A wide range of Nebraska veteran benefits (including Nebraska 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 142,000 veterans make their home in the Cornhusker State (about 7.3% of the population). Of all veterans in the state, 22% served after Sept. 11, 2001, 36% served during the Vietnam War era, and 2% are veterans of WWII.
The human toll of armed conflict extends far beyond those killed or missing in action. In Nebraska, an estimated 30% of all veterans are living with a disability. Numerous benefits are available to honor and support those who served.
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits—Your Ultimate Guide
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits for State Taxes
- Nebraska Veterans Aid Fund (NVA)
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Housing
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Education
- Are There Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Employment?
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Driver and Vehicle License Plates
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits For Hunting, Fishing, and State Parks
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Health Care
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits at State Veterans’ Homes
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Pet Adoptions
- Nebraska Veteran Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Do Nebraska veteran benefits include tax exemptions?
- Do Nebraska veteran benefits provide emergency financial aid?
- Are there Nebraska veteran benefits that help with housing?
- Do the dependents of Nebraska veterans receive help with education?
- Do Nebraska veteran benefits grant preferential treatment in hiring practices and employment?
- Are there special license plates available to Nebraska veterans and their families?
- Do Nebraska veteran benefits include hunting and fishing permits and other privileges?
- MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE
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Nebraska Veteran Benefits—Your Ultimate Guide
Nebraska veteran benefits include the following and more:
- Property and income tax exemptions
- Financial and housing assistance
- Tuition waivers for dependents
- Employment and vocational rehabilitation services
- Hiring preferences for state employment
- Special driver’s licenses and vehicle plates
- Reduced fees for hunting, fishing, and state parks
- Health care services
Your military branch, career status, disability status, and residency can affect your eligibility.
The Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs administers many of the programs and benefits in Nebraska. This can be a great place to learn about your state and federal benefits or get help with claims and applications.
Read on for a summary of your best Nebraska veteran benefits!
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for State Taxes
Nebraska veteran benefits provide several tax advantages, including a homestead exemption program, income tax exemptions, and even a motor vehicle tax exemption.
Homestead Exemption for Nebraska Veterans
The Nebraska homestead exemption is a property-tax relief program for six categories of homeowners, three of which are for:
- Veterans receiving VA compensation for 100% service-connected disability
- Wartime veterans who are 100% disabled by a non-service-connected illness or accident
- Paraplegic or multiple amputee veterans whose home is substantially contributed to* by the VA
* Example: If a veteran receives funds from the VA to install a ramp or widen a driveway, that would substantially add to the value of the property. In such a case, the veteran would receive a letter from the VA stating the cost of the repair/addition, which then would not be taxed.
Nebraska Excludes Military Retirement Pay from Income Tax
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, you can exclude 100% of your military retirement benefit income from your federal adjusted gross income (taxable income for the year).
Nebraska Disabled Veteran Benefits are Excluded from Taxable Income
Military disability retirement pay received as a pension, annuity, or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service is not included in taxable income. Payments 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
- Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program
Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption for Nebraska Disabled Veterans
Nebraska disabled veteran benefits provide a tax exemption for one motor vehicle owned and used for personal transportation by a disabled or blind veteran. This includes veterans who:
- Have lost the use of two or more extremities
- Have lost the use of one or more extremities and had one or more extremities amputated
- Are blind, or whose vision impairs the ability to engage in ordinary activities
You must be honorably discharged and have a disability recognized by the VA. For more information or to apply, contact the county treasurer in the county where you live.
To learn more about the Nebraska disabled veteran benefits for motor vehicle tax exemption, scroll down on this web page.
Nebraska Veterans Aid Fund (NVA)
Nebraska veteran benefits include financial help when you need it most. The Nebraska Veterans Aid Fund (NVA) offers temporary emergency aid to veterans, their spouses, and dependents when an unforeseen event disrupts everyday life and other resources are not immediately available.
All income from the fund is used for aid and not for administrative expenses of the fund. Assistance is for food, fuel, shelter, apparel, funeral, medical, and surgical items.
