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July 16, 2021

Top 8 New Jersey Veteran Benefits

A Guide to the Best 2021 Benefits for Veterans in the State of New Jersey

Whether you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or currently serving, you should be aware of a wealth of New Jersey veteran benefits, exemptions, and resources available to support you and honor your service.

New Jersey’s population of 400,000 veterans makes up about 6.5 percent of the state’s total population. If you served, New Jersey veteran benefits you might pursue include a variety of financial, healthcare, educational, DMV, and recreational benefits.

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administers many New Jersey veteran benefits, and Veterans Service Offices are responsible for assisting veterans in finding the benefits for which they qualify. 

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

new jersey veteran benefits
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Property Tax Benefits for New Jersey Veterans

Full Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans in New Jersey

The full property tax exemption for 100 percent permanently and totally (P&T)  disabled veterans is one of the best New Jersey disabled veteran benefits,

Honorably discharged disabled veterans with a VA service-connected rating of 100 percent P&T may qualify for an annual full property tax exemption on their primary residence as long as they are New Jersey residents. No wartime service is required for this benefit. 

Surviving spouses of eligible veterans may also claim these New Jersey veteran benefits.

To file for a disabled veteran’s exemption, you must complete the Application for a Claim for Property Tax Exemption with your local county assessor. 

Property taxes in New Jersey are locally assessed and administered by each county

Property Tax Reduction for All Veterans

New Jersey veteran benefits include a $250 deduction on annual property tax for ALL honorably discharged veterans or their surviving spouses, so long as they are New Jersey residents. If both spouses are veterans, each can claim a deduction. 

To file for the $250 property tax deduction, you must complete the Application for Property Tax Deduction Claim with your local county assessor. 


Education Benefits for Veterans in New Jersey

New Jersey College Tuition Programs

New Jersey veteran benefits for education include tuition assistance under separate programs for New Jersey National Guard members, Vietnam veterans, Prisoner of War or Missing in Action, and War Orphans.

New Jersey National Guard Tuition Waiver Program (NJNGTP)

Active members of the New Jersey National Guard are eligible for free tuition for up to 16 credits per semester. 

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Member has completed initial training
  • Member must be in good standing and is actively drilling with his or her unit
  • Member must be accepted into a course of undergraduate or graduate study
  • Member must apply for FAFSA annually

Learn more about the tuition waiver program.

Vietnam Veterans Tuition Aid

New Jersey resident veterans who served between December 31, 1960 and May 7, 1975 are eligible for $400 per year reimbursement for college for full-time or $200 for part-time. 

Fill out the application with the NJ Department of Military and Veterans affairs by October 1 for the fall term. 

POW or MIA Tuition Benefit

Children of POW-MIA are eligible for free undergraduate college at any New Jersey private or public institution as part of New Jersey veteran benefits. 

To be eligible, the parent and child must both be New Jersey residents. To apply, contact the Veterans Benefits Bureau at (609) 530-6949 with a copy of your DD1300. 

War Orphans Tuition Assistance

Children of service members who pass away in the military or as a result of service-connected disabilities are eligible for $500 annually in tuition assistance for up to four years of college. The child must be a resident of New Jersey for at least one year before applying and be between 16 and 21 when they apply. 

To apply, contact the Veterans Benefits Bureau at (609) 530-6949. 

High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans in New Jersey

New Jersey’s Operation Recognition issues high school diplomas to eligible veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. This is one of the New Jersey veteran benefits you earned with your service and sacrifice, so take advantage of the opportunity to get your high school diploma!

Veterans who left high school to join the military during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam are eligible to receive a high school diploma if the veteran:

  • is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces
  • left high school in any U.S. state before graduation to serve in the war

Diplomas can be requested by guardians of disabled veterans as well as members of a deceased veteran’s family.

Learn more about Operation Recognition in New Jersey.

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Employment Programs for New Jersey Veterans

New Jersey Veterans’ Absolute Preference

New Jersey veterans receive absolute preference over non-veterans. Qualified veterans who receive a passing score on their civil service exam are placed at the top of competitive employment lists. Disabled veterans with a disability rating of 10 percent or greater, or the spouse of a veteran with a disability rating of 10 percent or greater, are given the highest preference. Veterans must have an honorable discharge to receive preference. 

Learn more about New Jersey civil service preference.

New Jersey Helmets to Hardhats Program (NJ H2H)

The state helps New Jersey veterans find and transition into careers in building and construction. This program provides personal career counseling, interview coaching, entrance test prep, and guidance through the entire application process to interested veterans. All honorably discharged veterans are eligible, and you can even join the program before you transition out of active duty. 

Learn more about the Helmets to Hardhats program.


Financial Assistance Programs in New Jersey

Wounded Warriors Caregiver Relief Act in New Jersey

This tax credit is one of the NJ disabled veteran benefits that reward caregivers for taking care of their family member wounded warriors. New Jersey family members who take care of military service members with disabilities from service after September 11th, 2001 are eligible for a tax credit.

