetime hunting and fishing licenses within the state. The free lifetime license also includes archery stamps, muzzleloader stamps, as well as furbearer permits.
Purple Heart Award Recipients are eligible for a 50 percent discount on hunting and fishing licenses and permits.
Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Service Centers to get your license.
Active Duty Service Members and Hunting in Maryland
If you’re a resident of Maryland stationed outside of the state on leave in Maryland, you can hunt within Maryland without a license.
Free Entry to Maryland State Parks
Maryland veteran benefits also include free state park entry for day-use areas to all service members and veterans.
Miscellaneous Benefits for Maryland Veterans
Discounted Metrobus and Metrorail Tickets for Disabled Veterans
Veterans with a 60 percent or greater VA disability rating are eligible for reduced fares on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system. This discount is worth up to 50 percent on passes and fares.
Join the reduced fare program by visiting the Metro Transit Accessibility Center at 600 5th St NW, Washington, DC with a VA disability certification and valid ID.
Are there special property tax exemptions for Maryland veterans?
Yes, 100 percent P&T disabled veterans receive a full property tax exemption in Maryland and do not pay property tax on a primary residence. Some counties also offer a 15 to 20 percent discount for veterans who meet age and income limits. You must have an honorable discharge and proof of residency. Surviving spouses are also eligible for this benefit.
Are there income tax benefits for Maryland veterans?
Service members who are residents of Maryland must pay Maryland state income tax unless they make less than $30,000 of military pay annually and earn military pay outside of the U.S. Veterans in Maryland are exempt from paying state income tax on the first $5,000 of their military retirement pay. This exemption increases to $15,000 and $31,100 depending on age and disability status.
Do Maryland veteran benefits include tuition assistance for college?
Yes. In-state tuition rates are available at any University of Maryland System school for veterans with an honorable discharge residing in Maryland. Additionally, veterans or their dependents using GI Bill benefits who were discharged within the last three years are eligible for in-state tuition. There are two separate programs to assist members of the Maryland National Guard: tuition waivers and tuition reimbursement. When combined, these can cover up to 100 percent of tuition.
There’s also the Edward T. and Mary A. Conroy Memorial Scholarship & Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarship, which may cover up to maximum in-state tuition for University of Maryland system colleges for certain qualifying veterans and dependents. And the Maryland Higher Education Commission Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (VAIC) Scholarship will cover up to 50 percent of annual tuition, fees, and room and board within the University System of Maryland for qualifying Maryland-resident veterans of Afghanistan or Iraq.
Does Maryland award college credit for military training?
Yes, Maryland colleges consider military training and experience and award credit and credentialing appropriately. Contact your local veterans certification office for school specific information.
Do Maryland veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?
Maryland veterans with an honorable discharge receive 10 points added to the Maryland civil service exam for state jobs. Veterans with a disability rating of 30 percent or more receive a 15-point addition, and their spouses can receive a 10-point addition to the exam.
Does Maryland offer employment counseling and assistance to veterans seeking employment?
Maryland helps veterans and their spouses with employment skills and training at local American Job Centers throughout the state.
Does Maryland offer any special financial assistance to veterans and their families?
The Maryland Veterans Trust Fund is designed to prevent veteran homelessness by helping veterans pay rent and utilities. Also, Maryland awards up to $125,000 to families of service members killed in action or due to a wound suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Also, veterans with a 60 percent or greater VA disability rating are eligible for reduced fares on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system. This discount is worth up to 50 percent on passes and fares.
Are there special Maryland veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?
Maryland offers free lifetime hunting and fishing licenses to former POWs and permanently disabled veterans. Purple Heart Award Recipients are eligible for a 50 percent discount on hunting and fishing licenses. Veterans and service members are also eligible for free state park entry for day-use areas.
MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE
Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that veterans pursue the monthly compensation payments due them for disabilities connected to their military service.
Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation they deserve. At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process, so they can get the rating and compensation they’re owed by law.
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! You served … you deserve.
Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Strategy Session with an experienced veteran coach. Learn what you’ve been missing—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.