Apply through your local county Veterans Service Officer or the Post Service Officer of any recognized veterans’ organization in the county nearest your residence to submit your application to the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Housing
Nebraska veteran benefits provide housing assistance for eligible service members and their families. Services are divided into six state regions, and services may vary from region to region.
Veteran benefits for housing assistance may include (depending on the region):
- The Supportive Services For Veteran Families (SSVF) program, which provides case management, rent and utility assistance, emergency supplies, transportation, minor car repairs, gas vouchers, moving costs, and emergency housing assistance to low-income single veterans and families homeless or at risk of losing their home.
- The Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program (NHAP), which provides housing assistance to those homeless or facing eviction who meet income guidelines. NHAP assists with security deposits, rental assistance, utility deposits and payments, budgeting, advocacy, and referrals.
- Affordable housing programs administered by the Nebraska Housing Department, which provide down-payment assistance to first-time home buyers, loans or grants to allow homeowners to rehabilitate their houses, and home-buyer education workshops.
- The Housing Choice Voucher Program and Family Self-Sufficiency Program, which assist income-eligible families through the Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program, Weatherization Program, Housing Choice Voucher Program, and Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
Visit the following links to see what options are available in your region:
Region 1 (Alliance, Chadron, Gering, Rushville, Scottsbluff)
Region 2 (Lexington, McCook, North Platte, Ogallala)
Region 3 (Broken Bow, Central City, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Loup City)
Region 4 (Cherry County, Norfolk, O’Neill, Pender, South Sioux City, Wayne, Valentine)
Region 5 (Lincoln, Osceola, Seward, Wahoo, York)
Region 6 (Bellevue, Blaire, Fremont, Pender, Omaha)
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Education
Nebraska veteran benefits include a variety of programs for veterans and service members (and their families) who seek tuition and education support.
Nebraska Veteran Benefits Include Tuition Waivers for Dependents
Dependents of Nebraska veterans may be eligible for a state program that waives 100% of tuition and tuition-related fees to attend the University of Nebraska campuses, Nebraska state colleges, and Nebraska community colleges.
The waiver is available to any spouse, surviving spouse, child, or stepchild of a Nebraska veteran who:
- Has a VA disability rating of 100% P&T, or
- Died of a service-connected disability, or
- Died after discharge due to injury or illness suffered while in service, or
- Has been classified as MIA or a POW during armed hostilities
Nebraska student residents can use this waiver to receive one degree, diploma, or certificate from a community college and one baccalaureate degree from the university or state college. If a student wants to take full advantage of the waiver program, the community college degree, diploma, or certificate must be earned before the baccalaureate degree. The student is eligible until age 26 (eligibility can be extended with qualifying military service).
Once a baccalaureate degree has been earned, the student is no longer eligible to receive the waiver. The waiver cannot be used for master’s, doctoral, or professional degrees.
The waiver does not cover non tuition-related fees such as housing or food costs, parking fees, etc. The student is also responsible for purchasing any necessary books and materials. Contact the school to learn what charges and fees will be waived.
More information is available at this Waiver of Tuition Program page.
Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Attn: Waiver of Tuition
P.O. Box 95083
Lincoln, Neb. 68509
Nebraska Veteran Benefits Grant Residency for Tuition Purposes
Nebraska offers residency for tuition purposes to eligible veterans and their dependents. For veterans and their dependents, the following criteria must be met:
- The veteran must be honorably discharged and have kept residency in Nebraska, OR be a graduate of a Nebraska high school who has established a home in Nebraska (with the intent of permanent residency)
- The veteran must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, been off active duty for three years or less, be registered to vote in Nebraska, and demonstrate intent to be a Nebraska resident
Honorary High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans
“Operation Recognition” awards honorary high school diplomas to eligible World War II and Korean War veterans who were attending a Nebraska high school but left to enter service and did not graduate after their honorable discharge.
Eligible veterans served during the following periods:
- World War II–Sept. 16, 1940, through Dec. 31, 1946
- Korean War–June 25, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955
Veterans currently living out of state are eligible if they’re former Nebraska residents.