Eligible caregivers for these New Jersey veteran benefits include spouses, siblings, parents, children, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, first cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, and grandchildren. Any of these relationships created by marriage (e.g. aunt or uncle, niece or nephew) also qualifies. The caregiver must have a gross income of $100,000 or less for joint filers. 

The credit is worth $675 per year, or 100 percent of the veteran’s federal disability compensation, whichever is less. 

To apply for the Wounded Warrior Caregivers Act and get tax credit for taking care of your family member, calculate your credit and enter the amount on Line 60 of your New Jersey Income tax return. 

New Jersey Catastrophic Entitlement

NJ disabled veteran benefits include a payment of $62.50 per month to severely disabled veterans and unmarried surviving spouses. 

Eligible veterans include New Jersey residents with one of the following service-connected disabilities: loss of sight, amputees, permanent paralysis in one or both legs, the loss of use of one or both feet or legs, or quadriplegia. 

To apply, fill out a New Jersey Catastrophic Entitlement application

New Jersey veterans tax benefits

Housing Programs for Veterans in New Jersey

Veterans Homes in New Jersey

New Jersey veteran benefits include three Veterans Memorial Homes within the state. These homes are located in Paramus, Menlo Park, and Vineland, and offer long-term care for veterans in need. 

Veterans must be a state resident for two years to receive application preference. Veterans can pay for their stay according to financial ability.  

To learn more about each home and how to apply, visit the Veterans Memorial Home website


Veteran Healthcare Benefits in New Jersey

Women’s Veterans Health Care

New Jersey veteran benefits include health care specifically for women veterans. Women are the fastest growing group in the veteran population, which is why the VA is focusing on providing more VA resources for women. This care focuses on preventive health screening, treatment, and supportive services. 

Main locations are on the East Orange and Lyons campuses. You can contact the clinics at (973) 676-1000 Ext. 3117.

The Women’s Call Center for women veterans and their families can be reached at (855) 829-6636.

Counseling for New Jersey Veterans

Veterans and families are eligible to receive PTSD counseling, as well as counseling for readjustment into civilian life, from the New Jersey Department of MIlitary and Veterans Affairs. 

Services offered include individual counseling, group counseling and medication monitoring.  To get the help your family earned through service and sacrifice, call (888) 865-8387.  

nj disabled veteran benefits

DMV Benefits for New Jersey Veterans

New Jersey Veteran Designation on Driver License or Identification (ID) Cards

An additional New Jersey veteran benefit is the option to request a Veteran designation at no additional cost on the front of a New Jersey drivers license or ID card.

The “Veteran” printed on the lower right hand of the license allows honorably discharged New Jersey veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued ID card.

To apply for the designation, veterans must provide six points of ID, proof of address, the driver license application, and DD214 at a local New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) office

New Jersey Vehicle Registration Exemptions

Disabled veterans who are blind as a result of wartime service or receive a specially adapted vehicle from the VA to accommodate their disability are exempt from vehicle registration fees in New Jersey.

Eligible veterans can call (609) 292-6500 ext 5076 to request an application as part of their NJ disabled veteran benefits. All follow-on renewals can be completed by mail or at any MVC office. 

POWs and Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for registration exemption on only one vehicle. 


New Jersey Veteran Benefits for Parks and Recreation

Hunting and Fishing Annual License Discounts

New Jersey veteran benefits include discounts for eligible New Jersey National Guard members with free fishing, firearm, bow hunting, and trapping licenses, saving up to $144. 

Active duty members stationed in New Jersey are eligible to purchase licenses at resident prices, saving up to $388.

Any New Jersey resident veteran with an honorable discharge who also has ANY service-connected disability rating from the VA is eligible for free hunting and fishing licenses (worth up to $144). 

You can purchase licenses online, but for the free disabled license, you must send proof of discharge and your VA disability rating via mail to the Disabled Veteran Licensing NJ Office

Miscellaneous Benefits for Veterans in New Jersey

Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery

This state veterans cemetery is centrally located in Arneytown, New Jersey. Free burial and perpetual care is provided at no cost to the veteran or veteran’s family. This includes a plot, grave liner, and burial service, as well as access to the chapel. 

New Jersey veteran benefits for burial in the state veterans cemetery extend to include veterans who:

  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Died while on active duty either in the reserve component or U.S. Armed Forces
  • Were members of a reserve component with years 20 years of service
  • Certain World War II Merchant Marines and others who have attained veterans status

Veterans must have been legal residents of New Jersey prior to death or for at least 50 percent of their lifetime. 

Eligible dependents include the veteran’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, or 23 if attending college. 

Learn more about the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Requests for burial in the cemetery should be made through any funeral director by calling the General Information line at (609) 738-2400. 

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What about income tax benefits for New Jersey veterans?