To apply, complete the application and send it along with a copy of discharge papers to:
Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs
ATTN: Operation Recognition
P.O. Box 95083
Lincoln, Neb. 68509
Are There Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Employment?
Yes! Several Nebraska veteran benefits assist veterans and their families with employment, beginning with the job-search tools and networking sources in the Nebraska Veterans’ Gateway.
Nebraska Disabled Veteran Benefits for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)
Nebraska’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program helps those with service-connected disabilities and an employment handicap prepare for, obtain, and keep suitable jobs. Services include:
- Comprehensive evaluation to determine abilities, skills, and interests for employment
- Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
- Employment services such as job training, job-seeking skills, resume development, and work-readiness strategies
- Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
- On-the-job training (OJT) and apprenticeships
- Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical, or business school
- Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals
- Independent-living services for veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities
- Are honorably discharged
- Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from the VA
- Apply for VR&E services
The basic period of eligibility ends 12 years from the date of notification of one of the following:
- Separation from active military service, or
- Receipt from VA of a service-connected disability rating
The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) determines that you have a serious employment handicap.
State Employment Hiring Preference for Nebraska Veterans
Nebraska veteran benefits give you or your spouse hiring preference in your initial application for employment with Nebraska state or local government.
Veterans with passing scores on all parts of an examination or numerical scoring have 5% added to their passing score. An additional 5% is added to the passing scores of any disabled veteran. This also applies to spouses of active-duty service members for up to 180 days after that service member separates from service.
All notices of employment eligible for veteran’s preference and the application forms for those jobs must state that the position is subject to a veteran’s preference. If you apply and aren’t hired, you’ll be notified and advised of any administrative appeal available.
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Employment Services
Nebraska veteran benefits include a full range of public employment and training services for service members and their spouses through the Nebraska Department of Labor.
You’ll receive priority of service, meaning if you meet eligibility requirements for a program or service, you’ll receive access to that program or service either earlier than or instead of those not eligible.
- Career assessment and counseling
- Assistance with resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills
- Support services referrals
- Job placement assistance and referrals
- Information on careers, training, education, and financial aid
- Job-search workshops
- Labor-market information
- Computers with internet access
- Assistance navigating NEworks.nebraska.gov
- Help with online job application processes
These services are provided to:
- Veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
- Eligible spouses
You and your spouse may receive additional services if you meet one of the following requirements:
- Are 18 to 24 years old
- Have a VA-rated disability, or a disability claim pending with the VA (or you were discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability
- Are homeless
- Are a Vietnam-era veteran
- Were separated from the military in the last 36 months and have been unemployed for 27 or more weeks within the previous year
- Are an offender or ex-offender
- Don’t have a high school diploma or GED
- Receive public assistance or are considered low income
- Are a service member leaving the U.S. Armed Forces soon and needing career services
- Are a Wounded Warrior
- Are the spouse or family caregiver of a Wounded Warrior
For more information, email the Veterans Services State Coordinator:
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Driver and Vehicle License Plates
Nebraska veteran benefits at the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles include specially designated driver’s licenses and state ID cards, as well as an assortment of distinctive vehicle plates to honor your service.
Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards
Nebraska veterans can request a “veteran” designation for a Nebraska driver’s license and ID card.
First, complete the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs Military and Veterans’ Registry Application or contact the NDVA at 402-471-2458.
Once you’re registered, you can request the designation when you renew for no additional fee. You may also apply for a replacement document online or at any licensing office; standard replacement document fees apply.
Military Honor Vehicle License Plates
Nebraska offers six different license plates honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. To see the plates and check your eligibility, visit this NDMV web page and click on the desired plate.
Military Honor License Plates
Nebraska veteran benefits include Military Honor license plates with an emblem of your service branch or an image of the following medals:
- Afghanistan Campaign
- Iraq Campaign
- Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Expeditionary
- Southwest Asia Service
- Vietnam Service
All honorably discharged Nebraska veterans are eligible for these plates.
Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles
Driver and Vehicle Records Division
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94789
Lincoln, Neb. 68509-4789
There is a $5 fee for numbered plates; personalized plates cost an additional $40. Payments are due at the time of application and must be renewed annually in the same month as the vehicle registration.
Vehicle License Plates for Nebraska Disabled Veterans
Nebraska disabled veteran benefits include designated license plates to display on motor vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, semi-trailers, and cabin trailers.
Applicants must have a Nebraska certificate of title issued in their name. If the vehicle is leased, the applicant’s name must appear on the vehicle’s registration.
When the application is processed, the NDMV will notify you of the date your plate will be available at your County Treasurer’s office.
Registration fees and taxes apply and are paid to the County Treasurer in the county where the vehicle is registered.
NOTE: These plates do not allow you to park in spaces designated for handicapped parking; for that, you’ll need handicapped license plates or a handicapped parking permit.
Submit your completed application to:
Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles
Driver and Vehicle Records Division
P.O. Box 94789
Lincoln, Neb. 68509-4789
Allow four to five weeks for your plates to arrive at your County Treasurer DMV office.
Nebraska Veteran Benefits For Hunting, Fishing, and State Parks
Nebraska veteran benefits for recreation help you take advantage of all that the Cornhusker State’s great outdoors has to offer. These benefits include reduced fees for hunting and fishing licenses, and lifetime admission to Nebraska state parks for disabled veterans.
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Hunting and Fishing
Nebraska veteran benefits reduce the fee to $5 for the Veteran’s Annual Small Game Hunt/Fish/Fur Harvest Permit. Nebraska veterans 64 and older are eligible.
Nebraska disabled veterans with a VA disability rating of 50% or greater may receive this permit free of charge. Veterans who are 100% disabled (non-service-connected) and receive a pension from VA are also eligible for the free permit. An annual $5 renewal fee is required.
Veterans should present a copy of a DD214 or show a veteran indicator on a Nebraska driver’s license in person at the time of application. This permit includes all state stamps.
Nebraska Disabled Veteran Benefits at State Parks
Nebraska disabled veteran benefits include a lifetime annual park entry permit with no fee. Nebraska residents with a VA disability of 50% or more, or who are 100% disabled (non-service-connected) and receive a pension from VA, are eligible.
You can find the application form online. Or, Nebraska Game and Parks Service Centers can provide information and print the application form for you.
Send the application to the VA if you need certification. To apply by mail, fill out the application, have it signed by a Veteran Service Officer, and mail it to:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
3800 Village Drive
Lincoln, Neb. 68516-4737
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 N. 33rd St.
P.O. Box 30370
Lincoln, Neb. 68503-0370
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Health Care
Nebraska veteran benefits are available through programs at several medical centers and outpatient clinics all across the state.
Medical Centers and Clinics
Nebraska VA medical centers and outpatient clinics are located in six primary regions.
Behavioral and Mental Health
Nebraska veteran benefits for behavioral and mental health care are provided statewide. Each of Nebraska’s six health regions offers a variety of resources. Use this resource map to see what services are available in your area and across the state.
Aging and Disability Services
Nebraska veteran benefits include aging and disability services from several entities throughout the Cornhusker State. Depending on the organization, services may include:
- Help with independent living
- Day services
- Home care
- Coordination of medical care
- Transportation as needed for employment, medical appointments, shopping, etc.
- Family caregiver support
- Handyman programs (housekeeping, lawn care, snow removal, and other chores)
- Medical equipment lending (walkers, wheelchairs, etc.)
- Housing assistance
- Legal aid
These and many other services help Nebraska veterans and their spouses either in their own homes or assisted/independent living facilities.
For providers and available services in your area, see NVDA Aging and Disability Services.
Health Care Transportation
Nebraska veteran benefits include help with transportation to medical centers and appointments as needed. Nebraska is divided into six regions providing a variety of transportation options. Follow the links below to see what’s available in your area.