New Jersey Income Tax Breaks for All Veterans

If you’re looking to retire from the military in New Jersey, one of the attractive New Jersey veteran benefits is the lack of tax on military retirement. While New Jersey does tax veteran income, military pensions and survivor’s benefit payments are not taxed. Veterans should not report either of these on their New Jersey income tax returns.

New for tax year 2021, service members do not have to pay income tax on military pay received while in a combat zone. 

Another excellent New Jersey veteran benefit is that honorably discharged veterans are eligible for a $6,000 exemption annually on their New Jersey state income tax return, beginning the year they’re discharged (any time before the last day of the tax year). 

This exemption can be combined with other exemptions to which the veteran is entitled, and is available for both resident and nonresident tax returns. Spouses and surviving spouses of an eligible veteran filing a joint tax return can also claim this exemption. 

You must provide official documentation showing that you were honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty. The first time you claim this exemption, you must also provide a copy of your DD214 . 

New Jersey Tax Exemption for Veterans who Pass Away from Combat

For family members of service members who pass away in combat or as a result of wounds received in combat, New Jersey does not charge income tax the year the death occurred or any year the member served in the combat zone. 

Surviving family members can file a return for a refund for any income tax paid while the member served in combat.


Useful Resources for New Jersey Veterans

New Jersey Income Tax Guide for Veterans

Veterans Diversion Resource Entities Directory – A guide with New Jersey veteran benefits contact information

New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Benefits Guide


VA Locations and Medical Facilities in New Jersey

List of VA Locations in New Jersey

Veterans Medical Facilities in New Jersey
VA Health Care System location in New Jersey
East Orange:VA New Jersey Health Care System
VA Medical Centers for New Jersey Veteran Benefits
East Orange:East Orange Campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System
Lyons:Lyons Campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System
Outpatient Clinics in New Jersey
Camden:Camden VA Outpatient Clinic
Community Based Outpatient Clinics in New Jersey
Brick:James J. Howard Community Clinic (Brick, NJ)
Hackensack:Hackensack CBOC
Hamilton:Hamilton CBOC
Jersey:Jersey City CBOC
Marlton:Burlington County CBOC
Morristown:Morristown CBOC
Newton:Sussex Outpatient Clinic
Northfield:Atlantic County CBOC
Paterson:Paterson CBOC
Piscataway:Piscataway CBOC
Rio Grande:Cape May County CBOC
Sewell:Veterans Health Clinic at Gloucester County (642GD)
Tinton Falls:Tinton Falls Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Vineland:Cumberland County CBOC
Vet Centers in New Jersey
Bloomfield:Bloomfield Vet Center
Egg Harbor Township:South Jersey Vet Center
Ewing:Trenton Vet Center
Lakewood:Lakewood Vet Center
Secaucus:Secaucus Vet Center
Veterans Benefits Administration Locations in New Jersey
Regional Benefit Office for New Jersey Veteran Benefits
Newark:Newark Regional Office
Intake Sites (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance) for New Jersey
Colt’s Neck:Earle Naval Weapons
Fort Monmouth:Fort Monmouth
Fort Dix:Fort Dix
Lakehurst:Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station
McGuire AFB:McGuire Air Force Base
National Cemetery Administration for New Jersey
National Cemeteries in New Jersey
Beverly:Beverly National Cemetery
Pennsville:Finn’s Point National Cemetery

New Jersey Veteran Benefits FAQs

Are there New Jersey property tax breaks for veterans?

New Jersey veteran benefits give honorably discharged veterans a standard $250 property tax exemption. Veterans who have a 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) disabled rating from the VA may qualify for a full exemption from New Jersey property tax on a primary residence, based on their county assessor application.

Do New Jersey veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?  

Veterans and disabled veterans receive preference when applying for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in New Jersey. New Jersey uses absolute preference to place qualified veterans at the top of the employment list. Disabled veterans with a disability rating of 10 percent or greater receive the highest preference.

Does New Jersey offer any special financial assistance to veterans and their families? 

New Jersey offers family members who are caregivers for wounded warriors an annual tax credit of $675 or 100 percent of the veterans disability compensation, whichever is less. For blind, paraplegic, or veterans with permanent paralysis, New Jersey also pays $62.50 per month under their catastrophic entitlement program. 

Do New Jersey veterans pay state income tax?

New Jersey veterans must pay state income tax, but are exempt from paying state income tax on $6,000 annually. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible. Additionally, retired veterans do not have to pay any state tax on their military pension. 

New Jersey also does not charge income tax for family members of those who pass away in combat or as a result of wounds received in combat—for the year the death occurred or any year the member served in the combat zone. And starting in 2021, service members do not have to pay income tax on military pay received while in a combat zone. 

Are there special New Jersey veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?

Yes, New Jersey veteran benefits include free hunting and fishing licenses for residents who have any service-connected disability rating, or are eligible New Jersey National Guard members. Active duty service members are also eligible to purchase licenses at resident prices. 


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.

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