Region 1 (Scotts Bluff County, Cheyenne (WY), Alliance, Chadron, Crawford, Gering)
Region 2 (North Platte, Imperial, Dawson County, McCook, Grant)
Region 3 (Grand Island, Aurora, Franklin, Hastings, Kearney, Minden, Ravenna)
Region 4 (Norfolk, Blaire, Niobrara)
Region 5 (Lincoln, Auburn, Beatrice, Fairbury, Falls City, Hebron, Nebraska City, Pawnee City, Syracuse, Wymore)
Region 6 (Omaha, Fremont)
Nebraska Veteran Benefits at State Veterans’ Homes
Nebraska veterans may be eligible for multiple levels of care at one of the state’s four veterans homes. Services may extend to the veteran’s spouse, surviving spouse, and Gold Star parents.
You can apply to the home directly through your County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) or a recognized veterans organization.
Services offered at the Nebraska Veterans’ Homes include:
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Restorative nursing therapy
- Hospice/palliative care
- Memory support care units
Applications can be requested from a Nebraska County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO) and submitted to one of the following:
- Nebraska State Veterans’ Home
- Nebraska CVSO in the county of residence
- A recognized veteran’s organization, such as the American Legion, MVETS, DAV, Marine Corps League, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., or Vietnam Veterans of America
Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home
4510 E. 56th St.
Kearney, Neb. 68847
600 E. Benjamin Ave.
Norfolk, Neb. 68701
Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home
12505 Harrison Tull Drive
Bellevue, Neb. 68123
Western Nebraska Veterans’ Home
1102 West 42nd St.
Scottsbluff, Neb. 69361
NOTE: Homes are not as of late 2021 taking new admissions due to COVID-19. Please check with the home of your choice to find out when admissions will resume.
Nebraska Veteran Benefits for Pet Adoptions
Nebraska veteran benefits provide up to $350 in pet adoption fees paid through the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) “Vets Get Pets” program.
You must be enrolled in the Nebraska Veterans’ Registry and adopt from an organization registered with the Nebraska Rescue Council. Once the adoption is approved, NDVA will disburse funds directly to the adoption organization.
The program is funded by purchasing “Vets Get Pets” vehicle license plates, available through the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. All Nebraska residents may buy these plates.
Full details on the Vets Get Pets program, including how to enroll in the registry, which animal rescues qualify, and how to apply, can be found at Vets Get Pets.
Nebraska Veteran Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Nebraska veteran benefits include tax exemptions?
Yes! Nebraska veteran benefits provide several tax advantages, such as a homestead exemption program, income tax exemptions, and a motor vehicle tax exemption for Nebraska disabled veterans.
Do Nebraska veteran benefits provide emergency financial aid?
Yes! Nebraska provides veterans with temporary emergency aid to help you and your family when an unforeseen event disrupts your normal life and other resources are not immediately available.
Are there Nebraska veteran benefits that help with housing?
Yes! Nebraska veteran benefits provide housing assistance for eligible service members and their families. Services are divided into six regions covering the state. Services can vary from region to region, but include programs and services for low-income families and address the threats of homelessness.
Do the dependents of Nebraska veterans receive help with education?
Yes! Dependents may be eligible for a state program that waives 100% of tuition and tuition-related fees to attend the University of Nebraska campuses, Nebraska state colleges, and Nebraska community colleges. Additionally, nonresident members of your family may pay tuition at Nebraska resident rates.
Do Nebraska veteran benefits grant preferential treatment in hiring practices and employment?
Yes! Nebraska offers state employment hiring preference to eligible Nebraska veterans, Nebraska disabled veterans, spouses, and surviving spouses.
Are there special license plates available to Nebraska veterans and their families?
There sure are! Nebraska’s assortment of specialized vehicle license plates honors the service and sacrifice of veterans, retirees, and eligible family members.
Do Nebraska veteran benefits include hunting and fishing permits and other privileges?
Yes! The Cornhusker State helps veterans enjoy the great outdoors with reduced fees for hunting and fishing licenses, and lifetime admission to Nebraska state parks for disabled veterans.
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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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 and nexus statements (medical nexus letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.